Ireland sets up final against Afghanistan
Ireland set up a third successive final date with Afghanistan in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier after defeating host the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by 62 runs in the second semi-final at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday. The defending champion overcame the loss of three wickets inside six overs to post a post a respectable 147 for eight, before Max Sorensen and Tim Murtagh shared eight wickets equally between them, conceding 15 and 24 runs respectively, to bowl the UAE out for 85 runs with 2.2 overs to spare. In the first semi-final earlier today, Samiullah Shenwari claimed three wickets for 19 runs and scored 24 not out as Afghanistan defeated Nepal by eight wickets. Saturday's final between Ireland and Afghanistan, which will start at 1800 and will be televised live by the ICC's broadcast partner STAR Sports and its licensees, will be the third successive title match between the two sides. Afghanistan won the 2010 final, while Ireland made it one-all after winning the final in 2012. In the other matches of the day, Netherlands defeated Hong Kong by seven wickets to finish fifth while Scotland beat Papua New Guinea (PNG) by five wickets to grab seventh spot. In the second semi-final broadcast live from Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Ireland duo of Sorensen and Murtagh claimed four wickets apiece to ensure Ireland continued its record of reaching the final of every ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier. Ireland appeared in the 2008 final in Belfast, where it shared the trophy with the Netherlands after the final was rained off, before facing Afghanistan in the 2010 and 2012 tournament finals. The defending champion made an uncharacteristic shaky start when it slipped to 36 for three inside six overs. However, a 55-run partnership between John Mooney (29) and Trent Johnston (35) lifted Ireland to 147 for eight from its 20 overs. Later, Sorensen and Murtagh combined to smother the UAE run chase. Sorensen dismissed the top four UAE batsmen before Murtagh ran through the middle and lower middle-order as the home side was dismissed for 85. A delighted Ireland captain William Porterfield said
"Obviously, we will be up against Afghanistan with whom we have played a couple of keenly contested finals. We have played some great games especially in this format, they are a great team in this format and we have shown we can do well as well, so really looking forward to tomorrow night. "
Looking ahead to Saturday's final, the left-handed opener said: "I think they are a great team, we have faced them in last few finals of the tournament. They have been very good in finals. They have played some good cricket and topped their group. We have played well as well they have all the attributes of a good twenty20 side so it will be a good final."
A disappointed UAE captain Khurram Khan said: "It was disappointing not to make to the finals. First of all, I would like to say we did not field too well, we dropped catches, we gave away some extra runs and in the end everything accumulates."
The captain, however, believed his team can bounce back in Saturday's third/fourth place play-off against Nepal, which will start at 1400 at Zayed Cricket Stadium and will be televised live by STAR Sports and its licensees.
"We will go out with full vigour, obviously one bad match does not make us a bad team. We have been playing throughout the tournament. Whatever happened today has gone now and we will definitely work harder tomorrow and try to win the match," he said.
At Abu Dhabi Oval 1, Abu Dhabi - Match 67 (7/8 Ranking)
PNG 143-5, 20 overs (Jack Vare 35 not out, Tony Ura 27, Geraint Jones 25, Chris Kent 24; Majid Haq 3-25, Neil Carter 2-19)
Scotland 146-5, 20 overs (Richie Berrington 70 not out, Kyle Coetzer 35; Norman Vanua 2-25, Andrew Hicks 2-26)
Result: Scotland won by five wickets
Man of the Match: Richie Berrington (Scotland)
At Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi - Match 68 (Semi-final 1)
Nepal 90-8, 20 overs (Sharad Vesawkar 27 not out; Samiullah Shenwari 3-19, Dawlat Zadran 2-19, Izatullah Dawlatzai 2-22)
Afghanistan 96-3, 14.2 overs (Nawroz Mangal 48, Samiullah Shenwari 24 not out; Avinash Karn 2-17)
Result: Afghanistan won by seven wickets
Man of the Match: Samiullah Shenwari (Afghanistan)
At Abu Dhabi Oval 1, Abu Dhabi - Match 69 (5/6 Ranking)
Hong Kong 121-7, 20 overs (Babar Hayat 46, Waqas Barkat 24; Vivian Kingma 3-22, Ahsan Malik 2-15)
Netherlands 124-3, 18.4 overs (Ben Cooper 42, Stephan Myburgh 30, Tim Gruijters 26 not out, Daan van Bunge 20 not out; Nizakat Khan 3-10)
Result: Netherlands won by seven wickets
Man of the Match: Ben Cooper (Netherlands)
At Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi - Match 70 (Semi-final 2)
Ireland 147-8, 20 overs (Trent Johnston 35, Kevin O'Brien 31, John Mooney 29; Manjula Guruge 3-21, Rohan Mustafa 2-23)
UAE 85 all out, 17.4 overs (Max Sorensen 4-15, Tim Murtagh 4-24)
Result: Ireland won by 62 runs
Man of the Match: Max Sorensen
Fixtures for Saturday 30 November (Day 16):
Match 71 (3/4 Ranking) - Nepal v UAE, (1400-1700), Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Match 72 (Final) - Afghanistan v Ireland, (1800-2100), Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
(Posted on 30-11-2013)