Ireland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) booked their tickets at the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia with comprehensive victories over Oman and Nepal, respectively, in the ongoing T20 World Cup Qualifier A on Tuesday (February 22).

Batting first in the Semi-Final 1, UAE posted a massive 175/7 on the board in their allotted 20 overs, thanks to opener Muhammad Waseem‘s splendid knock. The right-handed batter smashed 70 from 48 deliveries with the help of eight boundaries, including 4 sixes. Wicketkeeper-batter Vriitya Aravind also chipped in with a valuable 46 off 23 balls to help his team reach a big total.

In reply, Nepal got bundled out for just 107, courtesy of scintillating bowling by UAE skipper Ahmed Raza. The left-armer bagged a remarkable five-wicket haul while conceding only 19 runs in his quota of 4 overs, which included a maiden as well. Junaid Siddique also shined with the ball, taking three scalps for 27 in 4 overs.

“The struggle has been real. The last time I went to a World Cup was in 2014 (the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh), and I didn’t make it to Australia in 2015. So this was very special and very emotional. It was surreal when everything was falling into place for us. Life is taking me back there now, hopefully still as captain of UAE. I helped my team to qualify, and there are not many captains who have done that for UAE in the past. I feel part of an elite group now. It is a huge achievement, and it is a very emotional one because it has been a very long journey,” said UAE captain Raza after the match, as quoted by ICC.

In the Semi-Final 2, Ireland, after being put to bat first, scored 165/7 in 20 overs. Gareth Delany (47 off 32 balls), Andy McBrine (36 off 21 deliveries) and Harry Tector (35 off 27 balls) played handy knocks to take Ireland to a respectable total.

In reply, Oman got all out for a mere 109 in 18.3 overs, losing the contest by 56 runs. Simi Singh and Joshua Little were the pick of the bowlers for the Irish side. While Singh bagged three wickets for 20 runs in 3.3 overs, Little took a couple of scalps for 14 runs in his quota of 4 overs.

“I think our determination got us there today, we knew at the start of the week we needed to win three games, and we’ve got better every match – and that’s what you need to do in tournament cricket. We lost a few early wickets, but Gareth Delany and Harry Tector’s partnership was world-class,” said Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie after the match as quoted by Cricket Ireland.

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