Whilst Ireland were beating Essex in Abu Dhabi yesterday, the UAE came up against Lancashire at Sharjah. Lancashire played a strong team, though Andrew Flintoff was notably absent.

Lancashire won the toss and chose to bat, Mal Loye batting well for 83. The other batsmen all got starts, but only Steven Croft capitalised on that start, going on to score 45. Lancashire eventually scored 276/7 from their 50 overs. Saqib Ali was the pick of the UAE bowlers with 3/45 from his eight overs.

The UAE lost wickets regularly in their run chase, with only Arshad Ali (35) and captain Saqib Ali (61) emerging with any credit. They were eventually bowled out for 198 in the 48th over, losing by 78 runs. Simon Marshall was the top Lancashire bowler with 3/35 from ten overs of leg spin.

Mal Loye was awarded the man of the match award, though Saqib Ali will rightly feel aggrieved that his fine all-round performance wasn't recognised. The UAE's next match in this pre-season event comes in a week's time when they play Somerset in Abu Dhabi. Lancashire will play Essex tomorrow at Sharjah.


Lancashire beat UAE by 78 runs
Sharjah, 14 March
Lancashire 276/7 (50 overs, M Loye 83, S Croft 45, Saqib Ali 3/45)
UAE 198 (47.3 overs, Saqib Ali 61, Arshad Ali 35, S Marshall 3/35)