United Arab Emirates and Ireland qualify for the ICC T20 World Cup

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The United Arab Emirates and Ireland confirmed their tickets to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia on Tuesday after reaching the final of Qualifier A in Al Amerat, Oman.

The United Arab Emirates snapped Nepal’s three-match winning streak with a 68-run win, while Ireland beat Oman by 56 runs.

On Field 1 of the Oman Academy, the UAE produced a clinical performance to reach the T20 World Cup for the second time. The last time the United Arab Emirates reached the world main event was in 2014.

For Ireland, the only full member nation in Qualifier A, it will be their seventh appearance in the global showpiece.

The two winning teams took 13th and 14th places for the tournament in Australia later this year, with the final two places to be decided in Qualifier B in July.

Chasing an imposing win goal of 176, Nepal were rocked by early goals from United Arab Emirates pacemaker Junaid Siddique.

The rapid was in full swing, taking out Nepal’s top three batsmen in his three-over spell. A sensational opening saw Siddique send back starter Aasif Sheikh and batsman Lokesh Bam with two successive balls. Nepal was 3 for 2 on six balls and the chase looked like a tall order.

Siddique then took the prized scalp of Nepal’s in-form batsman Kushal Bhurtel in his second over. UAE captain Ahmed Raza’s double strike in the 13th extinguished all hopes Nepal had as they were cut to 83-6.

Raza’s golden arm found him more successful to finish Nepal’s innings for 107 and his haul of five wickets earned him the man of the match award. The experienced duo of Dipendra Singh Airee (38) and Gyanendra Malla were the only batsmen to reach double figures.

Earlier, Vriitya Aravind continued his brilliant hitting display. A whirlwind 46-for-23 set the tone for his team’s impressive total.

Ireland easily to victory

Batting first after losing the toss, Ireland went 165-for-7. Gareth Delany scored on a 32-ball 47. Oman started the Powerplay well, as Ireland’s usually reliable starting pair, Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie, failed them this time.

However, Delany and Harry Tector stitched together an 82-run fourth-place wicket to put the hosts back under pressure. Tector was the aggressor from the start, but once Delany settled in, there were fireworks at both ends of the window.

The winner of Thursday’s final between the United Arab Emirates and Ireland will secure a place in Group 1 of the first round of the World Cup later this year. They will join Sri Lanka and Namibia with the fourth team to be decided after Qualifier B in June.

Thursday’s runners-up will join the West Indies and Scotland in Group 2. The winner of Qualifier B will complete Group 2 in June.

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