DP World ILT20
Chris Woakes of Sharjah Warriors is bowled by Sunil Narine of Abu Dhabi Knight Riders during the match 28 of the DP World International League T20 between the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders and the Sharjah Warriors held at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Supplied/ILT20

Dubai: Sharjah Warriors’ fate is in their own hands when they face Gulf Giants in a must-win clash in their final match, also the last encounter of the league phase, in the DP World ILT20 at Sharjah Stadium on Monday.

The hosts, for a start, need to stop their losing trend after suffering a reversal in their last two games. Sharjah must get the two points on offer to stay in with a chance of advancing to the next stage after Dubai Capitals defeated MI Emirates in their last encounter in Dubai on Sunday.

One of the crucial factors that undermines Sharjah’s efforts is their middle-order batting. Despite getting reasonable starts, the strong middle order of Marcus Stoinis, skipper Moeen Ali, Mohammad Nabi and Chris Woakes have not been able to collectively come good for the team’s cause.

The experienced Australian all-rounder Stoinis is yet to fire in this tournament, after joining mid-way with some impressive scores in the Big Bash league. So is the case with skipper Moeen Ali, who has to lead from the front with a big score in the important contest.

The Sharjah wicket is likely to assist the bowlers, but the small boundaries will give the batters the scope to clear the field.

The consistent Gulf Giants, who have already clinched the second spot, might not be willing to take their foot off the pedal. The Giants have won six of their last nine games with just one loss and two no-results due to rain. Giants start as favourites to win their final group clash, however, going by the trend, the other two qualifiers for play-offs, Desert Vipers and MI Emirates, have suffered losses in their final group game. A record Sharjah could take solace from, but the hosts need to be on top of their game to book a place in the play-offs.