Chapman denies NZ underestimated UAE after shock T20 loss
New Zealand batter Mark Chapman denied they took the United Arab Emirates (UAE) lightly after their shock loss to the minnows in the second T20 International in Dubai on Saturday.
After narrowly avoiding a defeat in the opener on Friday, the tourists managed a below-par 142-8, which the UAE chased down with 26 balls to spare to register their first victory against New Zealand in any format of the game.
New Zealand were reeling at 65-5 in the 12th over before Chapman, who topscored for his side with a breezy 63, lent some respectability to their score even though it was not enough in the end.
The UAE captain Muhammad Waseem (55) and number four batter Asif Khan, who made a whirlwind 48, engineered a clinical chase to fashion their seven-wicket victory to level the series 1-1.
"I think we've seen associate cricket is going from strength to strength," Chapman told reporters after the loss, denying lowering the guard against a team 13 rungs lower in the official rankings.
"The T20 World Cup in Australia highlighted that with some associate nations turning over some test nations.
"It's certainly no surprise to see the way they've played and the confidence they have with some really strong local tournaments here.
"It's producing some good talent."
New Zealand captain Tim Southee also heaped praise on their opponents.
"A lot of the credit has to go to the UAE team. They outplayed us in all three facets," Southee said.
"We probably didn't learn enough from the other day, we made a few mistakes that were similar to the other day and we were made to pay for that.
"We just have to be bettered in all three areas."
The third and final T20 is scheduled later on Sunday.