CWC QUALIFIER 2023
UAE seal spot in World Cup Qualifier
by Bertus de Jong • Last updated on Wed, Apr 5, 2023
The United Arab Emirates and Canada sealed successful runs in the CWC Qualifier Play-Off with wins over the relegation-bound Jersey and Papua New Guinea respectively, the UAE completing a comfortable 66-run win over Jersey to draw a line under yesterday’s tie-breaker controversy and join the champions USA in booking a place at the World Cup Qualifier, while Canada signed off with a 90-run win over PNG win to celebrate their newly-regained status as an ODI nation, won at the expense of the Papuans.
The UAE shrugged off the early loss of debutant Aryansh Sharma, nicked off by Julius Sumerauer in the first over, after captain Muhammad Waseem had elected to bat in their tournament closer at Wanderers. Waseem and Vritya Aravind added exactly 100 for the second wicket before Waseem fell for a 52-ball 65, top-edging Daniel Birrel behind high on the pull and Jake Dunford tracking back half-way to the boundary to hold a diving catch. Aravind compiled a watchful 45 before losing his middle stump to a ball from Sumerauer that jagged in sharply off the seam and an inswinging yorker did for Rohan Mustafa three balls later. The wickets did little to stem the flow however as Asif Khan kept the scoreboard ticking with a brisk 82 in company of young Aayan Khan, before picking out the cover sweeper off Perchard in the 46th. A helpful cameo from Sanchit Sharma saw the UAE accelerate at the death, adding 23 off 15 before being caught off Sumerauer on the final ball, the Jersey quick ending with figures of 4-51 while Aayan was left unbeaten on 43, and Jersey facing a 285-run chase to claim a consolation win.
Harrison Carlyon and Nick Greenwood put on a fluent 60 for the first wicket before Greenwood was caught backward point off Zahoor Khan. Carlyon kept the chase on track however, despite the loss of Josh Lawrenson to Mustafa juggling on a juggled return catch. Carlyon was undone by a googly from Karthik Meiyappan on the first ball of the 26th, falling for an 89-ball 85, but at 119-3 Jersey had a solid platform. Asa Tribe and Jonty Jenner sought to capitalise, but Aayan’s ten over spell for just 33 kept the asking rate climbing. The pair added another 69 for the fourth wicket and were starting to accelerate, Jenner had just taken Meiyappan for a maximum over long on before missing a paddle sweep and being pinned LBW for 32, but the momentum would not last. Ben Stevens was trapped by Zahoor in the next over, and Tribe became the thrid Meiyappan’s four victims in the 40th, given LBW for 40 with 95 still needed. From there the Jersey challenge rapidly subsided, Sumerauer’s customary late hitting in vain as the UAE ran through the tail to the cheers of the United States, who had arrived on the sidelines in anticipation of the trophy-presentation ceremony.
At United Papua New Guinea had already suffered their fifth defeat, going winless thorugh the tournament as they slumped to a 90-run defeat at the hands of Canada. Matt Spoors and Aaron Johnson added a brisk 62 for the first wicket after electing to bat, but left arm spinner John Kariko broke the opening stand at 62, pinning Spoors LBW, then did the same for Johnson after a 48-ball 53. Two overs later he had Srimantha Wijeyeratne for a six ball duck, and picked up his fourth LBW pinning Thaker in front in the 26th on his way to figures of 4-45 as Canada stumbled to 96-4 at the half-way stage. Pargat Singh compiled a watchful 66 off 104 to ensure Canada had something to bowl at, but late wickets for Semo Kamea and Riley Hekure kept the total to a manageable 218-8.
The Barramundis stumbled out of the gate in reply however, Jeremy Gordon taking 4-28 in his opening spell to hamstring the PNG chase. Asad Vala and Charles Amini looked to rebuild, but the latter was forced to retire hurt after taking a blow on the glove from Dillon Heiliger. Vala lost two more partners before Gordon returned to put the game to bed, removing the PNG skipper for a 58-ball 29 in the 30th, then nicking off Kariko to finish with figures of 6-43. Amini returned briefly only to fall to Sana, and a defiant 33 from Norman Vanua was not enough to get PNG close, Vanua’s wicket the last to fall, run out with 13 overs unused still 90 runs adrift.
The UAE had already secured their place at the Qualifier, but their win puts any tie-breaker confusion to rest as they finish clear of the pack along with Champions USA on eight points, while Canada can look forward to joining the two qualifiers in the Associate top tier next cycle, along with Namibia and the podium finishers from the past edition of CWC League 2 – Scotland, Oman and Nepal – as well as the Netherlands, who return to Associate competition following the abolition of the Super League. The exact form of the Associate ODI competition next cycle is likely to be hashed out in the coming weeks, the addition of the Dutch precluding an exact replication of League 2’s elegant trilateral series format. For Jersey and PNG the future is somewhat clearer. Both will be in action in European and the EAP T20 World Cup Qualifiers respectively, both scheduled for July, before the List A Challenge Leagues resume after the World Cup. The second tier of Associate competition is expected to return in a largely unchanged, with two groups of six contesting a threefold round robin format, with the champions of each group earning a return to this tournament and another chance at ODI status in four years’ time.