ICC Cricket World Cup: UAE's aACAygreat effort' pleases Mohammad Tauqir.
Hobart: The UAE fought valiantly against the mighty South Africa on Friday before bowing to a 146-run defeat at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
South Africa sailed smoothly into the quarter-finals riding on skipper AB De Villiers's 82-ball knock of 99 and Farhaan Behardien's 64 off just 31 balls.
Bravely electing to field after winning the toss, the UAE held South Africa to 341 for 6, dispelling all doubts on whether their opponents, who have one of the strongest batting line-ups in the world, would pile up a total of more than 400. The pick of the UAE bowlers was pacer Mohammad Naveed, who took three wickets for 63 runs.
In fact, until the 48th over they held South Africa to below 300, but in the last 13 balls they gave away 41 runs. UAE chased the total with the aim of wanting to bat the full 50 overs, but were bowled out for 195 in 47.3 overs. Swapnil Patil top scored with a fighting unbeaten 57 off 100 with five boundaries.
UAE skipper Mohammad Tauqir was not disappointed even in defeat. "South Africa is one of the best teams and favourites to win the World Cup. Our bowling performance was very good today though we dropped a couple of catches here and there. I think up to the 45th over we thought they would score only around 300 runs, but not 340. But I think even restricting them to 340 was also a great effort by my bowling side."
South African fast bowlers Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander took two wickets each, as did medium pacer De Villiers.
The Proteas bowlers bowled at full steam and unleashed a barrage of short-pitched deliveries, leaving Tauqir to comment after the match: "I was a bit shocked that, instead of hitting the wicket, they were trying to hit the batsmen.
"They are a very good side. I think it's a gutsy performance from our side that we almost played 50 overs, with Swapnil Patil playing a brilliant knock."
De Villiers admitted the UAE put up a strong fight. "It was hard work," he said. "They made it difficult for us. I was happy with the way we fought throughout."
UAE openers Andri Berenger and Amjad Ali held on until the seventh over to score 17 before Morkel got Berenger out caught at gully by a diving Rilee Rossouw.
Amjad looked confident and played some lovely shots but fell in the 12th over to J.P. Duminy. Going for a sweep. he top edged to Behardien at deep square leg for 21.
Morkel picked up Khurram Khan's wicket with another short-pitched delivery. The batsmen went for a pull and gave a bottom edge to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock for 12.
This was followed by a stubborn partnership of 63 between the in-form Shaiman Anwar and Patil. Shaiman eventually fell for 39 going for a slog-sweep off Imran Tahir, being caught at deep midwicket by Rossouw.
Saqlain Haider also fell to a brilliant catch by Rossouw off De Villiers, while Amjad Javed became the lone Steyn victim by going for a pull and offering a top-edge catch.
Naveed hit Steyn for a six over long-on, but fell to Philander for 17 and the UAE innings folded without achieving their aim of batting the full 50 overs, with last man Fahd Al Hashmi not fit to bat.
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