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ICC Men’s T20 WCQ A: Oman beat Canada, Nepal win against Philippines, UAE beat Germany and Ireland overcome Bahrain

Nepal batters
Nepal batters

There were wins for UAE, Oman, Nepal and Ireland today in the latest roiund of matches in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier A Group Stage.

All the Results, Scorecards, Live Scores and Stats - ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier A

Unbeaten half-centuries by Kashyap Prajapati and skipper Zeeshan Maqsood powered hosts Oman to a nine-wicket win over Canada in the Group A match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier A, supported by Dream 11, at the Oman Academy ground in Al Amerat on Saturday. In the second game of the morning session, Nepal strolled to a 136-run win over Philippines to top the group with four points after their back-to-back victories. Canada and Oman have two points each now.

Oman’s win helped them bounce back to keep their hopes alive for a spot in the semi-finals. The top-two teams in each group will advance to the knockout round. Chasing a target of 156 to win, hosts lost opening batter Jatinder Singh in the fifth over with the total at 30. Maqsood joined Prajapati in the middle and the pair exhibited some fine strokes all around the park. The duo took the attack to the bowlers to share a 129-run unbroken partnership to secure a comfortable win with 12 balls to spare. Prajapati was unbeaten for 74 off 56 balls. 

His knock was studded with five boundaries and four sixes. Maqsood displayed more attacking intent to race to his 76 off just 44 balls, with six boundaries and five maximums. Jatinderpal Matharu’s second over cost him 19 runs as Maqsood hammered three fours and a six. 

Along with Prajapati, the skipper continued the attack as they smashed the bowling attack for a total of 47 runs in just three overs to wrap up the win. Rayyan Pathan and Matharu went for plenty in their spell as they gave away 24 and 23 runs respectively in their two-over spells. Earlier, Ravinderpal Singh anchored Canada’s innings with a partnership with Saad Zafar to guide the team to 83 before Maqsood broke the stand. 

Canadian opening pair Rayyan Pathan and Matthew Spoors – got off to a bright start. Pathan was in fine form as he found the early boundaries in the Power play but was run out in the fifth over for 26 that included four boundaries. 

Matthew Spoors, who made century on his T20I debut on Friday, followed his partner in the pavilion soon as Kaleemullah came up with a splendid wicket-maiden sixth over. Canadian skipper Navneet Dhaliwal departed in the next over to leave the side at 43-3. Singh and Zafar revived the innings with a 42-run stand.

Oman bowlers restricted their opponents to a 62-3 at the halfway mark. Hamza Tariq and Singh gradually accelerated the run-rate as they took 12 off Syed Aamir Kaleem’s 14th over. Singh finally fell in the 17th over caught brilliantly by Prajapati off Bilal Khan. 

Dilllon Heylinger struck some hits in the death overs, blasting a six and two successive boundaries in the 18th over to stay unbeaten on 21 off ten balls. Tariq ended Canada’s innings with a six to help the team’s total of 155 for six.

Navneet Dhaliwal, Captain Canada said, “Catches win matches is an age-old saying. We dropped some big catches, of their opener [Kashyap Prajapati]. If we had taken those chances, the match could have gone differently. We only have ourselves to blame. I think Oman bowled really well, so credit goes to them. But we were quite happy with the total we put up.”

Ahead of their must-win match against Nepal on Monday, Dhaliwal said: “We know it is a big game. The good thing is we are not out of the tournament yet so we will try our best.” 

Zeeshan Maqsood, Captain Oman said: “We really needed this win, and it was great to achieve it. After Jatinder got out, coach [Duleep Mendis] supported my decision to come out at one down.

“The way KP (Kashyap) played was crucial. We were getting runs on both the ends so that put pressure on Canada. I was also happy that we could restrict Canada to 155.  We had a complete performance and the way we won underlines it.”

Bhurtel ton in Nepal’s victory

Kushal Bhurtel slammed an unbeaten 61-ball century as Nepal defeated the Philippines by 136 runs in the second game at Oman Academy 2 ground on Saturday. Coming out to bat after the Philippines won the toss, Nepal scored 218/3 in their 20 overs. Opener Aasif Sheikh was sent back for a duck in the second over and soon after, Kushal Malla followed. 

A 171-run fourth-wicket stand between Bhurtel and experienced Dipendra Singh Airee (83 off 47) meant that Philippines went into the break, looking at a target even larger than the 216 that Canada had posed on Friday. Dipendra’s inning included six fours and four sixes while Bhurtel’s inning was studded with 13 boundaries and one maximum. Philippines were then restricted to only 82/8 with contributions from Daniel Smith, Jordan Alegra and captain Jonathan Hull. 

After defending a low score against Oman on Friday, Nepal were impressive with the ball once again. Sandeep Lamichhane led from the front, with figures of 3/9. This is the third-highest margin of victory in T20 Internationals for Nepal.  

Nepalese skipper Sandeep Lamichhane praised the partnership of Kushal and Dipendra and said: “They are class players and they proved that. We wanted to bowl out Philippines, but we couldn’t. We will take lessons from this game forward and continue with our good form ahead.”

Jonathan Hull, Captain Philippines said, “We will try to put all our efforts in the last game against Oman. We hope to do better.”

