Chiarg Suri in action in the Final of 2020 ACC Western Region T20 against Kuwait - Image by Asian Cricket Council @ACCMedia1 (Twitter)

A frantic week at Al Amerat in Oman saw United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait secure their spots in the 2020 ACC Asia Cup Qualifiers in Malaysia in Sep 2020. Both the countries qualified after winning their respective semifinal clashes in the ACC Western Region T20 against Qatar and Bahrain respectively, with UAE maintaining an unbeaten record in the tournament with five wins in as many games.

UAE and Kuwait qualify for 2020 Asia Cup Qualifiers from Western Region T20 1
UAE with the 2020 ACC Western Region T20 Trophy – Image by Asian Cricket Council @ACCMedia1 (Twitter)

The surprise factor in the tournament was when Qatar produced a shocking result to upstage Oman in their first group stage match in the tournament. Qatar would have hoped to top the group if Bahrain had not beaten them in the final game of the group, by virtue of which, not only eliminated Oman’s chances of making into the semifinals, but also went ahead of Qatar on net run-rate to top the points table. UAE and Kuwait did not face such drama in their group as both qualified for the semifinals rather convincingly with Saudi Arabia and Iran not able to provide any upset results during the group stages.

UAE and Kuwait qualify for 2020 Asia Cup Qualifiers from Western Region T20 2
Iran men’s national squad made their T20I debut during 2020 ACC Western Region T20 – Image by Asian Cricket Council @ACCMedia1 (Twitter)

Iran, who made their men’s T20I debut during the tournament, will have a lot to work on for the future tournaments under ACC/ICC after their batting department did not match up to the expectations against their group opponents. Players like Mohammad Yousef, Naeim Bameri, Navid Abdollahpour and Nader Zahadiafzal showed potential and that is a positive that the team will take from their campaign in the Western Region T20.

UAE and Kuwait qualify for 2020 Asia Cup Qualifiers from Western Region T20 3

Maldives, who were in the same group as Oman, Qatar and Bahrain, did not register a win during the group stages, but put up some impressive individual performances during the group stage games, which is definitaly progressive from the performances put up during the 2019 Western Region T20 tournament. Though Maldives team management will be disappointed that players like Nilantha Cooray, Rishwan Mohamed, Adam Umar, Hassan Haziq did not play with enough consistency to create outside chances for a victory in their group stage matches.

Chirag Suri (UAE), Ravija de Silva (Kuwait) and Kamran Khan (Qatar) were the top run-scorers in the tournament, while Muhamed Aslam (Kuwait), Ahmed Raza (UAE), Junaid Siddique (UAE) and Mohammad Nadeem (Qatar) were the top wicket-takers in the tournament.

UAE and Kuwait qualify for 2020 Asia Cup Qualifiers from Western Region T20 4
Maldives in action against Oman during 2020 ACC Western Region T20 – Image by Asian Cricket Council @ACCMedia1 (Twitter)

ACC Western Region T20 Top Run-Scorers

Player Country Runs Innings Highest Average Strike-Rate 50’s
Chirag Suri United Arab Emirates 239 5 75 59.75 129.89 3
Ravija de Silva Kuwait 219 5 84* 54.75 164.66 2
Kamran Khan Qatar 201 4 88 50.25 134 2
Rohan Mustafa United Arab Emirates 161 5 51 40.25 154.8 1
Khawar Ali Oman 148 3 72* 148 122.31 1
Usman Patel Kuwait 122 4 59* 40.67 134.06 2
Sarfaraz Ali Bahrain 112 4 50 28 183.6 1
Jatinder Singh Oman 98 3 48* 49 128.94 0
Rishwan Mohamed Maldives 82 3 61 27.33 122.38 1
Mohamed Aslam Kuwait 79 3 32 79 106.75 0

 

In the latest ICC T20I team rankings, UAE remain the highest placed team in the gulf region at 15th (186 ranking points), followed by Oman at 18th (174 ranking points), Qatar at 21st (129 ranking points), Saudi Arabia at 24th (115 ranking points), Kuwait at 27th (109 ranking points), Bahrain at 47th (47 ranking points) and Maldives at 76th place (11 ranking points). All countries in the Western Region except UAE and Oman will be taking part in the ICC Asia sub-regional qualifiers later this year towards qualification for 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers.

ACC Western Region T20 Top Wicket-Takers

Player Country Innings Wickets Runs Best Average Economy Strike-Rate
Mohamed Aslam Kuwait 5 12 128 5/4 10.66 6.4 10
Ahmed Raza United Arab Emirates 5 9 95 8/2 10.55 5.08 12.44
Junaid Siddique United Arab Emirates 5 9 92 12/4 10.22 5.75 10.66
Muhammed Nadeem Qatar 4 9 99 27/3 11 7.07 9.33
Abdul Majid Bahrain 4 8 78 23/4 9.75 4.87 12
Zahoor Khan United Arab Emirates 4 7 60 17/3 8.57 4.28 12
Iqbal Hussain Chaudhary Qatar 4 7 91 16/4 13 6.13 12.71
Muhammad Awais Malik Qatar 4 7 101 28/3 14.42 7.76 11.14
Sayed Monib Kuwait 5 7 133 17/2 19 8.31 13.71
Sultan Ahmed United Arab Emirates 5 6 61 9/4 10.16 3.58 17

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