The United Arab Emirates' world cup preparation tour of Australia ended today with a second defeat in as many games to South Australia.
Batting first after winning the toss, the UAE lost Mohammad Shahzad for a duck in the second over. After that poor start, a number of partnerships managed to get starts, but none were able to kick on and take the UAE towards a big total.
Andri Berenger top scored for the UAE with 38, with Swapnil Patil also chipping in with 35. Chadd Sayers was the pick of the South Australian bowlers with 3-49 as the tourists scored 176 before they were bowled out.
South Australia's run chase started slowly as the UAE bowlers got on top of the game, having them 41-4 when Jake Lehmann, son of Darren, was the fourth man out in the 13th over. Alex Ross and former South African international Johan Botha then set about rebuilding the innings, with the pair putting on 70 for the fifth wicket before Ross was out for 40.
Captain Botha then shepherded the South Australian tail, finishing the innings unbeaten on 65 to help guide his team to a two wicket win in the 42nd over.
The UAE thus end their World Cup preparation tour with two wins and four defeats. With matches on the tour taking place in Perth and Darwin, one has to question whether it is adequate preparation for a World Cup that will see them play one match in Perth, one in Brisbane and four in New Zealand.
The UAE's World Cup campaign will begin on the 19th of February when they play Zimbabwe in Nelson, New Zealand. Their next scheduled matches though will be the ACC Championship in December, where they will play two-day matches against Afghanistan, Nepal and Oman.
South Australia beat United Arab Emirates by 2 wickets
Marrara Cricket Ground, Darwin, 25 September
United Arab Emirates 176 (43.4 overs, A Berenger 38, S Patil 35, C Sayers 3-49)
South Australia 178-8 (41.4 overs, J Botha 65*, A Ross 40, Mohammad Naveed 4-26)