Ireland beat Bahrain

Craig Young continued his magnificent bowling form, taking three wickets today to ensure Ireland defeated Bahrain in a must-win Group Stage match of the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier at the Al Almerat Stadium today.

Young, bowling in his now customary first-change role, claimed the first three Bahraini wickets today to effectively end what early prospects Bahrain had of pulling off an upset victory. His 3-16 from four overs saw the North West Warriors’ paceman use variations of line, pace - and occasional bouncers – to prove a handful for the opposition batters. While his spell today arguably changed the momentum of the match, it continues his good recent form with the ball.

His three wickets today brings his wicket tally to 11 in his last four matches on this tour, at an average of 9.01. Combined with his three three-wicket hauls against West Indies in the ODI series last month, it brings to 20 his international wicket tally in 2022 so far, equalling his wicket tally in the whole of 2021.

Young’s fellow North West Warriors teammate Andy McBrine also delivered an influential spell, taking 1-19 from his four overs – his wicket being his 100th international wicket for Ireland across all formats.

Despite a positive start chasing 159 to win, the Bahrain batting unit never recovered from losing those first three wickets to Young. Muhammad Younis (30) and David Mathias (28) – and a late cameo by Veerapathiran Sathaiya of 33* from 14 balls - injected runs into the final total, but from the 9th over of the run chase the Irish felt in control.

Bahrain finished on 137-5 from their 20 overs, handing Ireland a crucial 21-run win.

Earlier in the day Irish skipper Andrew Balbirnie won the toss and decided to bat first, noting at the toss that runs on the board were crucial. He and Paul Stirling started positively, moving swiftly to 60 from the first eight overs without losing a wicket. The captain struck 3 fours and a six in his knock of 33 from 25 balls before falling to an outfield catch. Stirling – unusually quiet at the other end – fell shortly after for 32 from 35 balls, pushing a slow ball from wrist-spinner Junaid Aziz back to the bowler who safely claimed the return catch.

Then a familiar trend set in – the Irish middle order stuttered, losing wickets and the run rate began to drop. When George Dockrell – in his 250th match for Ireland (all formats) - came to the crease in the 16th over, Ireland were 100-4 and the ‘in’ batter Gareth Delany was striking at only just over a run-a-ball.

However, the Leinster Lightning captain began a counter-attack in the last five overs – he struck two sixes and a four in an innings of 24 from 11 balls to propel Ireland to over the 150-mark. Delany also sensed this change in scoring momentum and began to swing through the line of the ball more freely. He struck three maximums and a boundary in his third T20I half-century, finishing 51* from 34 balls – Delany’s fifty coming up off the last ball of the innings.

Ireland’s 158-5 from 20 overs looked slightly below par, but the final burst of 58 from the last five overs gave the Irish bowlers a target they had a chance of defending.

UAE beat Germany  by 24 runs

At Oman Academy 1 ground, Germany exhibited their fighting spirit in good measure against UAE. Chasing 192 to win, Germany finished at 167-9. Opener Justin Broad led the chase with a 62 off 42. 

There were significant contributions coming from the other players like Vijay Shankar (17) and Dylan Blignaut (13) keeping them in the hunt. Faisal Mubashir’s 12-ball blitz of 23 did raise the team’s hopes but the UAE bowlers came back to pick wickets at regular intervals to restrict them. 

Kashif Daud was the most successful bowler with four for 32 while Rohan Mustafa and Junaid Siddiqui took two wickets apiece.

Earlier, Chirag Suri’s 81 and Muhammad Waseem’s 50 laid the foundation for UAE. Opting to bat first, openers - Suri and Waseem - milked runs at ease. Waseem was severe on any loose deliveries and struck a 30-ball 50 that included four boundaries and equal number of sixes.

Suri was not far behind showcasing his repertoire of strokes. A 20-run over off Germany’s Dieter Klien set the tone in the Power play as UAE reached 57 without loss. Muslim Yar got the much-needed breakthrough in the ninth over when he claimed Waseem’s wicket, after his previous deliveries were hammered for a four and a six. Germany reaped fruit of their excellent fielding as Basil Hameed was run out and UAE were 85/2. 

Vriitya Aravind, UAE’s batting hero in their win over Ireland, joined Suri as the youngster’s good form continued. The partnership blossomed as they put on 95 before the stand was broken in the last over as Aravind was run out. His 29-ball 40 was another key knock for UAE, who had reached 191 for five.

Germany’s Fayaz Khan claimed two wickets in the final over as Suri departed for a 54-ball 81 that was studded with nine boundaries and two hits over the ropes.

Ahmed Raza, Captain UAE said, “The match went much closer than we expected. Having put up a good total on board, we possibly were a bit complacent. Germany fought hard but glad that we have got the second win under our belt.”

Venkat Ganesan, Captain Germany said“I am proud of my team. Taking the match so close is an achievement for us. UAE are the best side in the tournament. At one stage, we thought that the target could be achieved. For us, it is a learning experience, and we continue to benefit each day with our maiden participation in the global qualifiers.”

After a rest day on Sunday, UAE will play Bahrain, Nepal will face Canada whilst Philippines take on Oman on Monday.