ICC: Oman, UAE enter the semis as group winners, Bahrain sneak in on net run rate in the T20 World Cup Asia Finals

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Photo Credit: ICC

Oman beat the hosts Nepal by 5 runs in a last-over thriller to top Group A, while UAE won against Hong Kong, China comprehensively to enter the semi-finals as Group B winners on Day 3 of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Final Asia 2023 in Kathmandu.

In the afternoon games, Malaysia got a consolation win against neighbor Singapore by 60 runs, and Bahrain got a semi-final spot via a small margin on net run rate despite being on the losing side in Mulpani.

Nepal vs Oman

The home side invited Oman to bat first after winning the toss and got into the business straightaway when Kashyap Prajapati edged to the keeper Aasif Sheikh on Karan KC’s fifth ball of the first over. Nepal kept hunting for wickets in the initial overs as Oman finished the powerplay with a score of 38/4.

Captain Zeeshan Maqsood, who scored 32 off 26, continued to rebuild the Omani innings with Ayaan Khan until Ayaan was bowled by Sandeep Lamichhane in 13.1 overs on 18(25). Sandeep took another wicket in the next ball, dismissing Mehran Khan on lbw, and Oman’s score read 87/6.

After Zeeshan’s dismissal in 14.4 overs when Oman had put 100 on the board, Naseem Khushi’s 25(14) and Shakeel Ahmed’s 22(17)* took them to 145/9 in 20 overs. Karan KC picked 3 wickets in his 4 overs, but was the most expensive, conceding 43 runs. Sandeep Lamichhane (2-30), Sompal Kami (2-16), Gulshan Jha (1-35) and Abinash Bohara (1-18) were the other bowlers among the wickets for Nepal.

Nepal’s batting was no different in the chase, as Oman continued picking wickets in short intervals. Nepal lost their opener Aasif Sheikh in the score of 5(8) in 2.1 overs when Bilal Khan took a stunner off his own bowling. Not long after, Sompal Kami, who had been promoted to number three, was dismissed by Shakeel Ahmed for 12(9). Opener Kushal Bhurtel, who scored 3 sixes all this while, got bowled out by Mehran Khan in 5.5 overs for 26(18), leaving Nepal’s score at 43/3.

Oman kept bowling at the right areas, and Nepal started to crumble at the housefull TU Cricket Ground as they lost the next 5 wickets for only 42 runs. With 61 more runs needed in 26 balls, the crowd got some life after Bibek Yadav and Karan KC started pouring boundaries and took the equation down to 7 runs off 3 balls. Oman’s bowler Bilal Khan kept his nerve and dismissed Bibek on the 3rd ball of the last over, and Karan KC on the last ball when Nepal needed 6 runs off it, to seal the victory by 5 runs in a thrilling fashion.

Bilal finished with the figures of 3-30 in his 4 overs. Left-arm spinner Shakeel Ahmed took 2 wickets, along with Aqib Ilyas and Mehran Khan. Captain Zeeshan Maqsood got 1 wicket in his 2-over spell. Bibek Yadav top-scored for Nepal with 39(24) that included 5 sixes.

Shakeel Ahmed was named the Player of the Match for his all-round performance of 22(17)* and 2-15.

Brief Scores:

Oman 145/9 in 20.0 Overs (Zeeshan Maqsood 32, Karan KC 3-43) beat Nepal 140/10 in 20.0 Overs (Bibek Yadav 39, Bilal Khan 3-30) by 5 runs.

United Arab Emirates vs Hong Kong, China

 Hong Kong, China too decided to field first after winning the toss against the UAE in the Mulpani Cricket Ground. Having put to bat first, the UAE had an amazing start, with skipper Muhammad Waseem hammering the bowlers with 5 fours and 3 sixes in his innings of 46(24) to end the powerplay with 55/1.

Hong Kong, China soon found themselves back in the game after dismantling the UAE middle order and reducing them to 89/4 in 11.3 overs, but a 76-run partnership between Alishan Sharafu and Basil Hameed brought the momentum back. Alishan contributed 34 runs off 24 balls and Basil Hameed finished on 51(29). Subsequently, UAE finished with 176/6 in the full 20 overs. Yasim Murtaza’s 3-14 was the top bowling performance from Hong Kong, China, with Nasrulla Rana (2-43) and Ehsan Khan (1-41) also being among the wicket takers.

