The Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi will be the setting on Monday, January 16 when hosts United Arab Emirates take on Afghanistan in the ongoing Desert T20 competition. Both sides have been pooled in Group A in the competition.
The hosts are currently in second position in the standings after having won their opener against Namibia on Sunday night. The visitors top the group thanks to a better net-run-rate statistic following a big win over Ireland.
Three wickets from Mohammad Naveed and two from Zahoor Farooqi saw UAE limit Namibia to 152/7 in the first period of their contest. Wicket-keeper batsman JP Koetze top-scored for Namibia with 50 runs on the occasion.
The side completed a successful chase on the final delivery with Muhammad Usman scoring the winning runs for the hosts. Earlier in the innings, Rohan Mustafa and Shaiman Anwar had banged twin fifties to keep UAE in the hunt. While Mustafa top-scored with 56 runs, Anwar added 53 from the number three slot.
In the other game, Afghanistan limited Ireland to 125/6 in the first 20 overs of their match against Ireland. Amir Hamza was the pick of their bowlers with two wickets on the occasion. Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan were also rewarded for their efforts with two wickets each.
Najeeb Tarakai top-scored with 31 runs from the top of the order for Afghanistan during their successful chase. Mohammad Shahzad and Nabi also made important contributions with the bat with the latter taking the side across the line with Najibullah Zadran for company with eight deliveries to spare.
Going into this upcoming contest, both teams will know that a win would take them into the semi-finals with a match to spare. Afghanistan have beaten UAE 3-0 in a recently concluded three-match series in UAE itself and will start with momentum on their side. Nabi will continue to be the key player for Afghanistan while Mustafa will carry UAE’s hopes on Monday.
Match starts at 7 pm local time (3 pm GMT).
United Arab Emirates v Afghanistan betting tips:
Afghanistan to win: 1/4
Rohan Mustafa to be the top batsman for UAE