Ireland edge into T20 World Cup qualifier semis
Ireland edged into the semi-finals of qualifying for this year's T20 World Cup on net run-rate with a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Germany in Oman on Monday.
The Germans could only post 107-7 from their 20 overs, and a third successive fifty partnership from openers Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie ensured the Irish reached their target, with 41 balls to spare.
That was enough to put them top of Group A at the Global Qualifier A tournament, despite losing their opening game to the United Arab Emirates.
The UAE joined Ireland in the last four after a two-run loss to Bahrain, whose hopes were ended despite also winning two of their three games.
Ireland, the only Test team playing in the event, are bidding to reach a seventh successive T20 World Cup, having only missed the inaugural edition in 2007.
There are two places at this year's showpiece in Australia up for grabs this week, with the winners of Tuesday's semi-finals to qualify.
Ireland will face hosts Oman for a place in the main tournament, while the UAE will take on Nepal, the only team with a 100-percent record in the group stage.
"There was good buzz around this morning, the guys knew we had to win two games to reach a World Cup, and we've got rid of one of those and are now in a semi-final," said Irish captain Balbirnie, who made a 21-ball 32.
Nepal secured their last-four spot in style, thrashing Canada by eight wickets after bowling out their opponents for 80.
Star leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane continued his fine event, claiming figures of 3-12.
Oman made sure of their semi-final place with a nine-wicket thumping of the Philippines, bowling them out for 36 before reaching the victory target inside three overs.
The Filipinos had not played a match in three years before the qualifier due to Covid, and some of their players had never met before arriving in Oman.
The final two spots for the 2022 T20 World Cup will be decided at the Global Qualifier B event in Zimbabwe in July.