Nepal and Oman won their respective semi-finals of the ICC’s Asia region qualifiers to book their places in the 2024 men’s T20 World Cup.
While Oman defeated Bahrain by ten wickets, Nepal overcame UAE in a tough chase to win by eight wickets.
Aqib Ilyas took a four-wicket haul, conceding just ten runs in the process, to help Oman restrict Bahrain to 106 for 9. Openers Kashyap Prajapati and Pratik Athavale pulled off the chase without trouble , finished the job with less than six overs to spare .
For Nepal, frugal spells from spinners Kushal Malla and Sandeep Lamichhane reduced the UAE to 134 for 9. Vriitya Aravind hit a half-century, but found little support from the rest UAE batters. Nepal opener Aasif Sheikh then scored an unbeaten 64 to seal victory for his team.
With Nepal and Oman qualifying for the 2024 T20 World Cup, to be held in West Indies and USA next year, 18 teams have finalized their spots. The last two spots will be decided in the African qualifiers, which will end at the end of the month.
While hosts West Indies and USA have automatic berths, Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Netherlands, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka qualify by virtue of being the top eight teams in the 2022 edition of the competition. Afghanistan and Bangladesh are the two next highest ranked teams in the format and, as a result, have their spots sealed. Ireland and Scotland have qualified from the Europe region qualifiers, while Papua New Guinea made it from the East Asia-Pacific region and Canada from the Americas region.
Nepal 135 for 2 (Sheikh 64*, Paudel 34*, Hameed 1-18) bowled UAE 134 for 9 (Aravind 64, Malla 3-11, Lamichhane 2-14) by eight wickets
At a packed Mulpani Cricket Ground, UAE chose to bat and started strongly, racing to 29 not out in three overs. But Khalid Shah was run out on the first ball of the fourth over, and three balls later Sompal dismissed We the robber Muhammad Waseem.
Aravind set up for the UAE, with a couple of steady partnerships with Asif Khan and Alishan Sharafu, but Malla and Lamichhane went through the rest of the line-up, picking five wickets between them, with help from the captain Rohit Paudel, who took a wicket in the only over he bowled.
Sheikh and Kushal Bhurtel got Nepal off to a strong start in the chase before Nilansh Keshwani hit the third. But Sheikh put on a 41-run stand with Gulshan Jha and finally finished the game with his captain.
While Sheikh brought up his fourth T20I half-century, Paudel made 34 not out from 20, hitting two fours and two sixes.
This is Nepal’s second appearance in the T20 World Cup, ten years after they first qualified in 2014.
Ilyas and the openers flattened Bahrain
Oman 109 for 0 (Prajapati 57*, Athavale 50*) bat Bahrain 106 for 9 (Imran 30, Ilyas 4-10, Shakeel 2-24) by ten wickets
Aqib Ilyas’ incredible spell of 4-for 10 helped Oman hold Bahrain to a below-par total before their openers hit an unbeaten fifty to take Oman to their third T20 World Cup.
By the time Ilyas had completed his four-wicket haul, Bahrain were seven down and had only managed to drag themselves to 106. Apart from a 42-run stand for the second wicket, Bahrain’s batting effort was lacking. can be written at home. .
For Oman, Shakeel Ahmed took two wickets, while Fayyaz Butt, Bilal Khan and Zeeshan Maqsood took one each.
With a small target in front of them, Prajapati and Athavale ensured there were no slip-ups in the powerplay, while hitting over six overs. Prajapati brought up his half-century from 39 balls, hitting only two sixes in the game in the process.
Athavale reached his half-century with two consecutive boundaries in the 15th over, the second of which also sealed victory for Oman.