ICC T20 World Cup 2022, Qualifier A: Ahmed Raza’s 5/19 Helps United Arab Emirates Book Spot In Australia

UAE beat Nepal while Ireland got better of Oman in the semifinals to qualify for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

Ahmed Raza led from the front as UAE booked a T20 World Cup spot for the second time.

Ahmed Raza became the first United Arab Emirates (UAE) bowler to take a five-wicket haul in T20 internationals as he led his side to a 68-run win over Nepal in the semifinal of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022, Qualifier A to book a T20 World Cup spot in Australia later this year. (More Cricket News)

This will be UAE’s first appearance on the global stage for the first time in seven years. Ireland was the other team to book a flight to Australia after beating Oman by 56 runs in the second semifinal. UAE will face Ireland in the final on February 24.

Batting first, UAE suffered an early blow as Chirag Suri was bowled by Jitendra Mukhiya in the second over. However, the wicket did little to deter UAE as Vriitya Aravind continued his superb form.

Aravind picked up 18 runs from Mukhiya's subsequent over, and continued to plunder runs off the other bowlers as Muhammad Waseem expertly negotiated the strike. The half-century stand was finally broken in the eighth over when Sandeep Lamichhane cleaned up Aravind for 48.

Waseem was then joined by Muhammad Usman and the pair added another half-century partnership. Nepal struck back in the 17th over, with Abinash Bohara removing both Usman and Waseem.

Mukhiya came back into the attack to dismiss Basil Hameed and Zawar Farid in the next over. Despite the late wickets, UAE posted a competitive 175 for 7 thanks to the solid foundation laid by Aravind.

In reply, Nepal struggled from the word go. Aasif Sheikh and Lokesh Bam went for ducks, losing their wickets in the first over. Kushal Bhurtel could not hold on for long either and perished in the third over with Junked Siddique taking all the wickets.

At 18/3 Nepal looked in all sorts of trouble. Dipendra Singh Airee then helped them regroup, partnering with Aarif Sheikh to push them past 50. The rebuilding didn't last for long as Aarif was seen off by Rohan Mustafa in the eighth over.

Nepal limped to 76/4 but capitulated soon after. UAE skipper Ahmed Raza removed both Airee and Gyanendra Malla in the 13th over and picked up two more wickets in his next. With wickets falling regularly and the asking rate climbing, Nepal finally folded for 107

Raza finished with an impressive 5/19.

In the other game, Oman's decision to bowl was vindicated as they struck early with Bilal Khan removing the Irish openers in the third over. It should have slowed Ireland down but Gareth Delany and Harry Tector had other plans.

While Tector eased into the game, Delany took it upon himself to attack. In one Zeeshan Maqsood over, he hit a hat-trick of sixes. However, the 82-run stand was broken in the 13th over with Kaleemullah picking up the wickets of Tector (35) and Tucker (0) in back-to-back deliveries.

A quickfire 36 from Andy McBrine helped Ireland post 165/7. In reply, Oman did not have the best start, losing their openers in the Powerplay and reaching 37/2 in six overs. Zeeshan Maqsood and Shoaib Khan added 31 more runs before Joshua Little struck to dismiss Shoaib (30) and Khurram Nawaz (0) in the 11th over.

Khawar Ali (10) too departed after hitting a six. Oman's situation worsened when Craig Young saw off Naseem Khushi (1) and Zeeshan Maqsood (28) in the same over. The wickets continued to fall, and at 98/9 in 16 overs, all was lost for Oman.They were bundled out for 109.

Canada, Bahrain Win

Canada defeated Germany by six wickets while Bahrain beat the Philippines by 91 runs in their consolation playoffs of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier A at Al Amerat in Muscat on Tuesday.   

Canada were pushed till the end by a determined Germany as they chased down the victory target of 132 with three balls to spare. In the other match, Bahrain continued their winning momentum, notching up their second win in a row.

Bahrain defeated Philippines by a huge margin after beating UAE in the Group B league match on Monday. Victory for Canada and Bahrain set them up for a fifth-place playoff game while Germany will take on Philippines for the seventh-place playoff spot on Thursday.

With ICC Inputs