Final groups and fixtures for tournament confirmed

Second-placed Netherlands take on Sri Lanka, Namibia and the United Arab Emirates in Group A.

Zimbabwe, the Champions of 2022 ICC Men’s T20 Worldcup Qualifier B. (Photo Source: Twitter/ICC)

Zimbabwe have won the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier B by beating the Netherlands to finish last in Group B in the first round at Australia 2022 alongside Ireland, Scotland and the West Indies. Australia will host the first-ever ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in seven host cities between October 16 and November 13, 2022, with Geelong and Hobart hosting the first round.

Zimbabwe’s first game will be in Hobart on October 17 on day two of the men’s T20 World Cup against Ireland. The evening game will be played as a double-header, with the West Indies taking on Scotland in the afternoon.

Runners-up Netherlands meet Sri Lanka, Namibia and the United Arab Emirates in Group A and play their first game of the opening day of the World Cup in Geelong against the United Arab Emirates. This will be an evening game after Sri Lanka, the 2014 champions, meet Namibia in the opener of the T20 World Cup.

On a day of poor encounters in the men’s ICC T20 World Cup B qualifier, hosts Zimbabwe secured a 37-round win over the Netherlands in the final despite being limited to just 132 strokes first. Sikandar Raza was the hero for the home side, winning four for eight from his four overs during a period when the Dutch lost six wickets in just 17 runs.

Logan van Beek (3/18) had previously played an important role for the Netherlands, removing both skipper Craig Ervine and Raza as Zimbabwe plummeted to 132 from 93 for three. In response, the Dutch got off to a sensible start, sitting at 45 for two before the wickets began to tumble, with Raza catching the leg of Stephan Myburgh (22) for his first wicket and arguably the most important of the game.

Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine said: “It’s incredible. That’s how we used to know Zimbabwe cricket, all the fans came out and cheered us on. And in the past week, we’ve definitely given them something to cheer about. From the players’ perspective, it’s good to see the cheering and joy in the crowd back.

“We just have to focus on what we accomplished this week. The first round of the World Championships will take place in October, so there will be plenty of time in between to chat and think about how we are going to approach it.”

Dutch captain Scott Edwards said: “Both teams came here to win and they were too good for us today. We got what we came for in World Cup qualifiers, it’s just a bit disappointing that we couldn’t perform in the final. “Every group (at the World Cup) has its challenges so we’ll prepare for Australia and the teams we play against and see how we progress.”

On the final day in Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea edged past the USA in the third-place play-off, Uganda edged out Hong Kong for fifth place and Jersey finished seventh thanks to a win over Singapore. Some brilliant bowling from Assad Vala (3/18) and Chad Soper (3/11) helped PNG defend a total of 97 against USA and win by five runs. Skipper Vala had made 15 with the bat and then played a crucial part with two wickets from his final over before Soper finished the job.

Uganda held their own against Hong Kong for a four-run win, despite recording just 102 for seven goals. Cosmas Kyewuta (2/28) was the hero at the end, taking two wickets from Hong Kong’s response in the final over. Jersey enjoyed a relatively easy chase in their six-wicket win over Singapore, Nick Greenwood (48) and Jonty Jenner (39nr) helping them chase 141 with the time remaining.

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, Local Organizing Committee CEO, Michelle Enright said:

“Today is an exciting day for the fans as all 16 teams have now been confirmed for the first-ever ICC Men’s T20 World Cup to be held in Australia. “We congratulate the Netherlands and Zimbabwe on surviving a challenging qualifying event and look forward to welcoming them to the first round in Hobart and Geelong respectively.”

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