WELLINGTON (Reuters) - UAE captain Mohammad Tauqir has dismissed questions his side had done damage to their reputation by refusing to meaningfully chase targets in their last two World Cup matches after a 146-run loss to South Africa on Thursday.
AB de Villiers' side scored 341 for six in their 50 overs at Wellington Regional Stadium in the Pool B clash and while Swapnil Patil scored 57 not out, UAE never really threatened the target.
They finished on 195 in the 48th over with Fahad Alhashmi unable to bat after injuring his leg while bowling.
It was the second successive game they had won the toss and chosen to field first, conceded more than 300 runs and then not attempted to win the game after they lost to Pakistan by 129 runs last week in Napier.
"We tried our best. This was the best we could have done," Tauqir said when asked as to why they had appeared to not be interested on Thursday in attempting to chase a victory target, as unlikely as it might have been.
"Playing 50 overs against them is a great learning experience for our side and gives a lot of confidence to us and our batters.
"The more opportunities we get the better we become."
Tauqir said he had been pleased with the bowling and fielding performance of his side and felt that until about the 45th over they may have restricted South Africa to under 300 before Farhaan Behardien blasted 64 not out from 31 balls.
Patil's innings of 57, from 100 balls, had also been 'a brilliant knock' and his side would take confidence when they play West Indies in their final clash at McLean Park in Napier.
West Indies are on four points and must win the match on Sunday by a big margin to give themselves any chance of making the quarter finals.
Tauqir said the fact his side had restricted South Africa to under 400 and were beginning to bat out their full complement of overs against test nations, was a positive sign.
"South Africa scored over 400 against test nations and we restricted them well below that, so that's an achievement for our bowling and fielding side," he said.
"We have played 50 overs against Pakistan. We have almost played 50 against South Africa. These are positive signs.
"I don't see the West Indies as strong as India or South Africa and we would like to put up a better show."
Editing by Sudipto Ganguly