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  • England Physical Disability 3m

    Nairn and Ali look to positives after England PD final loss

    Captain Iain Nairn and coach Qasim Ali praised England's efforts after the three-wicket defeat to Pakistan in the final of the ICC Academy Dubai invitational T20 tournament for people with physical disability.

    Captain Iain Nairn and head coach Qasim Ali praised their side's efforts after England's three-wicket defeat to Pakistan in the final of the ICC Academy Dubai invitational T20 tournament for people with physical disability.

    England played four matches en route to the final of the three-team competition – two each against Bangladesh and Pakistan – coming away with two wins over Bangladesh and a win and a loss to Pakistan.

    Pakistan were England's opponents in a decider that went right down to the wire as Pakistan chased 138 to win by three wickets with just four balls to spare. 

    Speaking afterwards, England skipper Nairn rued missed chances but believed the team will take lots of positives from the game.

    This tournament has been a fantastic advert for disability cricket.

    Iain Nairn

    Nairn said: “We got off to a good start and then let them back into the game with a few wickets in the middle overs.

    “We had a reasonable finish and thought that 137 was competitive. It’s not easy batting on such a big pitch – there was a much lower boundary count today.

    “Pakistan got off to a flyer. It got to the point where they only needed 50 but we kept tugging them back and made them work very hard for the win.

    Story of the final - England Physical Disability v Pakistan

    Relive the highs and lows of England's final against Pakistan in the ICC Academy Dubai invitational T20 tournament for people with physical disability - with top fielding and changing room reaction.

    “It was a very close battle between two sides who are well matched. We were just found wanting; five extra runs and the game could have been ours. Small margins make such a big difference playing at this level.

    “We didn't quite bring our A-game and that opened the door for them.

    “It shows the fight we have in the team that we kept it close but they were the better side today.”

    The close finish leaves England with plenty to work on when they regroup and reflect. 

    “We’ll go back and redouble our efforts, make sure we are ready for the next tournament and keep developing our skills. We are looking at our talent system to produce players and give us competition in the squad to help drive the game forward in England.

    “Throughout the competition everyone has produced a performance at some point. Now it’s about making those performances more consistent. We know the talent is there and it’s about improving that consistency.

    “We want to get out there and push ourselves. We’ve seen the men’s team play a really exciting brand of cricket and we want to follow that.

    “This tournament has been a fantastic advert for disability cricket. All three sides have improved considerably.”

    Head coach Ali took solace from the manner in which his team battled right to the end. 

    “It was a tough game. They bowled well at us and I have to give credit to the guys for fighting to get up to 137 and then to get back in the game during their [Pakistan] middle overs. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be and we were about 15 runs short.

    “The schedule and the heat has been tough, especially playing back-to-back games on the first day. But it shows where the sport is at the moment: three good sides playing good cricket, in this heat and at a high-intensity. It’s been a fantastic tournament.

    “Being number one in the world means people want to take it. Pakistan came back stronger, fitter and played some good cricket. Their intensity levels have gone up and we knew they would come hard at us.

    “We’ve taken a lot of positives from these few days with three debutants stepping up and we’ve performed exceptionally well as a unit. Our fitness work has paid off and we have a group of 15 players who are exceptionally good. It's a healthy position to be in.

    “This gives us a platform to work hard over the winter and develop. We know that we need to be a little more consistent with our bowling and at finding the boundary during the power play overs.

     “It’s always disappointing to be the losing side in a final but there are a lot of positives and hopefully we’ll bounce back.”

     

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