UAE colts look to punch above their weight
READY FOR ACTION: The UAE team will take on Bangladesh in the ACC Under-19 Asia Cup opening match on Friday. - Twitter
Dubai - They take on Bangladesh in their ACC Under-19 Asia Cup opener in Sri Lanka
The UAE will look to punch above their weight when they compete in the eighth edition of the ACC Under-19 Asia Cup which begins in Sri Lanka on Thursday.
The UAE colts had qualified for the tournament after a dominant performance in the ACC Under-19 Western Region tournament held in Dubai in May.
The UAE, who went unbeaten through the qualifying tournament before winning the final against Kuwait, joined the likes of record six-time champions India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal and Kuwait, in the competition.
The UAE, who had earlier qualified for the 2020 Under-19 World Cup to be held in South Africa early next year, after a remarkable show in the ICC Asia Division 1 qualifiers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, find themselves in Group B along with Nepal, hosts Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Group A consists of the Dhruv Chand Jurel-led India, Afghanista, Pakistan and Kuwait.
The UAE squad, which landed in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, on Sunday, take on Bangladesh at the Marians Cricket Ground in Katunayake on Friday.
The UAE team is captained by leg spinner Karthik Meiyappan.
The tournament, which runs until September 14, will be played across five venues - the P Sara Oval, the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo Cricket Club, Moratuwa and Marians Cricket Club.
The tournament gets going with powerhouses India meeting minnows Kuwait at the Marians Cricket Club, while Afghanistan take on Pakistan at the P Sara Oval, on Thursday.
Saturday sees the blockbuster fixture with Indian squaring off against Pakistan at Moratuwa. The UAE's second game is against Sri Lanka at the Marians Cricket Club, with their third and final fixture against Nepal, also at the same venue, next Tuesday.
Meanwhile, after the match against Pakistan, India meet Afghanistan next Monday, in their final league engagement.
Following a rest day on September 11, the two semifinals will be played at the P Sara Oval and Moratuwa on September 12. Another rest day follows on September 13 with the final slated for September 14 at the R Premadasa Stadium.
India won the inaugural edition held in Bangladesh in 1989 before adding their second title in Pakistan 2003. They had defeated Sri Lanka on both occasions. The 2012 edition held in Malaysia, was shared between India and Pakistan after the match was tied.
India then went on to win their fourth title in 2013-14 in the UAE, after beating Pakistan. A fifth crown came in 2016 in Sri Lanka where they got the better of the hosts. After missing out in 2017 in Malaysia, the tournament won by Afghanistan, India beat Sri Lanka in last year's edition.
Kartik Meiyappan (C), Ansh Tandon, Mohammed Haider Shah, Vritiya Aravind, Alishan Sharafu, Osama Hassan, Mohammed Farazuddin, Ashwant Valthapa, Sanchit Sharma, Akasha Tahir, Tasin Rehman, Anand Kumar, Aaron Benjuman, Rishab Mukherjee, Niel Lobo.
Group A: India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kuwait
Group B: UAE, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
September 5: India vs Kuwait; Afghanistan vs Pakistan
September 6: Sri Lanka vs Nepal; UAE vs Bangladesh
September 7: India vs Pakistan; Afghanistan vs Kuwait
September 8: UAE vs Sri Lanka; Bangladesh vs Nepal
September 9: India vs Afghanistan; Pakistan vs Kuwait
September 10: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh; UAE vs Nepal
September 11: Rest Day
September 12: Semifinals: A1 vs B2; A2 vs B1
September 13: Rest Day
September 14: Final