The line-up for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Australia 2020 is complete after victories for Scotland and Oman saw them book their places through the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier.
Scotland will compete at their fourth ICC Men’s T20 World Cup following a highly-impressive 90-run win over UAE in Dubai.
They’ll be joined in Australia by Oman, who became the 16th and final team to secure their place at “The Big Dance” thanks to their thrilling 12-run win over Hong Kong.
The two nations join Papua New Guinea, Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia in progressing through the Qualifier, with the six taking their place in the first round in October 2020.
Three of that sextet will join Sri Lanka in Group A of the first round, with the four teams embarking on a round-robin competition in Geelong from October 18-22.
The remaining three will join Bangladesh in Group B, with their matches taking place from October 19-23 in Hobart.
Following the conclusion of the round-robin, the highest-placed team in Group A and the second-placed team in Group B will join Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and West Indies in Group 1 of the Super 12s.
Group 2 of the Super 12s phase will see India, England, South Africa and Afghanistan each face the highest-placed team in Group B and the second-placed team from Group A.
Scotland triumph with a 90-run success over UAE
Scotland had progressed from the fourth spot in Group A of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier, leaving them with just one chance of reaching Australia 2020.
But they attacked the challenge head-on against the UAE, with openers George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer (34) putting on 87 for their impressive first-wicket partnership.
Scotland becomes the 5th team to qualify for ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia
That was broken up when Coetzer fell to Junaid Siddique but Scotland kept pushing, with Michael Leask (12), Richie Berrington (48) and Calum MacLeod (25) all providing useful cameos.
Berrington’s effort came from just 18 balls but Munsey proved the real enforcer, striking five sixes in his 65 – an innings only ended by a magnificent catch on the boundary from Rameez Shahzad.
In front of their home fans, UAE needed to start well with the bat in pursuit of Scotland’s 198 for six. But early wickets stifled their momentum, openers Chirag Suri and Rohan Mustafa falling cheaply to leave them 12 for two.
Shahzad kept fighting with 34 from 28 balls but with each of the six Scottish bowlers used taking at least one wicket, there was no let-up.
Safyaan Sharif (three for 21) and Mark Watt (three for 21) were the standouts while Alasdair Evans bowled excellently to finish with one for 18 from his four overs, one of which was a maiden.
Their efforts saw UAE bowled out for 108 with Scotland securing their place in Australia with a 90-run win, the second-largest margin of victory in their T20I history.
They will now go on to face Oman in the play-off for fifth and sixth places, their final match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier.
Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer said: “George [Munsey] has the ability to find the boundary more often than some during his innings, which helped.
“We’ve got a pretty good record as an opening pair together. He’s got skills I could only wish I could have, and the partnerships we put on often help set the foundations of our innings.
“There was certainly an element of relief, it was clear to see that we haven’t played our best cricket. Conditions here tend to be challenging for us but that’s for us to consider moving forward.
“We managed to get over the line and we feel very fortunate to do so, we’ve been on the receiving end of bad luck before and it feels that we’ve earned this success.”
UAE captain Ahmed Raza said: “A loss is always hard to swallow but we were outplayed by a very smart Scotland team.
“The way George Munsey and Richie Berrington batted, they put us under a lot of pressure. Munsey hit in some very unorthodox areas and it’s very hard to captain against him.
“It was a collective failure from the batting unit but you can’t blame them, they’d played so well leading up to the play-offs. A change of conditions played a bit of a role.
“We did very well to get to this stage but were then outplayed by two very good teams in Netherlands and Scotland.”
Oman fight back to overcome Hong Kong
Oman had to do things the hard way but eventually prevailed over Hong Kong to reach the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup for the second time in their history.
At 37 for five batting first, hope looked lost with two run-outs thwarting their bid for a competitive score.
But they fought back admirably, with Jatinder Singh at the heart of the action – the opener striking seven fours and a six while batting through the entire 20 overs for his 67 not out
Such was his importance to the team, Singh was the only member of the top seven to reach double figures, though he had help in the shape of lower-order batsmen Aamir Kaleem (17) and Naseem Khushi (26 not out) to push Oman to 134 for seven.
Hong Kong’s own bid for Australia started in tough fashion with the superb Bilal Khan clean bowling both openers en route to figures of four for 23.
That saw Hong Kong – who had finished fourth in their Qualifier group – at 18 for five but they too rallied, with Scott McKechnie (44) helping them remain competitive.
But once he fell LBW to Mohammad Nadeem, their chase faltered as Oman – who had lost to Namibia in their first play-off game – closed out a 12-run victory to spark jubilant scenes in Dubai.
Oman’s Jatinder Singh, man of the match, said: “We’ve had early mornings, we’ve sweated a lot, and this is our reward.
“Bilal (Khan) was lethal today, he was unplayable, getting the yorkers right, bang on target; he was marvellous.
“I like to dig in to the last, so I knew that if I stayed there, we were going to get 130+ easily and I knew we were capable of defending it.”
Hong Kong captain Aizaz Khan said: “I think what went wrong for us was just the last five overs [of the Oman innings].
“In the powerplay we lost too many wickets and couldn’t get back from there.
“We started really well, had a good energy in the field and took early wickets. The last five overs, we leaked too many runs and just couldn’t finish it off.”
Scores in Brief:
Scotland beat UAE by 90 runs, Dubai International Cricket Stadium
Scotland 198-6, 20 overs (George Munsey 65, Richie Berrington 48; Rohan Mustafa 2-38)
UAE 108 all out, 18.3 overs (Rameez Shahzad 34; Mark Watt 3-21, Safyaan Sharif 3-21)
Oman beat Hong Kong by 12 runs, Dubai International Cricket Stadium
Oman 134-7, 20 overs (Jatinder Singh 67 not out, Naseem Khushi 26 not out; Nasrulla Rana 2-26)
Hong Kong 122-9, 20 overs (Scott McKechnie 44; Bilal Khan 4-23, Fayyaz Butt 2-15)
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