T20 World Cup Qualifiers A: UAE, Ireland register victory on Day 2
UAE move closer to a berth in the semi-final with a 24-run win over Germany while Ireland beat Bahrain by 21 runs in the Group B games of day 2 at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers A, supported by Dream 11 on Saturday. UAE’s second win on the trot gave them four points. They now play against Bahrain in their concluding game on Monday.
Ireland, who had stumbled against the UAE on Friday, picked up an important victory to stay on course for a place in the semi-final. The take on Germany in their concluding Group B game, also on Monday.
At Oman Academy 1 ground, Germany exhibited their fighting spirit in good measure against UAE. Chasing 192 to win, Germany finished at 167-9. Opener Justin Broad led the chase with a 62 off 42.
There were significant contributions coming from the other players like Vijay Shankar (17) and Dylan Blignaut (13) keeping them in the hunt. Faisal Mubashir’s 12-ball blitz of 23 did raise the team’s hopes but the UAE bowlers came back to pick wickets at regular intervals to restrict them.
Kashif Daud was the most successful bowler with four for 32 while Rohan Mustafa and Junaid Siddiqui took two wickets apiece.
Earlier, Chirag Suri’s 81 and Muhammad Waseem’s 50 laid the foundation for UAE. Opting to bat first, openers – Suri and Waseem – milked runs at ease. Waseem was severe on any loose deliveries and struck a 30-ball 50 that included four boundaries and equal number of sixes.
Suri was not far behind showcasing his repertoire of strokes. A 20-run over off Germany’s Dieter Klien set the tone in the Power play as UAE reached 57 without loss. Muslim Yar got the much-needed breakthrough in the ninth over when he claimed Waseem’s wicket, after his previous deliveries were hammered for a four and a six. Germany reaped fruit of their excellent fielding as Basil Hameed was run out and UAE were 85/2.
Vriitya Aravind, UAE’s batting hero in their win over Ireland, joined Suri as the youngster’s good form continued. The partnership blossomed as they put on 95 before the stand was broken in the last over as Aravind was run out. His 29-ball 40 was another key knock for UAE, who had reached 191 for five.
Germany’s Fayaz Khan claimed two wickets in the final over as Suri departed for a 54-ball 81 that was studded with nine boundaries and two hits over the ropes.
Ahmed Raza, Captain UAE said:
“The match went much closer than we expected. Having put up a good total on board, we possibly were a bit complacent. Germany fought hard but glad that we have got the second win under our belt.”
Venkat Ganesan, Captain Germany said:
“I am proud of my team. Taking the match so close is an achievement for us. UAE are the best side in the tournament. At one stage, we thought that the target could be achieved. For us, it is a learning experience, and we continue to benefit each day with our maiden participation in the global qualifiers.”
Ireland prevail over debutants Bahrain
Gareth Delany’s unbeaten half-century (51) guided Ireland, who chose to bat first, to a competitive total of 158/5 against debutants Bahrain. Openers Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie put together a solid 62-run opening partnership to place Ireland in early command.
But Junaid Aziz followed up his five-wicket haul from the previous game by dismissing both in quick succession. Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker departed soon to leave Ireland at 100/4 after 15 overs.
A 54-run fifth-wicket partnership took the Irish past 150. George Dockrell notched up a quickfire 24, a knock that included one four and two maximums to go nicely with the two late sixes that Delany smashed. It was these runs that eventually made all the difference. In response, Bahrain could only manage 137/5, with a three-wicket spell from Craig Young doing the trick. The top and middle order batters contributed too. David Mathias’s 28 took 27 balls and Veerapathiran Sathaiya blitzed his way to a 14-ball 33 at the death, but his four sixes proved too little too late in the end.
Andy Balbirnie, Captain Ireland said:
“It was a tough test for sure. We fought it out. Gareth Delany and George Dockrell kept us in the game. And on the bowling side, it was a slow wicket, so definitely, it was hard to take ten wickets. I think we did quite well to restrict them. Craig Young’s spell was crucial. He has been bowling brilliantly the last couple of years for us. And he takes wickets that are so crucial in this format. He was really good again today.”
Sarfaraz Ali, Captain Bahrain, said:
“This was the first time we were playing against a Test side. Hopefully we will learn and get better next time. We did well till the 15th over but the final five overs we leaked runs aplenty and that cost us.”