T20 World Cup Qualifier: Ireland lose to UAE by seven wickets in final after both teams quality

Harry Tector
Harry Tector struck a half century off 37 balls for Ireland
Ireland 159 (20 overs): Tector 50; Zahoor 3-29, Mustafa 3-30
UAE 160-3 (18.4 overs): Muhammad 112; Little 2-17
UAE won by seven wickets

Ireland were beaten by the United Arab Emirates by seven wickets in the final of the T20 World Cup Qualifier in Oman.

Both teams had already qualified for the World Cup in Australia later this year by winning their semi-finals.

Ireland were all out for 159 in their 20 overs, Harry Tector top-scoring with 50 and Shane Getkate contributing 30.

Opener Waseem Muhammad shone as the UAE reached 160-3 with eight balls to spare, hitting 112 off 66 balls, including eight sixes and seven fours.

Ireland beat Oman by 56 runs in their semi-final on Tuesday, while the UAE defeated Nepal by 68 runs.

As a result of their defeat by UAE, Ireland will enter the first round group stage of the T20 World Cup in October facing West Indies, Scotland and one further qualifier, to be confirmed in June, in Group B. Two from that group will move to the Super 12s stage of the tournament.

Earlier in the day, Irish skipper Andrew Balbirnie won the toss and decided to bat first, but despite a burst of 11 runs from the first over, Balbirnie and opening partner Paul Stirling were soon back in the pavilion, with Gareth Delany falling in between.

That left Ireland struggling at 19-3 in the fourth over but Tector and Lorcan Tucker (20) helped stabilise the innings with a 43-run stand.

After Andy McBrine and Simi Singh came and went cheaply, Shane Getkate joined Tector and the pair put on 55 for the seventh wicket from just 36 balls.

Getkate surpassed his previous highest T20 international innings of 24 with a mighty blow over the mid-wicket boundary, but fell soon after, bowled by a leg cutter from Zahoor Khan.

Tector brought up his second T20I half-century from just 36 balls, but after reaching 50 the in-form right-hander fell to a diving catch in the outfield by Basil Hameed.

Mark Adair (20 from 15 balls) and Barry McCarthy (15 from six) added late runs but the Irish were unable to defend their total, with Muhammad racking up his century and Rohan Mustafa contributing 37.

Josh Little was the pick of the Irish bowlers with 2-17 off four overs, with McBrine eventually claiming the wicket of Muhammad after he had spent 84 minutes at the crease.

‘UAE probably best side in tournament’

Balbirnie said: “We’re disappointed, but UAE were probably the best side in the tournament, so congratulations to Ahmed and his squad. We had a good powerplay with the ball, but when someone scores a century striking at nearly 200 it’s hard to stop. That was the difference.

“There’s a lot of pleasing aspects of how the week has gone, we obviously qualified for the World Cup, which was the main aim – when you play a final you want to win the trophy, but the best side won today.

“We’re really looking forward to going to Australia, it’s a great place to tour – a few of us have been there before, we’re excited by that challenge and hopefully we have a big summer ahead.”

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