Netherlands vs. United Arab Emirates, World T20: Date, Time, TV Info and Preview

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Netherlands vs. United Arab Emirates, World T20: Date, Time, TV Info and Preview
Bikas Das/Associated Press

The Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates probably haven't faced each other too many times before in sport, but on the associate member's cricket circuit, they are almost bitter rivals, having met 17 times.

And whoever triumphs in their T20 World Cup-qualifying group match will vastly increase their chances of progressing from a tricky pool containing "heavyweights" Ireland and Zimbabwe. Let's take a look at the prospects of both sides before this crunch clash.

 

Venue: Sylhet, Bangladesh

Date: Monday, Mar. 17, 2014

Start time: 19:30 p.m. local time, 13:30 p.m. GMT

Weather: It's a scorcher! Temperatures reaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit are predicted by bbc.co.uk/weather.

TV Info: Sky Sports Interactive (UK)

 

Overview

After emerging from the gruelling 2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers in fourth place, the Emirates provide a classic underdog angle to the tournament with a team of amateurs, including an airline steward in their ranks.

Only three of their squad are actually born in the UAE, with the rest hailing from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. But former Pakistani star Aaqib Javed has moulded them together into a useful team who seem to be in form.

With the bat, the evergreen Khurram Khan is the danger man. When the 42-year-old is not asking morons to sit their chairs upright on Emirates Airlines five minutes into a flight, he is making sure the UAE's cricket team reach their destination through his runs and captaincy.

Their main threat with the ball is Shadeep Silva who boasts an economy rate of 5.35 in the T20 format. The UAE will need the Sri Lankan-born spinner, who often opens the bowling, to keep control if they are to stay in games.

As England will testify, having been comically beaten by the men in orange in the opening game of the 2009 T20 World Cup, the Netherlands are a little further along cricket's evolutionary curve than their Middle Eastern opponents. 

But a wretched run of late, that has seen them fail to qualify for the 2015 50-over World Cup and also lose twice to Hong Kong and once against Afghanistan in the warm-up games could leave their confidence fragile.

In the continued absence of the "retired" Ryan Ten Doeschate, the experience of Peter Borren and Wesley Barresi will be crucial alongside Michael Swart if they are to set some testing targets, but the whole line-up are notoriously inconsistent with the blade.

Their bowling unit is stronger, though, and Ahsan Malik, who was the leading wicket-taker at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in November, with 21 wickets and an economy rate of only 5.67, could be key.

The teams met at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier with the UAE edging a low-scoring contest by 10 runs.

 

T20 Form (latest left-to-right)

Netherlands: LLWWLWLW

UAE: LWLLWWLW

 

Squads

Netherlands 

Peter Borren (captain), Wesley Barresi, Logan van Beek, Mudassar Bukhari, Ben Cooper, Tim Gruijters, Timm van der Gugten, Tom Heggelman, Vivian Kingma, Ahsan Malik, Stephan Myburgh, Michael Rippon, Pieter Seelaar, Michael Swart, Eric Szwarczynski

 

United Arab Emirates 

Khurram Khan (captain), Ahmed Raza, Amjad Ali, Amjad Javed, Asadullah Shareef, Faizan Asif, Kamran Shahzad, Manjula Guruge, Moaaz Qazi, Rohan Mustafa, Swapnil Patil, Rohit Singh, Shadeep Silva, Shaiman Anwar, Vikrant Shetty

 

Players to Watch

At the age of 42, Khurram Khan is no spring chicken, but his experience and calm head in the UAE's batting order could be crucial. Often opening, the Pakistani-born left-hander has delivered 415 runs at an average of 34.58 in T20 cricket (not just internationals). The UAE skipper also delivers some useful overs of slow left-arm orthodox.

For the Netherlands, Michael Swart is an intriguing figure. Born and raised in Australia, the 31-year-old played the majority of his cricket with Western Australia but struggled to make the grade. However, he has grabbed the opportunity to play internationally courtesy of his Dutch-born father and has performed well with both bat and ball in the orange colours.

 

Prediction

Who will win?

Submit Vote vote to see results

The Netherlands seem to have the slightly higher pedigree in terms of their cricketing history, but given the stage and the fragile nature of a T20 contest, anything could happen. With the tournament being in Bangladesh and the UAE perhaps being slightly more used to the conditions and showing better form lately, I'm going to predict a win for Aaqib Javed's men.

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