Winner of Qualifier B will go into Group B in Australia, while the Runner-up of Sunday’s Final will go into Group A.
The Netherlands and Zimbabwe have qualified for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 after securing their places in Sunday’s Qualifier B Final in Zimbabwe.
The final line-up for the men’s event which started in April 2021 with 86 different teams vying for a spot to compete for the ultimate prize in T20 cricket, has now been confirmed with Netherlands and Zimbabwe joining hosts Australia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, England, Ireland, India, Namibia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates and West Indies.
The World Cup takes place in Australia for the first time ever between 16 October and 13 November 2022 across seven host cities, with Geelong and Hobart playing host to the First Round.
The final groupings for the Men’s T20 World Cup First Round will be determined through the outcome of Sunday’s final. The winner of Qualifier B will go into Group B with Ireland, Scotland and the West Indies. With the runner-up filling the final spot in Group A alongside Namibia, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates.
Netherlands defeated USA in the first semi-final as Bas de Leede starred with bat and ball for the Netherlands with a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over the USA.
The all-rounder took two for 23 as the Dutch took wickets at regular intervals after the USA had elected to bat first. An opening partnership of 51 between Steven Taylor (26) and Monank Patel (32) had given them a great start, but from then on, wickets continued to tumble as they were bowled out for 138 with two balls to spare in their innings.
In reply, Stephan Myburgh fell for a duck in the first over, bringing De Leede to the crease. And he proceeded to hammer an unbeaten 91 from just 67 deliveries to orchestrate a straightforward chase, adding 53 with Max O’Dowd (16) and an unbroken stand of 77 with skipper Scott Edwards (26no) to seal the win and qualification.
Netherlands captain Scott Edwards said: “The first word that comes to mind is relief. I think we’ve got a great squad but these sorts of tournaments are always tricky to get through, especially when only two teams are going. But I couldn’t be happier for the group, we’ve had an awesome tournament so far and I’m looking forward to the final in a couple of days.
“Zimbabwe are obviously a very strong side, we’ve watched them throughout the tournament and they are playing some good cricket but so are we. I think it will be a good game and hopefully we can get one up on them.”
In the other semi-final Zimbabwe came out on top with victory over Papua New Guinea.
The game was in the balance for quite a while, but in the end, Zimbabwe’s batting swung it, PNG unable to chase down their target of 200 in a 27-run loss.
Regis Chakabva gave the hosts a good start after they chose to bat, with a quickfire 30 from 19 deliveries, with Craig Ervine (38) and Wesley Madhevere (42) continuing his good work.
Charles Amini (2/28) helped stem the tide but a 14-ball 29 from Milton Shumba took Zimbabwe to an imposing 199 for five from their 20 overs.
That was going to take some chasing and PNG’s cause was not helped by Lega Siaka being run out off the first ball of the reply.
They quickly found themselves in trouble at 33 for three, but Amini (33) and in-form Tony Ura (66) hit back impressively. Ura needed just 35 balls as he threatened to upset the home side but when Ervine bowled him, it effectively sealed victory.
PNG kept battling but a couple of wickets for Blessing Muzarabani (2/24) ensured they would not get close as Zimbabwe set up a final date with the Netherlands.
Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine said: “I’m almost lost for words. It was a massive fight from the boys, it wasn’t an easy semi-final even though we had set 200. I’ve got to give credit to everybody for being up for the fight.
“I’m ecstatic for the country, I think this is huge for Zimbabwe cricket and the next step is going to be on Sunday, winning the Qualifier. Then we look forward to the World Cup in October.”
In the day’s other two matches Uganda got the better of Jersey by five runs while Hong Kong beat Singapore by seven wickets.
The first of those matches went down to the wire, with Uganda picking up some crucial late wickets to deny Jersey a second win in as many days.
Simon Ssesazi (30) and Ronak Patel (21) put on 46 for the first wicket as Uganda batted first but it took 26 from Juma Miyagi down the order to get them to a total of 110 all out from their 20 overs.
Benjamin Ward (3/16) was the pick of the bowlers for Jersey, who looked in total control at 75 for four in their chase.
But when the partnership between Ward and Jonty Jenner (27no) was broken by Dinesh Nakrani (2/20), the wickets started tumbling.
Jenner hung around but ran out of partners as Jersey finished up on 105 for nine.
The other match was a little more one-sided, Hong Kong comfortably chasing down Singapore’s total of 146. Yasim Murtaza (3/19) made inroads early on, and two wickets in four balls from Ehsan Khan (2/33) ended a 53-run partnership between Navin Param (33) and Janak Prakash (31), removing both men leg before.
In reply, Hong Kong skipper Nizakat Khan (81) provided the anchor innings which meant they were never in danger. Despite his dismissal with 13 still required, they cruised home with seven wickets and seven deliveries to spare.