Austria stun the field to steal Europe T20 World Cup 2024

Austria stunned the field at the T20 World Cup Europe Sub-Regional Qualifier in Finland, beating Guernsey and Norway en route to claiming a place in next year’s Continental Qualifier. It means that the Austrians are competing for two European region spots for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, which will take place in the US and the West Indies. Austria stormed out of the group stage, beating Guernsey in a crucial match in Vantaa to help progress to the tournament final.

Holding the Channel Islanders at 139, the Austrians snuck home to chase the 140-run target with just two wickets and two balls to spare. Iqbal Hossain (38 from 18 balls) and Razmal Shigiwal (42 from 29 balls) accelerated to the top of the order, though a mid-order collapse meant the Austrians needed 15 of the final two overs at No.8. Abdullah Akbarjan and No. .10 Umair Tariq at the crease.

Tariq (12* from six balls) showed calm in the final, guiding David Hooper behind the point for the upset victory. The final between Austria and Norway was reduced to 14 overs a side, and it was Austria’s Amit Nathwani’s tricky turn that set the tone.

Nathwani forced ill-advised aerial shots to claim 3/14 of his three overs, with Sahel Zadran (3/10) cleaning up the tail and eliminating Norway by 77. With a tight target of 77 set by DLS reckoning, Iqbal Hossain (66 from 36 balls) nearly led a solo charge in pursuit, only to be anticlimactically dismissed a run short of target.

Similarly, a Vinay Ravi deflection was Austria’s run to win the tournament. When Austria received the sub-regional trophy, young French gun Gustav McKeon was crowned Player of the Tournament, finishing with 377 five-stroke runs with a strike rate of 164.62.

Who will participate in next year’s European Qualifier?

The winners of the three sub-regional tournaments (Austria, Denmark and Italy) advance to next year’s European finals, with two spots allocated for the 2024 tournament in the US and West Indies.

The trio join Jersey, Germany, as well as the European teams that fail to secure 2024 qualification until the 2022 tournament: Ireland, the Netherlands and Scotland.

How did Denmark and Italy seal their places in the Continental Qualifier?

Belgium sent shockwaves through the first Sub-Regional Qualifier when they claimed an upset 12-run win over Denmark, though Freddie Klokker’s men found their feet in the knockout stages, brushing Spain aside earlier and claiming the final victory over Portugal.

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