India and the UAE play their last qualifying match on Thursday at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. India already assured of their place in the final of the 2016 Asia Cup, and the UAE already eliminated.
India have played and won three ahead of the match against the Associate member, and have looked the outstanding side amongst the five nations competing for the title.
The UAE although beaten in all three outings so far in the tournament, have not been totally outclassed, and have threatened albeit briefly to cause an upset, and take their first ever ICC Full Member scalp.
The pitches on which the matches have been played have generally been too low and slow to encourage the sort of shot making so often seen in T20 cricket, and India’s plethora of exciting, improvising batsmen has been largely negated. The onus being on the bowlers to win their matches.
Virat Kohli has been the most successful of the Indian batsmen, but even he has managed just 112 runs in his three trips to the crease, while Rohit Sharma is the next leading run scorer with 98, 83 of which came in the opening encounter with Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka’s 138-9 on Tuesday, was the highest total yet conceded by India in their three fixtures, as they have eased their way into the final, and they can boast six bowlers with economy rates of less than 6.5.
The UAE probably achieved as much as they could possibly have hoped for, coming through the qualifying competition, and making it into the tournament proper, following three wins against , Oman, Hong Kong and most importantly against Afghanistan.
It is shame that the UAE haven’t qualified for the World T20 Tournament in India, which is due to start in just over a week’s time, as the experience picked up at the Asia Cup could have put them in with a fine chance of qualifying for the main competition there as well.