This tournament is currently taking place in Bangladesh and there have been some surprising outcomes. The tournament is structured with eight teams (Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates) playing in a preliminary tournament in which the top two teams would join the eight top-ranked teams (South Africa, India, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, West Indies, England, and Sri Lanka).
It was expected that the two qualifiers would be Bangladesh (the tournament host nation) and either Zimbabwe or Ireland, but Netherlands sprang a surprise with some great performances and joined Bangladesh in the next round, along the way beating Ireland. Then in the next round Netherlands continued to surprise, almost pulling off a major upset against South Africa and then in another upset trouncing England in a very low-scoring game. So although they did not make it into the semi-finals, Netherlands can feel very good about their showing.
So far, three of the four semi-final spots have been determined: South Africa, India, and Sri Lanka. The final spot will be decided by the result of tomorrow’s match between West Indies and Pakistan.
Today saw Sri Lanka pull of a win against New Zealand to clinch the third spot. Sri Lanka was favored to win but on batting first had a disastrous outing, scoring just 119 runs. In this format of the game, each side bats once and faces 20 overs (120 deliveries) and the side that scores the most runs wins. 180 runs is usually a winning total and the lower end of a defensible total is about 150 runs, so it looked like New Zealand had an easy stroll to victory. But their batting collapsed spectacularly and they were all out for 60.
The semi-finals will be between Sri Lanka v. West Indies/Pakistan on Thursday, India v. South Africa on Friday, and the finals will be on Sunday.
Meanwhile, women’s international cricket is also having a T20 championship at the same time, also in Bangladesh. The four finalists are South Africa, West Indies, Australia, and England with the semi-finals and finals being played on the same days as the men’s game. In that tournament too New Zealand was edged out of the semi-finals at the last moment, so the tournaments must be a disappointment for them.
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