Phil Simmons’ side won by 21 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method after the match referee called off the day-night match following two floodlight blackouts in the Sylhet Stadium ahead of an impending storm.
Ireland won the toss and decided to bowl, and made UAE struggle for every run in their total of 123-6 from 20 overs.
Paul Stirling took two wickets in the seventh over to break the back of the UAE innings, then Kevin O’Brien bowled a nagging line in the middle overs to finish with figures of 2-17.
Stirling suffered a blow to his elbow on the second ball of the run-chase, which forced Ireland’s most explosive batsman to retire hurt.
Captain William Porterfield (33 not out), who had to replace his bat after a piece fell off mid-shot, and Ed Joyce (43) brought Ireland to the brink of victory with an 80-run stand from 68 deliveries before the lights failed and the rains came with Ireland 103-3 from 14.2 overs.
“The wicket was more of an Irish or UK wicket than we are used to over here and it suited our seamers,” man-of-the-match Joyce said. “It was still a very good wicket here though, and huge credit to our bowlers for restricting UAE to 123.”
Stirling was taken to hospital for an X-ray but he will be fit to face the Netherlands tomorrow.
If Ireland beat the Dutch they will top the group and join Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand and England in the Super 10s.