UAE vs OMN: From the western sub-region UAE were the first team to make it to the regional finals. They were joined by Qatar & Kuwait. In March 2019, ICC announced that the UAE would host the qualifier tournament & also later that month declared the match schedule for the regional finals omitting UAE. The number of teams that could qualify from the Asia Regional Final was reduced to 1, excluding UAE. Singapore made it through after beating Nepal in the regional finals while UAE sneaked through with a direct ticket.
TEAM NEWS & CURRENT FORM
UAE lock horns with Oman in the 4th game of the 2020 World Cup T20 Qualifier. UAE are ranked 12th on the ICC rankings for teams in T20Is with the Omani legion not far behind at 16th. Zeeshan Maqsood was named Oman’s captain for the qualifier tournament & UAE will be led by Ahmed Raza. Mohammad Naveed, the former skipper & Shaiman Anwar, UAE’s leading run-getter were withdrawn from the squad after breaching cricket’s anti-corruption rules.
The host nation have played 36 T20Is, won 15 & lost 20. There’s a stark difference, obviously, in the run-making when the unit has gone on to win games. In matches, they’ve finished second best, UAE’s runs/wicket drops to 15.3 as compared to 29 in games the team has turned up trumps. Since 2018, UAE have won 6 out of their 10 T20 Internationals but without their experienced campaigners, the task to make it through does seem daunting.
Oman did feature in the last WT20 & consequently obtained an automatic qualification. Since their debut in T20Is in 2015, Oman have played 24 T20Is & their head-to-head record against UAE is 0-2. The last fixture between these two sides was played in 2016. UAE won that contest by 71 runs. Having said that, Oman remain undefeated in their last 4 games. They decimated the Dutch by 7 wickets & the Irish men were taken to the cleaners in a 43-run victory.
When: 19th October 2019
Where: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Kick-Off Time: 9:00 PM, IST
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The fixture will be staged at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. The venue has played host to 33 T20Is & the average run-rate here is a paltry 7. Not T20ish whatsoever. As far as wicket-taking wickets is concerned on this turf, left-arm pacers have been the most effective breed. They concede 6.5 runs/over @ 18.6. Their balls/wicket average is an impressive 17.2 & striking them out of the park hasn’t been easy.
The average 1st innings score here is a mediocre 138. Teams batting 1st have won 14 games, 5 fewer than matches won by teams chasing.
Aamir Kaleem has been the star man for Oman in their recent outings. The all-rounder has clobbered runs with the bat & is a nifty slow left-arm operator. In his last 5 games, Kaleem has picked 8 wickets, with career-best bowling figures of 5/15 against Nepal. Kaleem clobbered the Irish bowlers to all corners of the park with a brisk 27-ball 46 & removed the likes of Kevin O’ Brien & Andy Balbernie.
Sultan Ahmed has been the pick of the bowlers for UAE. The Emirati hasn’t gone wicketless in his last 8 matches & has picked 13 wickets at an impressive strike-rate of 12.4. His best during this interim, 3/33 against the United States. Ahmed seems to be making a mockery of the right-handers he’s bowled to. 12 of his 13 dismissals are right-handed batsman @ 13.8. Watch out for this conjurer.
Omani skipper Zeeshan Maqsood will also be a player to keep a keen eye on. The unit is bound to rely on Maqsood’s all-round expertise. Maqsood strokes 115.32 runs every hundred deliveries & is a sturdy batsman at 2-drop. His bowling credentials are more impressive. The all-rounder contains batters for not under 7 runs/over and has picked 14 scalps at a strike-rate of 18.4.
Muhammad Usman(UAE) has had a series of impressive scores in his last 8 innings(T20/T20I). The left-handed batsman has piled-up 246 runs @ 35. Against the 2-0 win against the Netherlands, Usman scored 34 & 52. His 52 coming off only 35 deliveries. The southpaw starts off slow but consolidates at a brisk pace.
Ball Range Strike-Rate
PROBABLE PLAYING XI
Chirag Suri, Rohan Mustafa, Mohd Boota, Mohd Usman, Ghulam Shabber (wk), Waheed Ahmed, Ahmed Raza (c), Sultan Ahmad, Zahoor Khan, Junaid Siddique, Ashfaq Ahmad
Jatinder Singh, Khawar Ali, Aqib Ilyas, Zeeshan Maqsood (C), Suraj Kumar, Aamir Kaleem, Mohammad Nadeem, Fayyaz Butt, Khurram Nawaz, Bilal Khan, Mehran Khan.
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