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Ireland march to semi-finals, Hong Kong shock Netherlands

Boyd Rankin picked three wickets in the game
Boyd Rankin picked three wickets in the game

Kevin O'Brien and Boyd Rankin came up with a spirited performance to seal a semi-final spot for Ireland after defeating United Arab Emirates by 24 runs while Hong Kong shocked Netherlands with a 91-run victory in the Desert T20 Challenge encounters in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Ireland 160-6 (O'Brien 40) beat
United Arab Emirates 136-7 (Javed 47no) by 24 runs
9th match, Desert T20 Challenge, Group A, Abu Dhabi

Amjad Javed (2-16) struck early to remove both Stuart Poynter (5) and William Porterfield (0) after Ireland opted to bat first on winning the toss.

Paul Stirling (39), O'Brien (40) and a cameo from Gary Wilson (26) ensured Ireland reached 160 for six in the 20 overs. Javed and Zahoor Khan (2-27) picked two wickets each for UAE.

UAE lost their top five batsmen in single digit scores and were restricted to 21 for five, courtesy a three-wicket haul from Boyd Rankin (3-16).

Even though, Mohammad Usman (24), Javed (47 not out) and Mohammad Naveed (25 not out) kept the fight going, UAE managed only 136 for seven in the 20 overs. Rankin was awarded the player of the match for his brilliant bowling performance.

The win also means Ireland have qualified for the semi-final of the Desert T20 Challenge.

Hong Kong 183-4 (Nizakat 59) beat
Netherlands 92 (Rath 3-6) by 91 runs
10th match, Desert T20 Challenge, Group B, Abu Dhabi

Hong Kong opted to bat first on winning the toss. Nizakat Khan (59) and Aizaz Khan (14) shared a 53-run opening stand in just 28 deliveries.

Nizakat shared another 33-run stand with Babar Hayat (11) to lay the platform for Anshuman Rath (44) and Waqas Khan (33 not out) to capitalise on it and ensured they reached 183 for four in the 20 overs.

Netherlands lost bot their openers for duck and looked completely out of sort at 63 for nine. A 29-run stand for the final wicket between Ahsan Malik (12 not out) and Paul van Meekeren (18) ensured they reached 92 before they were bowled out.

Rath was awarded the man of the match for his 44-run knock and a three-wicket haul.

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