Netherlands and Papua New Guinea seal last two semi-final spot in ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier B
Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), July 15, 2022
The last two semi-final spots at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier B were claimed by Netherlands and Papua New Guinea on a dramatic final day of group action.
The Dutch were in prime position heading into their match with Uganda, and duly made it three wins from three to top Group A, while PNG made it through on net run-rate despite a two-wicket defeat to Hong Kong.
The semi-final places from Group B had already been decided, with Zimbabwe and the USA each winning their first two matches. Zimbabwe prevailed in the meeting between the sides by 46 runs to top the group and set up a clash with PNG in the semi-finals, with the USA up against the Netherlands.
In the other match in Group B, Jersey got the better of Singapore to claim their first win of the campaign by 13 runs.
Netherlands march on with perfect record
With two big wins already under their belts, the Netherlands were all but guaranteed a place in the semi-finals before taking on Uganda. They underlined their position as the team to beat in Group A with a comprehensive 97-run success to top the pile.
After being put in to bat, it was Max O’Dowd (73) and Tom Cooper (81 not out) who set the Dutch up for a big total, adding 121 for the third wicket on the way to a score of 187 for three.
Cooper needed just 42 balls for his knock as he motored along and it soon became clear that Uganda were not going to come close in the chase.
In fact, Fred Klaassen (5/19) enjoyed the perfect start by removing Roger Mukasa and Ronak Patel with the opening two deliveries of the innings to leave Uganda with a mountain to climb. The opening bowler continued to chip away, and had five wickets before five overs were up as Uganda slumped to 22 for five.
From there, it was simply a case of how big the margin of victory would be. Bas de Leede (2/11) picked up a couple of wickets late on, and while Uganda did bat out their 20 overs, they finished up on 90 for 9.
Ura knock keeps PNG alive in Hong Kong defeat
The other place in the semi-finals was very much up for grabs, with both Papua New Guinea and Uganda on a win apiece, while Hong Kong knew a big win against PNG would keep them right in contention.
They got the victory, getting home on the final delivery, but it was enough to overhaul PNG in second place in Group A.
Their challenge in overhauling the net run-rate disadvantage was made much more difficult by Tony Ura, who smashed a blistering 83 from just 33 deliveries after PNG had been put in, helping them to a total of 185 for seven.
Charles Amini (37) and Lega Siaka (21) had already chipped in with some valuable runs at the top of the order while Ehsan Khan (3/19) was the pick of the bowlers for Hong Kong.
The reply was similarly built around one innings, Babar Hayat doing the damage with a 45-ball 86. He and Zeeshan Ali (42) added 70 for the fifth wicket to put Hong Kong in a good position but Kabua Morea (3/34) removed them both to bring PNG back into it.
It went down to the final over but in the end, Hong Kong got over the line thanks to a single from Shahid Wasif off the final delivery to clinch a two-wicket win.
Raza and Masakadza fires hosts past the States
With two wins each, Zimbabwe and the USA knew that semi-final qualification was already in the bag, it was simply a case of who would take top spot in Group B.
The home side proved the stronger on the day in Bulawayo, with Sikandar Raza’s unbeaten 82 helping them make 185 for six after electing to bat.
Regis Chakbava (31) and Sean Williams (37) had already laid the platform before Raza came out all guns blazing, hitting five sixes in just 40 deliveries to take them to a big total.
Steven Taylor (46) gave the USA some valuable runs at the top of the order but after a 55-run opening stand, they started to falter. Wellington Masakadza was the main architect of their downfall, taking four for 11, and despite an unbeaten 24 from Nisarg Patel, they could only manage 139 for eight in reply in a 46-run loss.
Jersey finish group stage with a victory
In the battle of the winless sides in Group B, it was Jersey who held their nerve to edge out Singapore by 13 runs.
An opening stand of 54 between Harrison Carlyon (18) and Nick Greenwood (44) gave them a good start, with Jonty Jenner chipping in with 35 from 23 deliveries as they finished on 154 for seven.
Carlyon then had an immediate impact with the ball, taking two for five from his two overs, including a maiden, as Singapore quickly found themselves in trouble.
The score was 33 for three when Manpreet Singh came to the crease, with the keeper smashing 59 from 37 deliveries to give his team a chance.
When he fell with three overs remaining however, Singapore’s hopes went with him, and they eventually finished up on 141 for seven, 13 runs short.