ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022
Ireland, UAE book tickets to Australia
Big wins by Ireland and United Arab Emirates at the semi-finals of the first of two qualifier events has seen both countries confirm participation in this year's T20 World Cup in Australia
23 February 2022, 07:16 AM AEST
The line-up for this year's T20 World Cup in Australia has neared completion after Ireland and United Arab Emirates won their semi-final matches in global qualifier A.
A dozen teams qualified automatically by reaching the Super 12 phase of the 2021 T20 World Cup last November.
The remaining four are to come through two qualifying processes, the first of which is underway in Muscat, Oman, with the two finalists booking tickets to Australia.
UAE defeated a Nepal side featuring BBL regular Sandeep Lamichhane easily, scoring 7-157 in their 20 overs before bowling out Nepal for 107.
Muhammad Waseem made 70 for UAE then Ahmed Riza took five Nepal wickets for 19 to complete a 68-run victory.
"It is a very emotional feeling to lead the team to the T20 World Cup after six long years," UAE skipper Ahmed Raza said.
"Qualifying was an obsession for our team and glad that we could do it. It was one of those days when everything clicked for us. It was one complete performance.
"I fail to express in words the delight of playing a lead role in achieving our goal to qualify. It means a lot to us."
Ireland's success was almost as serene with Andrew Balbirnie's team beating the hosts by 56 runs.
Gareth Delany top-scored with 47 in 32 balls as Ireland made 7-165 from their 20 overs. The off-spin of Simi Singh then claimed 3-20 as Oman were dismissed for 109.
Andy McBrine scored 36 from 21 balls with the bat before taking 2-24 with the ball.
Ireland and UAE will meet in a final on Thursday that will determine which group at the T20 World Cup's first stage the teams enter, but for both the main prize has already been achieved.
Ireland lost their opening match of this event to the UAE, putting their qualification bid on a knife edge but won three straight matches to secure a spot at the World Cup.
"I think our determination got us there today," Balbirnie said.
"We knew at the start of the week that we needed to win three games. We've gradually got better every match as the tournament has gone on - and that's what you need to do in tournament cricket.
"Our T20 cricket has been really inconsistent, and to win three matches in a row we knew we'd have to be at our best. We managed to do that, and that (beating Oman) was probably our best all-round performance."
The Irish will be making their seventh straight appearance in the T20 World Cup, having only missed the inaugural edition in 2007. The UAE's only previous qualification was in 2014.
The second global qualifier event will take place in Zimbabwe in July. The hosts will be joined by the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, Jersey, Singapore, Uganda and USA.
The main tournament will be held in Australia in October and November.
The 2022 T20 World Cup will feature a total of 45 games in less than a month to be played at Adelaide Oval, the Gabba, Kardinia Park in Geelong, Bellerive Oval in Hobart, Perth Stadium, the MCG and the SCG.
Australia won the 2021 event last November and are automatically into the Super 12 stage of this year's event along with New Zealand, England, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
The first round will feature Sri Lanka (champions in 2014), West Indies (champions in 2012 and 2016), Scotland and Namibia, Ireland and UAE plus two more teams from the second qualifier event in Zimbabwe in July.
The first-round games will be played in Tasmania and Geelong in the first week of the tournament with six days of double headers before the Super 12 stage begins.
Men's T20 World Cup 2022
Group A: Sri Lanka, Namibia, two qualifiers
Group B: West Indies, Scotland, two qualifiers
Ireland and UAE have qualified for first round but yet to be seeded
Super 12 stage
Group 1: Australia, Afghanistan, England, New Zealand, A1, B2
Group 2: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, South Africa, B1, A2
Australia's T20 World Cup 2022 fixtures
Oct 22: v New Zealand, SCG, 6pm AEDT
Oct 25: v A1, Optus Stadium, 10pm AEDT
Oct 28: v England, MCG, 7pm AEDT
Oct 31: v B2, Gabba, 7pm AEDT
Nov 4: v Afghanistan, Adelaide Oval, 7pm AEDT
Nov 9: SCG, 7pm AEDT
Nov 10: Adelaide Oval, 7pm AEDT
Nov 13: MCG, 7pm AEDT