The United Arab Emirates - the only one of the qualifier teams to not reach the World T20 next month - could well find themselves in the Asia Cup after making it two wins from two by beating Hong Kong in the qualifier today.
Hong Kong captain Tanwir Afzal won the toss and chose to bat first, with the team losing opener Kinchit Shah for a duck in the first over, and Anshuman Rath soon afterwards. The in-form Babar Hayat, along with Mark Chapman, got Hong Kong on the front foot with a 62 run partnership for the third wicket.
That partnership ended when Chapman mistimed a shot and hit it straight to the hands of the deep extra cover fielder for 29. Hayat then shared in a 34 run partnership for the fourth wicket with Nizakat Khan before being caught in the deep for 54.
Nizakat Khan scored 28 before he was out, and Hong Kong could only manage 10 from the last two overs to take their score to 146-7. Mohammad Naveed was the pick of the UAE bowlers with 3-14.
The UAE reply started in similar fashion to the Hong Kong innings, with both openers out early doors. That was followed by a 79 run third wicket partnership for the third wicket between Mohammad Shahzad and Muhamed Usman, which ended Usman was caught at long-on having scored 41.
Shahzad reached 52 from 39 balls before being bowled by Aizaz Khan, by which time UAE needed just six to win with 10 balls remaining. Amjad Javed then got them all with one shot when he launched his first ball over the rope to secure the six wicket win.
A win for the UAE against Oman tomorrow will put them in the Asia Cup. Should Oman win that match, then NRR will decide between the two sides, along with Afghanistan should they beat Hong Kong. The UAE v Oman game is the second of the day, so they will have the advantage of knowing exactly what they need to do to qualify. Hong Kong are out of contention for qualification.
United Arab Emirates beat Afghanistan by 6 wickets
Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, Fatullah, 21 February
Afghanistan 146-7 (20 overs, Babar Hayat 54, Mohammad Naveed 3-14)
United Arab Emirates 147-4 (18.3 overs, Mohammad Shahzad 52, Muhammad Usman 41)