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Williams confident of I Shield success

Sun, Nov 7, 2010 5:36 PM

Williams confident of I Shield success
Namibia captain Craig Williams believes his side will be favourites going into the ICC Intercontinental Shield final against hosts, United Arab Emirates.

The final will be played at the ICC Global Cricket Academy from 2 December- 5 December.

"I do think we will be favourites. We are a better side than UAE and if we stay level headed and play to best of our abilities then we will do well. I will not take anything away from UAE but I back my side 110 per cent," said Williams.

The Namibia side is just coming off a morale boosting win over Uganda in the last league game against Uganda in the ICC Intercontinental Shield. The team, according to Williams, is building in the same way to the final like against Uganda but is in better shape now.

"We are doing basically the same thing that we did before the last game against Uganda," informed Williams.

Namibia last played UAE in the league stage of the ICC Intercontinental Shield, but went down by four wickets at Windhoek. Williams believes his side knows the make-up of the UAE very well because of the same.

"We played UAE last year in December and we know their side very well. We are looking to keep the guys fit and at the same time are preparing for the game," added Williams.

The Namibia side is playing in the South Africa domestic competition and has had two games already. The side is scheduled for couple of more stiff tests before the final.

"We have already played two games in the South Africa domestic competition against Griqualand West, Eastern Province. We have got two more games against Natal and Boland before the ICC Intercontinental Shield final. They are two very big games for us. We have prepared better than when we played Uganda," reckoned Williams.

Williams opined that the win against Uganda helped his side because it has given a huge boost to its confidence. But Williams believes that fielding is an aspect which needs to improve before his side takes on UAE.

"Against UAE last December we dropped 14 catches which did not help matters because we should have won that game. We have been working on skills, especially our fielding because of those dropped catches. We will look to get our own back against UAE, so there is a lot to play in the final. We should do the basics well now."

According to Williams, UAE's biggest strength is its attacking batting line-up which needs to be halted for Namibia to have any claim on the ICC Intercontinental Shield.

"UAE has basically got attacking batsmen who give chances. We need to take all the chances that come our way. If we had fielded well last year UAE would not have chased down around 350 in one day. Their strength is obviously batting. They have good spin bowlers, but do not have any out and out fast bowlers. They are an attacking side and play with that philosophy."

UAE will play at home against Namibia giving it a slight edge and Williams concedes as much.

"Playing at home will be a big advantage for UAE. We used it well two years ago when we beat Kenya and UAE at home in the ICC Intercontinental Cup."

Williams believed regardless of all the odds stacked against his side they would still go into the contest as the favourites.

"I believe regardless of the home advantage, we go into this match as favourites. We want to be back in the ICC Intercontinental Cup as we belong there. We had a bad ICC World Cup qualifier. But now we have a few youngsters coming through which is nice. We are now on a high. We have had some good performances as a team. Some players have made big hundreds, bowlers are taking wickets. We are a more professional outfit now. We need to show the world what we are made of when we take on UAE."

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