Oman and Nepal have booked their tickets for the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup following their victories over Bahrain and the UAE respectively.
Oman vs Bahrain
Oman defeated Bahrain comprehensively by 10 wickets to qualify for their third-ever T20 World Cup. Winning the toss at the TU Cricket Ground in Kirtipur, Bahrain opted to bat first but was left helpless in front of the Omani bowling attack.
Having completed the powerplay overs at the score of 45/1, Bahrain soon found themselves in deep trouble when they lost 8 wickets with just 77 on the board in 15.2 overs. A little push from Ahmer Bin Nisar, who scored 26 (25)*, got Bahrain past the 100-run mark as they finished 106/9 in the 20 overs. Apart from Nisar, only two other batters Sarfaraz Ali (23) and Imran Ali (30) could score double-digit scores.
Aqib Ilyas picked his career-best figures of 4-10 in his 4 overs for Oman. Shakeel Ahmed picked 2-24, while Zeeshan Maqsood, Fayyaz Butt, and Bilal Khan all got a wicket each to their names.
In reply, Oman proved to be too good for the Bahraini bowlers, as the openers Kashyap Prajapati (57 off 44) and Pratik Athavale (50 off 42) did the job without losing any wickets in 14.2 overs.
Aqib Ilyas was named the Player of the Match for his 4 wickets that helped Oman restrict Bahrain to 106 runs.
With this win, Oman qualified for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup to be held in the Caribbean and the USA in 2024, marking their third appearance in the tournament.
Oman 109/0 in 14.2 Overs (Kashyap Prajapati 57*, Pratik Athavale 50*, Junaid Aziz 0-12) beat Bahrain 106/9 in 20.0 Overs (Imran Ali 30, Aqib Ilyas 4-10) by 10 wickets.
Nepal vs United Arab Emirates
In the housefull Mulpani Cricket Ground, the home side Nepal defeated the United Arab Emirates by 8 wickets to enter into the T20 World Cup for the second time.
The UAE won the toss and decided to bat first, but consistent bowling from Nepali bowlers limited them to 134/9 in 20 overs, despite a fighting 51-ball 64 from Vriitya Aravind. Captain Muhammad Waseem also contributed with 26(16) at the top order, but was dismissed soon by the Nepali bowlers. Left arm spinner Kushal Malla became the top bowler with 3 wickets under his name, followed by Sandeep Lamichhane’s 2 wickets and Sompal Kami and Rohit Paudel got a wicket each.
In reply, an unbeaten 68-run partnership between Aasif Sheikh (64 off 51) and Rohit Paudel (34 off 20) sealed the win for Nepal, despite losing two wickets. Gulshan Jha, who entered the field at number 3, scored 22(24) and Kushal Bhurtel scored 11(8) before getting caught at long off in 2.6 overs. Basil Hameed and Nilansh Keswani were among the wickets with 1 wicket each in the UAE’s defence.
Aasif was named the Player of the Match for his 64(51)* that helped Nepal get into their second T20 World Cup.
Nepal 135/2 in 17.1 Overs (Aasif Sheikh 64*, Basil Hameed 1-18) beat UAE 134/9 in 20.0 Overs (Vriitya Aravind 64, Kushal Malla 3-11 ) by 8 wickets.