Facing a make-or-break game in the ICC T20 World Cup against Sri Lanka in Geelong, Australia, on Tuesday (12 pm UAE Time), the UAE captain CP Rizwan said his team would draw inspiration from Namibia’s shock win over the Asian champions in the tournament opener.
While Sri Lanka slumped to a shock 55-run defeat to African minnows Namibia on Sunday, the UAE lost to the Netherlands by three wickets in a low-scoring last-over thriller on the same day.
The UAE bowlers, led by the impressive Junaid Siddique (4-0-24-3) and Zahoor Khan (4-0-11-1), almost snatched victory against the Dutch despite their batsmen scoring only 111 for eight in 20 overs.
“It was a great fightback by the bowlers despite the low total. It was heart-warming to see the bowlers putting their heart and soul into the match. The fightback definitely has given us a lot of confidence for our next match against Sri Lanka,” Rizwan told the Khaleej Times from Australia on Monday.
“Sri Lanka are a far more experienced team. So the pressure is on them obviously. But having said that, we just need to express ourselves and play to our strengths.
“We already have seen how Namibia beat Sri Lanka in the first match. So it’s a game where anything can happen. It’s just about executing our skills well.”
But Rizwan admitted that the batsmen need to pull up their socks in difficult batting conditions against Sri Lanka.
“Batting-wise, it’s slightly tougher conditions out there. Most teams have struggled.The bowlers have an upper hand on these wickets. But we have to find a way out and look for scoring options. We will try to come up with better solutions for the challenges here,” he said.
“Our bowlers have been consistent. They have consistently asked good questions. They have put the batsmen under pressure. If our batting unit also matches up to the our bowling standards, then obviously things will start falling in place.”
The losers of Tuesday’s game will be eliminated from the race to qualify for the Super 12.