Nepal and UAE seal place in T20 World Cup

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates,  CMC — Nepal, with a last-ball victory, and hosts United Arab Emirates booked their places in next year’s Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh in playoffs at the qualifiers here yesterday.

20131128LogoNepal (144-5) beat Hong Kong (143-8) by five wickets while UAE (117-8) beat the Netherlands (107-9) by 10 runs.

Nepal and UAE join group winners Ireland and Afghanistan in advancing to the World Cup proper. Two more places remain up for grabs. Hong Kong can still qualify if they beat Papua New Guinea today.

PNG (145-4) eliminated Namibia (120), winning their game by 25 runs. Former England wicket-keeper Geraint Jones was PNG’s top scorer with 36. The Netherlands will have another chance at qualifying when they take on Scotland today.

Scotland (126-3), who lost their opening game to Bermuda, remained in the hunt with a seven-wicket win over Italy (125-8) thanks to half-centuries from openers Calum MacLeod and Richie Berrington.

It is the first time Nepal, who now face Afghanistan in the semi-finals of the qualifying tournament, will be heading to a global event.

Nepal needed 13 to win from the final over to beat Kong Kong.

Number six Sharad Vesawkar hit a six down the ground followed by an inside edge for four through fine leg. Vesawkar regained strike to face the final delivery with scores level and penetrated a packed ring through extra cover to send Nepal through.

“This is the biggest moment of our lives. Our childhood dreams have come true,” Nepal captain Paras Khadka said afterwards.

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