UAE clinch thrilling victory to book World T20 place
The UAE became the fourth team to seal a berth for the 2014 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh after an impressive bowling effort helped them pip Netherlands by 10 runs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
The hosts scored 117-8 before the bowlers rose to the occasion to restrict Netherlands to 107-9 in the quarter-final, with Nasir Aziz (3-21) and Shadeep Silva (1-9) leading the way.
The UAE will join Afghanistan, Ireland and Nepal on the trip to Bangladesh. UAE opted to bat first and lost three early wickets inside the first seven overs to be 37-3.
Captain Khurram Khan top-scored with 32 but his dismissal, against the bowling of medium pacer Ahsan Malik, put the side in deeper trouble. It took a vital stand of 43 for the sixth wicket between Mohammad Shafiq (25) and Asim Khurshid (17) to give the total some respectability.
Malik ended up with excellent figures of 4-17 in his four overs.
In the chase, Netherlands got off to a shaky start, losing both openers inside the first three overs. Wesley Barresi (11) and Eric Szwarczynski (23) then began the repair work.
However, after a 26-run third-wicket stand, Barresi fell to off-spinner Aziz. Shortly after, Aziz ran out Szwarczynski and Amjad Javed had Netherlands captain Peter Borren lbw, leaving the Dutch tottering at 53-5 after 11.1 overs.
Michael Rippon and Ben Cooper teamed up for a run-a-ball stand of 32, but they lost three quick wickets and the plot.
UAE will face Ireland in the semi-final on Friday, while Netherlands play Scotland on Thursday.
In another match, Nepal qualified for their maiden ICC event, progressing to the 2014 event after a five-wicket win over Hong Kong.
Chasing 144, Nepal captain Paras Khadka (46) powered the innings, with Gyanendra Malla adding 30 from 27 balls and Sagar Pun scoring 22 off 19 balls.
Nepal took 13 off the penultimate over, which meant 13 were needed from the final six balls. Sharad Vesawkar scored 10 runs from the first two deliveries while the winning run was scored off the final ball of the match – through a misfield.