UAE celebrating
UAE players have been having a mixed fortunes in 50-over formats, however in Twenty20 they have an impressive record this year. Image Credit: Courtesy: ECB Twitter

Dubai; UAE are back at their favourite hunting ground in Oman for the four-team Asia Cup qualifiers. It was at Al Ameerat ground that the UAE scripted their historic victory over fancied Ireland to book a place in the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in Australia in October. On Sunday, UAE will take on Kuwait in the opener that will also usher in new era under newly appointed skipper CP Rizwan.

The UAE, for the first time, named two different captains for both the shorter formats and Ahmed Raza retaining his position as the One Day Internationals skipper while Rizwan leading the Twenty20 side, starting from the Asia Cup.

The UAE are favourites to win the qualifiers and earn their rightful place in the main draw that will pit them against India and Pakistan in Group A. It is important for UAE to move into the main draw as that experience will hold them in good stead ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup.

After a flying start to the year, where the UAE won more than 80 per cent of the matches, has been on a slump in recent times, albeit in the 50-over contests. However, those losses came on alien conditions but here the UAE are used to the heat of the region and also the Twenty20 format suites them the most.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong edged out Singapore in the opening clash of the qualifiers by eight runs on Saturday. The match followed a similar path with both team batters not converting their starts in low-scoring contest.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong players celebrating their narrow victory over Singapore in the Asia Cup qualifiers in Oman on Saturday. Image Credit: Courtesy: ACC

Chasing 149 for win, Singapore were in the game until the end when they needed 10 of the final two balls of the match. But Haroon Arshad, one of the costliest bowlers for Hong Kong, bowled the two deliveries that mattered most, conceding just one run.