United Arab Emirates might just cause some upsets when the under-19s Cricket World Cup begins today in South Africa.
The side recorded a crushing victory against Japan in a warm up match yesterday, with It’s Just Cricket academy member Kai Smith simply phenomenal.
The 15 year-old notched up an unbeaten century with his 102 runs coming off just 69 balls.
Fellow academy member and UAE captain Aryan Lakra chimed in with a handy 31 not out to help his side to an imposing total of 6-384 at the end of their 50-overs.
His feats didn’t end there as Lakra took four wickets from just seven overs while third IJC member Akasha Takir wasn’t required in the middle following the batting feats of his team mates.
Earlier in the week the UAE secured a surprise one-wicket victory against cricket heavy-weights New Zealand, leaving them in a strong position for the beginning of the all-important tournament.
A big statement from UAE!
Earlier today they beat New Zealand by one wicket in their first #U19CWC warm up game 💪 pic.twitter.com/c4cXDsBJTO
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) January 13, 2020
The wider competition begins today but the UAE will have to wait until Saturday for their opening round match against Canada.
IJC’s International Director of Cricket Sam Charnley said he is hopeful the strong form in the warm-up matches will continue with more now on the line.
“We’re excited to see all three of our academy members start their Cricket World Cup campaign,” he said.
“We were particularly impressed with Kai’s century in the UAE’s practice match. We wish them all the best for the rest of the tournament.”