International Cricket Council

Download The Official T20 World Cup App

Find Out More
IReland celebration

Ireland and UAE meet in T20 World Cup Qualifier A Final

The two qualifiers for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022 meet in the final, with First Round group placings to be determined.

Overview

United Arab Emirates v Ireland
Oman Cricket Academy No.1 Ground
Thursday 24 February, 14:00 local

After securing tickets to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia later in the year via their semi-final victories, the two best sides of the competition meet in the Qualifier A final in Al-Amerat to determine which First Round groups the teams will feature in.

Ireland were too strong in their win over hosts Oman to book their spot, while UAE amassed a total out of reach for challengers Nepal to make their tournament return.

The final is also a re-match of their group encounter, where Ahmed Raza's side were victorious by 18 runs on the same ground.

After the first-up defeat, Ireland have pieced together their gameplan, winning their last three matches on the bounce, overcoming a tricky Bahrain challenge, before a comprehensive victory over Germany and their semi-final heroics against the tournament hosts.

One of the burning questions in the lead-up to Ireland's campaign was centred on runs in the middle overs, though the side showed class after a slow start in the semi-final, largely through Gareth Delany (47 off 32) and Harry Tector (35 off 27). Andy McBrine, adding the feather of late-over hitting to his cap, added a crucial 36 (21) to help his side reach 165, a target too big for an Oman side struggling to find rhythm with the bat.

Video cwc19 22 Feb 22
Ireland v Oman | Semi-Final Highlights | ICC Men's T20WC Qualifier A

That hitting will likely be needed one more time in the final, should the new-ball exploits of UAE quick Junaid Siddique continue.

The right-armer claimed three top order wickets in their win over Nepal, effectively ending their opponents chase in the opening stages of the innings.

Raza, on top of his smart leadership in field, turned the screws with ball in hand, claiming 5/19 to prevent any late challenge.

While the goal of qualification for Australia has been achieved, a victory in the final will bode well for Super 12 aspirations in the tournament proper.

Video ICC Men’s T20WC Qualifier A 22 Feb 22
UAE v Nepal | Semi-Final Highlights | ICC Men’s T20WC Qualifier A

Remember last time

The teams met in their opening group fixture at the tournament, with Vriitya Aravind stealing the show with an unbeaten 97 from just 67 balls, lifting his side to 157/5.

No other player reached a score of 20 for UAE, with 16 extras bowled by Balbirnie's side contributing to the total that proved to be a bridge too far in response.

Paul Stirling top-scored with 32 (22) in the reply, though he departed the first ball after the Powerplay, failing to capitalise on the platform he laid with the skipper.

Young spinner Karthik Meiyappan (3/16) led a strong team performance with the ball, with five of UAE's six bowlers claiming a wicket. The side stifled Ireland's middle order, who were unable to lift to the required run rate and falling 18 runs short.

What they said

UAE skipper Ahmed Raza speaking to The National on his team's qualification: "It was surreal when everything was falling into place for us. I was thinking: the game is not over yet, the game is not over yet. At the back of my mind, I knew it was.

"I feel part of an elite group now. It is a huge achievement, and it is a very emotional one because it has been a very long journey.”

Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie speaking to The National on their path to Australia: "We knew at the start of the week we needed to win three games, and we’ve got better every match – and that’s what you need to do in tournament cricket. 

"Our T20 cricket has been inconsistent, and to win three matches in a row we knew we’d have to be at our best – we managed to do that, and that was probably our best all-round performance."

BE A PART OF CRICKET'S NFT REVOLUTION

Crictos official marketplace is now open!