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Irish target a victory over the Dutch to reach qualifying final

 

Final say: Umpire Roly Black
Final say: Umpire Roly Black

By Ian Callender

Ireland will meet Netherlands in the first semi-final of the T20 World Cup qualifying tournament after the Dutch became the third team to make next year's finals with an eight wickets win over UAE in Dubai yesterday.

The hosts, who finished third in Ireland's group, have another chance to qualify this afternoon when they face Scotland, the winners becoming the fifth of the six teams to book their passage to Australia.

The final qualifier will be the winners of tonight's match between Hong Kong and Oman, who lost the second play-off semi-final to Namibia by 54 runs and, with their place Down Under secured, will play Papua New Guinea in the second semi-final here on Friday.

The Dutch had their play-off all but won in the first five overs when they reduced UAE to nine for five, which in itself was a recovery after losing their first four wickets for four runs in 14 balls.

Paul van Meekeren, who took two wickets in two balls, and Brandon Glover, who finished with 4-12, the joint best bowling figures in the tournament, were the early destroyers.

UAE managed to bat out the overs but their total of 80-9 was never going to trouble Netherlands, who reached their target with 29 balls to spare, Ben Cooper hitting the winning run to finish 41 not out.

While the players enjoyed a day off, there was Ireland interest in the match with Roly Black one of the umpires, and the North West official is still in line for another game on the final day.

In the late game yesterday, JJ Smit hit the fastest 50 of the tournament from 20 balls as Namibia totalled 161-7.

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