ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier A: Ireland, Oman off the mark as Nepal continue winning run
NEPAL VS PHILIPPINES – Nepal won by 136 runs
Coming into the game riding on the momentum of the low-scoring win against Oman, Nepal put up a mammoth total on the board after being asked to bat first by the Philippines.
The start wasn't ideal for Nepal though, as they lost Aasif Sheikh for a golden duck and then Kushal Malla inside the Powerplay. However, once the fielding restrictions were lifted, Kushal Bhurtel and Dipendra Singh Airee threw caution to the wind, with the former bringing up his fifty in just 31 balls.
With the platform set for a big finish, the two batters took the attack to the Philippines bowlers and smashed them to all parts. Airee brought up his fifty in the 17th over in style with a maximum. Bhurtel too wasn't to be left far behind as he reached triple figures off just 57 balls in the penultimate over, becoming the third player from Nepal to score a T20I century. He finished on 104* off 61 balls as Nepal set the Philippines a daunting target of 219.
🔹 104* runs from 61 balls— ICC (@ICC) February 19, 2022
🔹 13 fours and one six
Nepal’s Kushal Bhurtel was on 🔥
Watch all the matches of the 2022 ICC Men's #T20WorldCup Qualifier A LIVE on @FanCode (subcontinent), Himalaya TV (Nepal) and https://t.co/CPDKNx77KV (rest of the world) 📺 pic.twitter.com/hTIT64Ei6I
In reply, the Philippines innings never took off as Nepal bowled accurately to curtail the scoring. Only three batters crossed the double-digit mark but none of them scored at more than a strike rate of 100.
Sandeep Lamichhane returned figures of 3/9 in four overs as the Philippines finished at 82/8, 136 runs short of the target. Nepal made it two wins out of two and received a massive boost to their net run rate as well.
OMAN VS CANADA – Oman won by 9 wickets
Rayyan Pathan and Matthew Spoors once again got Canada off to a brilliant start, but could not replicate their heroics from their game against the Philippines yesterday. Both the batters were back in the pavilion inside the Powerplay.
Ravinderpal Singh held the innings together for Canada with 46 off 36 balls, stringing together vital partnerships with Saad Zafar and Hamza Tariq. Dillon Heyliger's cameo of 21* from 10 balls provided the late impetus Canada were looking for as they finished with 155/6.
Oman lost their star batter Jatinder Singh early in the chase after which they were forced to consolidate the innings. Zeeshan Maqsood, who promoted himself up the order at No.3 was cautious to begin with as Oman were 63/1 at the halfway stage.
Tough day on the field as we were unable to defend the target. Only Saad Zafar was able to take 1 wicket of Jatinder Singh & all our other bowlers failed to disturb the Oman batters.— Cricket Canada (@canadiancricket) February 19, 2022
Oman chased the total of 155 in the 18th over to seal the victory!#icc #T20WorldCupQualifier pic.twitter.com/Kie7IeVASV
After biding their time, the two batters exploded in the 12th over with a four and six off Heyliger's bowling and followed it up with a 19-run over against Jatinderpal Matharu. The two overs turned the tide in Oman's favour as both the batters soon got to their respective fifties and eventually remained unbeaten till the end. Maqsood finished with 76* off 44 while Kashyap Prajapati smashed 74* in 56 balls.
Oman got across the line with two overs and nine wickets to spare, thus successfully bouncing back from a loss in a low-scoring game against Nepal on Day 1.
IRELAND VS BAHRAIN – Ireland won by 21 runs
Batting first, skipper Andy Balbirnie along with his opening partner Paul Stirling ensured that it was a steady start for Ireland. There was no room for hiccups for Ireland after their defeat against UAE in their tournament opener. The pair established a 62-run opening wicket stand which would have certainly calmed down some nerves.
Stirling scored 32 off 35 while Balbirnie chipped in with a brisk 25-ball 33. The openers went back to the pavilion in quick succession though, leaving Gareth Delany to rebuild the innings.
He did exactly that but failed to get support from Harry Tector (7) and Lorcan Tucker (5). George Dockrell would then walk in and combine devastatingly with Delany as the pair ensured that Ireland ended up with a competitive score of 158/5 on the board.
Delany would end up with an unbeaten 34-ball 51 while Dockrell would score 24 off 11. For Bahrain, Junaid Aziz again impressed with figures of 2/16.
In reply, Bahrain had some decent contributions from various batters but could never quite keep up with the scoring rate. They also kept losing wickets at crucial intervals which further did not help their cause.
Muhammad Younis (30), David Mathias (28) and Veerapathiran Sathaiya (33*) all got starts but failed to get their side over the line. Bahrain would eventually fall short by 21 runs as Ireland notched up a crucial victory.
Craig Young was the star with the ball for Ireland picking up 3 wickets and conceding only 16 runs. Simi Singh and Andy McBrine also chipped in with a wicket each as Ireland managed to restrict Bahrain to 137/5.
UAE VS GERMANY – UAE won by 24 runs
UAE won the toss and opted to bat first, a decision which was immediately justified with the form their batters were looking in. Chirag Suri and Muhammad Waseem embarked on a highly-entertaining opening stand of 83, with both the batters taking the German bowlers to the cleaners.
Waseem was the aggressor at the start while Suri also played his fair share of strokes. Waseem would eventually perish for 50 when he was bowled by Muslim Yar. Basil Hameed could also not contribute much but Suri and Vriitya Aravind would then contribute with a crucial stand which ensured that UAE ended up with a big score on the board.
#UAECricket take a 24run win in today's @ICC @T20WorldCup Qualifier A.— UAE Cricket Official (@EmiratesCricket) February 19, 2022
We said to never underestimate & kudos to a very determined @Cricket_Germany! Suri's 81 (54), Waseem's 50 (30), Aravind's 40 (29) & Mustafa's 4-18-2 helped seal the win.
Scorecard 👉 https://t.co/Yi6AF8Qj3Y
Suri scored a 54-ball 81 and Aravind scored 40 off 29 as the German bowlers simply could not stem the flow of runs. Oman ended up with a total of 191/5 which would prove to be a tough ask for Germany to chase down. For Germany, Fayaz Khan picked up two scalps while Muslim Yar chipped in with one.
During the chase, Justin Broad played an innings of great substance but failed to get any substantial support from the other end. He scored a magnificent 62 off 42 deliveries as UAE kept on chipping in at the wickets column from the other end.
In the end, the lack of support proved costly for Germany, though it was a commendable effort from their end. Their scorecard read 167/9, falling short by 24 runs. For UAE, Kashif Daud was simply electric as he picked up four wickets and conceded 32 runs in his four overs.
Watch every match of the #T20WorldCup Qualifier A LIVE on FanCode (in the subcontinent), Himalaya TV (in Nepal) and ICC.tv (rest of the world).
T20 World Cup Qualifier A
Eight teams battle for two spots at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup - watch live and FREE on ICC.tv