Global qualifier line-up confirmed as Oman and Nepal reach ACC semis
After 260 matches, we finally know the teams that will take part in the global Twenty20 Qualifier in Dubai in March after the final matches in the group stages of the ACC Twenty20 Cup in Nepal. And all but one are the current top 16 associate and affiliate teams in one-day cricket.
The team to miss out is the UAE, who beat Saudi Arabia today, but not by a big enough margin to overcome Nepal's net run rate. Their total of 168-8 was built around an unbeaten 63 from 35 balls by Vikrant Shetty, whilst Rizwan Qayyum was the pick of the bowlers with 4-28.
The hopes of qualification for the UAE were dashed by the bat of Hammad Saeed, who smashed 63 from 38 balls to ensure that the UAE wouldn't pass the net run rate of Nepal.
Oman just needed to win against the Maldives, and they recovered from a poor start to post 147-6 from their 20 overs. Moosa Kaleem scored a fine unbeaten 55 in reply, but it wasn't enough and the Maldives were restricted to 93-4, losing by 54 runs.
It was a double disappointment for the Maldives skipper Kaleem, as not only did his team fail to make the semi-finals, but he saw his record individual score in an international one-day match beaten by Virender Sehwag, who scored 219 for India against the West Indies.
Kaleem held the previous record for all international one-day matches, having scored 217 against Brunei in the ACC Emerging Nations Tournament in Thailand in 2003.
Tomorrow will see the semi-finals played, as Afghanistan take on Nepal and Oman play Hong Kong. Malaysia will play the UAE in the fifth place play-off and the Maldives will play Kuwait in the seventh place play-off.