Qatar finished second in the ICC World T20 Asia Qualifier A tournament in Kuwait City, even as hosts won a last-ball thriller to edge out Saudi Arabia yesterday for a spot in the next round of qualifiers.
Qatar, after electing to bat first, put 115 on the board, while the United Arab Emirates reached the target with 25 balls to spare.
Both the teams had already made it to the ICC World T20 Asia Finals after locking the top two spots in the six-team tournament that concluded yesterday.
Qatar had a shaky start with both their openers back in the pavilion for 10 runs. However, Kamran Khan and Tamoor Sajjad stabilised the innings. While Khan scored a 17-ball 29, a knock that included two sixes and three fours, before he was run out, Sajjad played a more sedate 41-ball 36. Gayan Munaweera added valuable 27-ball 31 to Qatar’s total.
UAE bowlers Mohamed Naveed and Zahoor Khan scalped three wickets apiece.
In reply, a 54-run partnership between the openers set up a nine-wicket victory with Ghulam Shabber scoring an unbeaten 63.
In the third place playoff, Kuwait, coached by former South Africa international Herschelle Gibbs, put 104 on the board courtesy captain Mohamed Kashif’s 21-ball 26 (three fours).
In reply, Saudi opener Imran Arif played a 35-ball 40 but despite having wickets in hand, Kuwait bowlers did a good job of restricting their opponents to 99 for four, with Arjun Makesh scalping two wickets for the host team.
Qatar team manager Gul Khan Jadoun said, “Though we could not secure the result that we wanted in the last match against the UAE, we’re still happy with our second-place finish. Our prime goal was to qualify for the next stage and we did that.
“I wish to congratulate all the players and support staff for this effort. Also I want to thank Qatar Cricket Association (QCA) president Yousef Jeham al-Kuwari for all the support to the national team. We’ll work hard for the next stage and try to keep the Qatar flag flying high,” Jadoun added.
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