The two T20 World Cup places up for grabs were bagged by Scotland and Oman through their respective wins in the play-offs. Scotland completed an emphatic win over hosts UAE by 90 runs while Oman completed an inspiring victory over Hong Kong by 12 runs, thus confirming their tickets to Australia.
Scotland vs UAE
Scotland batted first and aimed to put runs on the board in a high-pressure game. They could not have asked for a better start from their openers as they gave them an 87-run opening stand. George Munsey starred with a stylish 65 off 43 balls which included 2 fours and 5 sixes. He was ably supported by skipper Kyle Coetzer with a well-made 34. With a good start provided, momentum throughout the innings was required along with a strong finish to the innings. This is exactly what the Scottish got as Richie Berrington played a fantastic knock of 48 off just 18 balls and was supported by Calum MacLeod's 12-ball 25. This late impetus helped Scotland reach a daunting total of 198-6 in their 20 overs.
In reply, hosts UAE had their backs against the wall and needed a strong start. But that was not to be as openers Chirag Suri and Rohan Mustafa were removed early and UAE were reduced to 12/2. Some rearguard action was provided by Ramiz Shahzad's 28-ball 34 and was well supported by Muhammad Usman. But it was just one-way traffic as the Scottish bowlers steam-rolled over the UAE middle and lower order. Safyaan Sharif and Mark Watt both had figures of 3 for 21 as Scottish completed a demolition job of the UAE, skittling them out for just 108 and winning the game by 90 runs.
Oman vs Hong Kong
Oman batted first and their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup were almost over in the first 9 overs of their batting itself as they were reduced to 42/6. But opener Jatinder Singh stood firm on one end and was supported well by Aamir Kaleem. The opener played a heroic inning where he hit an unbeaten 50-ball 67 with 7 fours and 1 six. The late-innings blitz was provided by Naseem Khushi as he hit 26 off just 9 balls with 2 fours and 2 mammoth sixes, taking Oman to a total of 134/7. Though the total was below par, at least they gave the bowlers something to bowl at.
Chasing just 135 to win, Hong Kong could have made things easier by a good start from their openers. But they got off to an even worse possible start as the top-order disappeared in the powerplay and they were reduced to 18/5. Keeper Scott McKechnie tried to repair the damage and kept the runs ticking from one end as he scored 44 runs, but he could not get enough support from the other end. He tried to up the run-rate and in the process lost his wicket. Bilal Khan was the main bowler who damaged Hong Kong's hopes of qualification with figures of 4 for 23 off his four overs. In the end, the target proved too much for Hong Kong as they fell short by 12 runs, handing Oman a win that send them straight to next year's T20 World Cup in Australia.