PREVIEW IRE vs UAE: As things stand, both United Arab Emirates and Ireland will be happy. Their futures rest in their own hands, and even a loss in the clash on Monday won’t necessarily mean elimination. Sitting right behind the all-conquering Windies, Ireland and UAE have four points each, having won two of their three matches so far. Only net run rate separates the two sides, with Ireland (0.334) marginally shading UAE (0.224). Windies take on the Netherlands in the other encounter, with the latter needing victory to have a chance of progressing. It means that as long as Windies win the clash, both Ireland and UAE are through to the Super Sixes, irrespective of the result in their game. However, they can’t rest on their laurels – they are not out of the woods yet – and if the Netherlands do spring a surprise, things could get quite tight. The easy solution is to win on Monday and make sure the losers of the contest worry about equations. Both Ireland and UAE have areas to improve on. In their 52-run loss against Windies, Ireland had quite a few chances to get take a decisive hold of the match, not least when they had Windies at 83/5. However, they let Windies get away, with Rovman Powell (101) and Jason Holder (54) not just reviving the innings, but also boosting them to a 257/8. Ireland’s bowlers were similarly guilty of a lack of ruthlessness against Papua New Guinea in their previous encounter, when the opposition recovered from 80/6 to post 235, with Tony Ura scoring a 142-ball 151. On that occasion, their batsmen managed to get them across the line, but the fact is that Ireland need to grab the crucial moments in a match. With the stakes rising every game, they can’t afford slip-ups. As for UAE, their strength is in their bowling. They had PNG out for 113 for a 56-run (DLS method) win, and despite the Windies power-hitters hammering 357/4 against them, they came back well against the Netherlands, bowling them out for 176 in a six-wicket win. Both sides being fairly evenly matched with the bat, it’s the bowlers who might determine the result of this crunch clash.
Squads: Ireland: William Porterfield ©, Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien (wk), Boyd Rankin, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson
United Arab Emirates: Rohan Mustafa ©, Adnan Mufti, Ahmed Raza, Amir Hayat, Ashfaq Ahmed, Chirag Suri, Ghulam Shabber (wk), Imran Haider, Mohammad Boota, Mohammad Naveed, Muhammad Usman, Qadeer Ahmed, Rameez Shahzad, Shaiman Anwar, Zahoor Khan