Dutch join the party
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
Ireland will meet Netherlands in the first semi-final of the T20 World Cup qualifying tournament after the Dutch became the third team to make next yearís finals with an eight wickets win over UAE in Dubai.
The hosts, who finished third in Irelandís group, have another chance to qualify this afternoon when they face Scotland, the winners becoming the fifth of the sixth teams to book their passage to Australia.
The final qualifier will be the winners of tonightís match between Hong Kong and Oman who lost the second play-off semi-final to Namibia by 54 runs and, with their place at the World Cup secured, will play Papua New Guinea in the second semi-final on Friday.
The Dutch had their play-off all but won in the first five overs when they reduced UAE to nine for five which, in itself, was a recovery by UAE who, after winning the toss and deciding to bat, were four for four after 14 balls!
Paul van Meekeren, who took two wickets in two balls and Brandon Glover who finished with 4-12, the joint best bowling figures in the tournament, were the early destroyers.
UAE managed to bat out the overs but their total of 80-9 was never going to trouble Netherlands who reached their target with 29 balls to spare, Ben Cooper hitting the winning run to finish 41 not out.
In the late game yesterday, JJ Smit hit the fastest 50 of the tournament from 20 balls as Namibia totalled 161-7, which was too many for Oman.