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by Alastair Symondson Friday 18 October 2019
UAE did not have to go through the regional qualification on grounds of them hosting the tournament. They looked well-placed for a playoff spot in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019.
However, the sudden happenings might have changed that equation with skipper Mohammad Naveed, along with seamer Qadeer Ahmed and batting mainstay Shaiman Anwar being suspended under the ICC anti-corruption code.
Darius D’Silva, Waheed Ahmed and Junaid Siddique have replaced them and interestingly, all have performed quite well in the warm-up games. After losing against Namibia by 10 wickets in unofficial warm-up match, the team has got back to winning ways with victories over Scotland and Papua New Guinea in their official practice matches.
Waheed Ahmed, aged 33, upon being called as a stop-gap measure has impressed with three wickets in both warm-up matches, along with an unbeaten 36 in the second one.
Ireland were on the downturn for about an year but a win in the tri-series hosted by them would have done their confidence a world of good. Their wins against Scotland and Netherlands in the warm-up matches would further give them a push.
In Kevin O'Brien and Paul Stirling, the team has two experienced openers with Andrew Balbirnie coming in at first drop. Boyd Rankin and George Dockrell would be their leading bowlers.
Let's have a look at the squads of both teams:
United Arab Emirates- Ahmed Raza (c), Ashfaq Ahmed, Sultan Ahmed, Waheed Ahmed, Mohammad Boota, Darius D’Silva, Zawar Farid, Imran Haider, Zahoor Khan, Rohan Mustafa, Ghulam Shabber (wk), Rameez Shahzad, Junaid Sidique, Chirag Suri, Muhammad Usman
Ireland- Gary Wilson (c), Mark Adair, Andy Balbirnie, David Delany, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
Who will win the toss? - UAE
Who will win? – Ireland
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) – Rohan Mustafa (UAE), Kevin O’Brien (Ireland)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Waheed Ahmed (UAE), Craig Young (Ireland)
Most Sixes – Rohan Mustafa (UAE), Kevin O’Brien (Ireland)
Man of the Match – Kevin O’Brien
Team Scores Batting first – Ireland 170+, UAE 150+
Match Handicap Ireland
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*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features, so stay tuned.
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