Afghanistan Desert T20
Can Afghanistan clinch maiden Desert T20 title? Reuters

Match: Afghanistan v Ireland

Date: 20 January, Friday

Time: 11:30pm SGT/9pm IST/3:30pm GMT

Competition: Desert T20 Final

Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium

TV Channel: In Singapore, there is no live TV coverage.

Live updates can be found on tournament's official Twitter handle, UAE Cricket handle

Overview

Afghanistan, the highest-ranked Twenty20 International team in the tournament, are looking favourites to win the inaugural edition of Desert T20. Asghar Stanikzai-led unit won all their games in the group stages and decimated minnows Oman by eight wickets in the first semi-final on Friday.

The Men in Blue have a strong batting line-up with the likes of experienced campaigners Mohammad Shahzad, who hit a match-winning 60-ball 80 earlier in the day, Samiullah Shenwari, Mohammad Nabi and Nawroz Mangal, who is playing his farewell series in Dubai.

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However, Afghanistan's trump card is their pace-bowling line-up, which has the in-form Fareed Ahmed and Rashid Khan leading the way. With the likes of Dawlat Zadran and Mohammad Nabi, they can trouble the Ireland batting unit.

On the other hand, Ireland are looking good to pose a stiff challenge to the tournament favourites. They had displayed their intent with a 98-run thrashing of Scotland in the second semi-final earlier in the day.

Strong performance from Paul Stirling and Gary Wilson in the morning and the presence of dangerous Kevin O'Brien should give enough confidence to their side to take on Ahmed and co. Also, leg-spinner Jacob Mulder, who has picked up 10 wickets in four games in the tournament, will be key to their success.

The two teams have met six times each other before and they have won three games each. The battle for the fourth win, which will be played on the big night in Dubai, is expected to an intense affair.

Team News

Afghanistan

Possible XI: Asghar Stanikzai (c), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Nawroz Mangal, Samiullah Shenwari, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Najibullah Zardan, Rashid Khan, Amir Hamza, Dawlat Zardan, Fareed Ahmad

Ireland

Possible XI: Paul Stirling, Stuart Poynter, William Porterfield (c), Kevin O'Brien, Gary Wilson (wk), Greg Thompson, Andy McBrine, George Dockrell, Jacob Mulder, Boyd Rankin, Craig Young