After a superb day in Sharjah for the bowlers in the Team USA squad as they joined the Australian team in training, USA returned to more 50 Overs action in the first of 3 matches against a UAE XI in Dubai.
USA batted first but lost in the in-form Xavier Marshall early on before Steven Taylor and Monank Patel set the spark in a positive partnership of 80 off just 72 balls. Both men fell in the 40s, Taylor fell for 44 and Patel went for 42 just when it looked like one of them was set to go on to make the first American century of the tour.
It was Jaskaran Malhotra instead who was the star man for USA as Team USA played at the new venue of the Sevens Cricket Ground in outer Dubai for the first time. Shortly after he came to the wicket, USA were had just lost 3 quick wickets and were in just a bit of trouble at 108 for 4. He built a strong, patient partnership with Hayden Walsh Jnr. The two put on 87 in 21 overs and then Malhotra pressed the accelerator and would have had time to complete a brilliant century but fell just 10 runs short, for 90, the highest individual score of the tour so far.
His innings contained 8 boundaries including 3 massive 6’s, against a spin-heavy bowling attack USA had fought hard to compile their 265 for 7.
With the bowling group’s confidence high, they went searching for early breakthroughs but at the end of the first power play, the UAE XI had moved to 37 for 0. Roy Silva then removed both openers in quick succession. After Timil Patel trapped the dangerous Ghulam Shabbir LBW, USA sensed they were right on top as wickets fell regularly throughout the innings.
Chirag Suri, fresh from a century in the UAE full team’s win over Surrey the day before made an impressive 51 but when he fell also to Patel LBW, the writing was on the wall for the local side at 171 for 7 with just 8 overs to go.
Some late hitting from Arslan Javed pulled the final margin of victory tighter than Head Coach, Pubudu Dassanayake would have liked it but in reality, USA were always comfortable winners.
So it was a third win in just four days for Team USA and they will have a chance to make it four in five days on Friday at the same venue.
Team USA schedule in UAE:
March 15 – USA v UAE (2pm) – T20I – ICC Academy Oval 1, Dubai – NO RESULT
March 16 – USA v UAE (2pm) – T20I – ICC Academy Oval 1, Dubai – LOST BY 24 RUNS
March 18 – USA v UAE (10am) – 50 Overs – ICC Academy Oval 1, Dubai – WON BY 5 WICKETS
March 19 – USA v Lancashire (10am) – 50 Overs – ICC Academy Oval 1, Dubai – WON BY 6 WICKETS
March 21 – USA v UAE XI (10am) – 50 Overs – Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai – WON BY 24 RUNS
March 22 – USA v UAE XI (10am) – 50 Overs – Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai
March 24 – USA v UAE XI (10am) – 50 Overs – Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai
March 25 – USA v UAE (10am) – 50 Overs – Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai
March 28 – USA v UAE (10am) – 50 Overs – Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai