They might not be a full member yet, but they have remained favourites among the Associate members for a while now - Ireland, now, would like a berth in the Super 10 of the World T20 2014 just so to recreate the winning moments they had against England in the 2011 50-over World Cup. Before that, they'll face UAE and the Netherlands from which they will hope to come unscathed.
Zimbabwe, a full member, were the favourites on paper when Ireland faced them in their first T20 encounter, but the Irish managed to emerge winners on Sunday. Momentum is now on their side and facing the first-timers UAE shouldn't cause them much trouble under the lights at Sylhet.
"It is a great start for us," skipper William Porterfield said. "Obviously there are three games in the group and we know how dangerous UAE can be, especially in subcontinent conditions. We have played two games against them in the qualifiers and they were very good games. That is our next test, a big hurdle."
However, UAE will need to show their mettle on a platform such as this to prove why exactly they qualified to the ongoing global event and the 50-over 2015 World Cup. They will want to improve their fielding and catching against Ireland. Khurram Khan, the UAE captain, was aware of the issue at hand because it cost them the game against Netherlands in their World T20 opener.
"It is not that you have lost everything and you don't know how to field," Khurram said. "Yes, we dropped too many catches and it just happened. You have to go and think what you have done wrong and improve. But we are not as bad it looks. We are a better team and hopefully we will perform better in the next game."
Kamran Shazad, the 33-year-old medium-pacer was the lone warrior in the Dutch encounter picking up two wickets. He will be a key bowler for the UAE in their coming two matches. The skipper showed confidence in his team's potential despite starting as underdogs.
"I don't think you come here all the way and then you start thinking that they are the better team, they are playing well," Khurram added. "Yes, they are a good team, they have been playing very good cricket but in the end, it is a do-or-die effort for us. You have to give it everything you have. So it is going to be a good game and we will try our best."
Where to Watch Live:
World T20 2014: Ireland vs UAE Live TV and Streaming Information (Match starts 7.30 pm local time, 7 pm IST, 1.30 pm GMT, 9.30 am ET)
|India||Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD2|
|US and Latin America||ESPN|
|UK and Ireland||Sky Sports|
|Middle East and North Africa||OSN Sport Cricket|
|Sub Saharan Africa & South Africa||SuperSport|
|New Zealand||Sky Sport|
|Pakistan||PTV and Ten Sports|
|Bangladesh||Bangladesh TV, Maasranga TV and Gazi TV|
|South Africa & Sub Saharan Africa||HERE|
|Pakistan||HERE or HERE|