Waseem ton takes UAE to ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier A crown
FINAL: UNITED ARAB EMIRATES VS IRELAND – UAE won by 7 wickets
Opting to bat in a pressure final, Ireland found themselves in a spot of bother in the Powerplay, losing three wickets, including that of their star batter Paul Stirling and captain Andy Balbirnie.
Despite the poor start, Ireland chose to fight fire with fire. Instead of adopting a cautious approach, they took the attack to UAE, with Harry Tector and Locan Turner adding 43 runs in just 32 balls for the fourth wicket. Just when the batters settled in, Karthik Meiyappan dismissed Turner, triggering a mini-collapse that saw Ireland lose two more wickets in as many overs.
At 69/6 at the end of 11 overs, Tector and Shane Getkate breathed new life into the Ireland innings with a 55-run partnership in 36 balls, with the latter smashing three sixes in his quickfire 19-ball 30. Zahoor Khan brought UAE back in the game with the wickets of the two set batters in the 17th over, at the end of which Ireland were 126/8.
Ireland were at the risk of being all-out without batting the full 20 overs, when Mark Adair and Barry McCarthy came up with vital knocks, adding 34 runs at a strike rate of 200. Ireland were eventually bowled off the last ball of the innings, with Rohan Mustafa claiming the last two wickets.
Chasing 160 for the win, UAE were forced to go into a shell after Josh Little dismissed Chirag Suri and the tournament's leading run-getter Vriitya Aravind in the same over. Waseem and Rohan Mustafa had to bide their time, going at just over five runs an over for the first nine overs before taking the charge around the halfway mark.
Waseem made his intent clear with two sixes in consecutive overs. He brought up his fifty in the 12th over, taking the attack to Gareth Delany with two fours and a six in an over that cost Ireland 17 runs. He did not take his foot off the accelerator as he smashed three more sixes in the next two overs to bring down the required run rate to under eight.
The onslaught continued and Waseem brought up his century in 59 balls. By the time he got out, UAE only needed seven runs to win off the last two overs. Rohan Mustafa, who kept Waseem company in their 141-run partnership and was solid at the other end, hit the winning runs and UAE were crowned the champions of the 2022 ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier A.
3rd PLACE PLAYOFF: OMAN VS NEPAL – Nepal won by 9 wickets
Oman won the toss and elected to bat at home, a decision that did not work out as well as they would have hoped. Oman lost their top three batters inside the Powerplay, starting with Jatinder Singh's run-out in the second over of the innings.
Zeeshan's Maqsood steadied the ship with a cautious 21 but with his wicket in the 12th over, Oman had lost half their side for just 42 – they were never able to recover. Ayaan Khan, Naseem Khushi and Kaleemullah were the only other batters to get to double-digit scores as Oman finished at a meagre 87/9.
Sandeep Lamichhane led from the front with figures of 3/13 and was well supported by the rest of the bowlers.
In response, Nepal openers Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh put on a 50-run stand for the first wicket, effectively ending any hope Oman had. They were quiet in the first three overs of the Powerplay before Bhurtel exploded in the final three overs with two sixes and two fours.
Bhurtel, who finished the tournament as the second-highest run-scorer, added another 50+ score to his kitty. He remained unbeaten till the end as Nepal completed the formalities and chased down the total with nine wickets and 22 balls to spare.
5th PLACE PLAYOFF: CANADA VS BAHRAIN – Canada won by 7 wickets
Bahrain found themselves in trouble early on in the innings, losing their top three inside the Powerplay, with Kaleem Sana, Rishiv Joshi and Saad Bin Zafar picking up a wicket each. David Mathias and Haider Butt bailed Bahrain out with a 44-run partnership before Harsh Thaker removed the two set batters in consecutive overs.
Sikander Billah's quickfire 21-ball 33 helped Bahrain post a respectable 131/8. Thaker was the star with the ball, finishing with figures of 4/20 that broke the back of Bahrain's middle-order.
Canada lost their highest run-getter in the tournament, Matthew Spoors, early in their chase. Rayyan Pathan and Shreyas Movva, however, steadied the ship with a 36-run partnership.
Skipper Navneet Dhaliwal looked in a hurry to finish off the match, smashing 54* off 27 balls that included three fours and a six. Canada chased down the total with ease, winning the match by seven wickets to finish fifth in the 2022 ICC ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier A.
7TH PLACE PLAYOFF: GERMANY VS PHILIPPINES – Germany won by 9 wickets
Asked to bat first, Philippines openers finally turned a corner after recording first-wicket partnerships of 0, 7, 7, and 0. Daniel Smith (35 off 23 balls) was the aggressor in the partnership while Henry Tyler (23 off 29 balls) was solid at the other end. Together, they added 56 runs, which was the highest partnership for the Philippines for any wicket in T20Is.
However, the wicket of Smith in the eighth over triggered a massive collapse as the Philippines soon found themselves reduced to 72/6. Elam Bharathi was the destructor in chief for Germany, claiming four of the first six wickets that fell, returning magical figures of 4-0-6-4. Huzaifa Mohammed and Miggy Podosky's 27-run stand ensured the Philippines crossed the 100-run mark, finishing the innings on 109/8 in 20 overs.
Apart from a early hiccup when they lost opener Talha Khan in the first over, Germany cruised to a win over the Phillippines. Justin Broad and Michael Richardson remained unbeaten till the end, adding 114 runs for the second wicket while also getting to their respective fifties.
Germany got across the line with more than seven overs to spare, finishing the tournament in seventh place.
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