Some great matches from past ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 will be held in the United Arab Emirates from October 18 – November 2, 2019. The past five editions of the event have seen some exhilarating performances; check out some of the best –
Ireland beat Kenya in low scoring thriller – 4 August, 2008
Ireland thwarted Kenya’s hopes of making it to the T20 World Cup in 2009 in a low-scoring thriller in Belfast. After bowling out the 2003 World Cup semi-finalists for 67, the Irish weren’t very convincing as they chased down the paltry total with just five balls to spare. That was enough though for them to make it to the second edition of the marquee event next year.
Andre Botha starred for the hosts with both bat and ball as he first took three for 20 to restrict Kenya and then top-scored with a gritty 22 in the chase. Kevin O’Brien provided a moment for the highlight reel as he smashed a six off the final ball of the last over to seal the game.
Afghanistan ride emotion to beat UAE – February 13, 2010
Riding high on emotion, Afghanistan had nearly qualified for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup but the near miss and the loss against the Netherlands a day before this game left hordes of cricket fans around the world fearing the worst again. After all, no team in recent history had evoked such sentiment as these boys from South Asia did.
The match itself turned out to be a thriller. Hosts UAE won the toss and opted to bat first but could only manage 100 in their stipulated 20 overs. Saqib Ali top-scored with 24 but the stars of the innings were Mohammad Nabi and Mirwais Ashraf, who scalped three and two wickets, respectively. In response, the Afghans struggled to get going too but Noor Ali Zadran anchored the innings, scoring 38 and ensuring his team reached the target with three balls to go.
The Men’s T20 World Cup 2010 was thus their first major ICC event.
Stirling masterclass helps Ireland beat Afghanistan in 2012 final – March 24, 2012
Ireland and Afghanistan had both sealed their spots for the Men’s T20 World Cup 2012 but anyone who would have expected the final of the Qualifiers to be uninteresting was in for a surprise. First Afghanistan’s mercurial wicket keeper – Mohammad Shahzad smashed his way to 77 off 57 balls and set the Irish a target of 153. Paul Stirling made easy work of what could have been a tricky chase though as he toyed with the Afghan bowlers, scoring 79 off just 38 balls and helping his team reach the target with ease.
Vesawkar leads Nepal to famous third-place finish – November 30, 2013
Nepal finished their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier journey in 2013 with a flourish, securing a last-over win to finish third. Sharad Vesawkar (43 off 29 balls) showed nerves of steel at the death, hitting Shadeep Silva - whose initial three overs had cost just 10 runs - for consecutive sixes and sealing a five-wicket victory over the UAE with four balls to spare.
Earlier Basant Regmi had restricted the hosts – taking four wickets for just 16 runs.
Hong Kong beat Afghanistan in last-ball thriller – July 21, 2015
Mark Chapman's 40 off 25 balls and Babar Hayat’s 20 off nine propelled Hong Kong to a dramatic five-wicket win over Afghanistan in Malahide, thus helping them book their second straight trip to the Men’s T20 World Cup. It was also the East Asian country’s first ever T20 win over Afghanistan (had lost six times before).
Batting first, Nawroz Mangal’s 53 and Asghar Afghan’s 29 had helped Afghanistan reach 161 for seven in their stipulated 20 overs. In reply, Jamie Atkinson’s 47 helped Hong Kong stay on par before Chapman and Hayat took over in the closing stages of the game.
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