Afghanistan Desert T20
Can hosts UAE stun Afghanistan on Monday? Reuters

Match: UAE v Afghanistan

Date: 16 January, Monday

Time: 11pm SGT/8:30pm IST/3pm GMT

Competition: Desert T20

Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

TV Channel: There is no live TV coverage available in Singapore.

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

Overview

Monday's Group A match is likely to decide the winner of the group as heavyweights United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan go head-to-head in Abu Dhabi.

Highest-ranked team (9) in the tournament and title favourites, Afghanistan defeated Ireland on the opening day of the eight-team tournament by a comfortable five-wicket margin. Spinners Mohammad Nabi, Amir Hamza and Rashid Khan picked up two wickets each to restrict their opposition to 125 after which Najeeb Tarakai and Nabi starred with the bat to gun down the target with eight balls to spare.

Asghar Stanikzai's men will look to seal a spot in the semi-final of the tournament with a win on Monday against their familiar foes. Notably, Afghanistan blanked UAE in a three-match T20I series last month on the road and are only among the few associates who have had international exposure after the 2016 ICC World T20.

They stunned quite a few when they defeated eventual champions West Indies in the group stages of the tournament after making the main round for the first time. UAE will need a mammoth effort if they are to stand a chance against the in-form Men in Blue today.

Notably, UAE began their Desert T20 campaign at home on a high by beating minnows Namibia in a closely-fought contest. Chasing 153, top-order batsmen Rohan Mustafa and Shaiman Anwar hit half-centuries but Amjad Javed's team were able to seal the contest only after some late drama, which involved a last-ball finish.

Javed will want his middle-order to step up in Monday's crucial tie and he will be looking to lead the way with the ball once again against the explosive Afghanistan batting unit.

Team News

UAE

Possible XI: Amjad Javed (c), Rohan Mustafa, Ghulam Shabber (wk), Shaiman Anwar, Rameez Shahzad, Muhammad Usman, Mohammad Naveed, Ahmed Raza, Mohammad Shahzad, Imran Haider, Zahoor Khan

Afghanistan

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