The Hong Kong, China chase got an early hiccup when opener Martin Coetzee returned to the pavilion with only 9 runs on the board. A 22-ball 25 from skipper Nizakat Khan and 47-ball 59 from Anshuman Rath then took the innings forward for Hong Kong, China. However, a middle and lower-order fumble despite Aizaz Khan’s 26(17) gave UAE their third win, entering the semi-finals as Group B winners. Ali Naseer and Zahoor Khan took 2 wickets while Nilansh Keswani and Junaid Siddique got 1 wickets contributing in UAE’s win of 22 runs.

Basil Hameed was named the Player of the Match for his half-century.

Brief Scores:

UAE 176/6 in 20.0 Overs (Basil Hameed 51, Yasim Murtaza 3-14) beat Hong Kong, China 154/8 in 20.0 Overs (Anshuman Rath 59, Ali Naseer 2-29) by 22 runs.

Malaysia vs Singapore

 Malaysia, batting first after winning the toss, lost their opener Syed Aziz quickly with just 9 runs on the board. Zubaidi Zulkifle played a quickfire knock of 38(19) before the bails got dislodged by Thilip Thilappan in 7.6 overs. But a staggering 108-run partnership between Sharvin Muniandy and captain Ahmad Faiz, who both scored half-centuries, led Malaysia to a high total of 198/4 in 20 overs.

Faiz was dismissed after scoring a magnificent innings of 71(41) that included 2 fours and 6 sixes, and Muniandy remained not out at 60(48) with 8 fours. Ramesh Kalimuthu picked two wickets for Singapore while Janak Prakash and Thilip Thilappan picked 1 wicket apiece.

Singapore came strong in reply to Malaysia with an 81-run opening stand between captain Aritra Dutta, who scored 53, and Rohan Rangarajan, who scored 36, both facing 31 balls each. After the number 3 batter, Anish Paraam was dismissed for 31(20), no Singaporean batter could score any double-digit scores, and the team got bundled out for 138 runs in 17.5 overs.

Muhammad Amir of Malaysia picked 5 wickets, conceding 16 runs in his 3-over spell to give Malaysia their consolation win in the tournament. Pavandeep Singh picked up 2 wickets, while his brother Virandeep Singh, and Rizwan Haider both picked 1 wicket each.

Muhammad Amir was named the Player of the Match for his 5-wicket haul, which helped Malaysia seal a massive win of 60 runs.

Brief Scores:

Malaysia 198/4 in 20 Overs (Ahmad Faiz 71, Ramesh Kalimuthu 2-48) beat Singapore 138/10 in 17.5 Overs (Artira Dutta 53, Muhammad Amir 5-16) by 60 runs.

Kuwait vs Bahrain

With a potential semi-final spot on the line after Hong Kong, China’s defeat to UAE earlier in the morning, this match was important to both teams featuring. Having sent to bat first after losing the toss, Bahrain managed 158/9 in 20 overs with small contributions from the entire batting lineup as wickets kept falling off throughout the innings. Imran Anwar’s 37(25) became the top score for Bahrain, followed by 22 each from captain Umer Toor and wicket keeper Imran Ali.

Haider Butt contributed with 18(11), Sohail Ahmed with run-a-ball 15, Junaid Aziz with 11 off 4 balls and Sathaiya Veerapathiran with 11(8). All of the Kuwaiti bowlers picked at least a wicket, with Mirza Ahmed and Shiraz Khan getting 2 each.

Kuwait did not have the exact start they would have wanted coming into the chase, after losing both openers cheaply and the third wicket not long after. But a 34-ball 64 from keeper batsman Usman Patel and a 20-ball 34 from captain Mohammed Aslam made sure Kuwait would end with a victory. Ali Dawood and Rizwan Butt picked 2 wickets each, and Abdul Majid got a wicket for Kuwait in the end.

Usman Patel of Kuwait was awarded the Player of the Match award for his match-winning knock of 64(34).

However, the victory was not enough for Kuwait as Bahrain entered the semi-finals surpassing Hong Kong, China on net run rate.

Brief Scores:

Kuwait 160/6 in 16.3 Overs (Usman Patel 64, Ali Dawood 2-23) beat Bahrain 158/9 in 20 Overs (Imran Anwar 37, Shiraz Khan 2-22) by 4 wickets.


About the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup qualification

For the first time, 20 teams will form part of the event and will be divided into four groups of five. The top two teams in each of the groups will move to a Super Eight phase, where the remaining teams will be split into two groups of four. The top two in each group will then make their way to the semi-finals.


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