Ireland and Bangladesh will be heading to the Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa next year after sealing qualification in Abu Dhabi.
The Irish were the first to secure their passage at the Qualifier after they beat Zimbabwe by four runs in a thrilling semi-final at Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Laura Delany’s side faced three must-win matches after losing to Bangladesh on the opening night of the competition in the capital. They achieved it, capping the run in a tense meeting with Zimbabwe.
A 12-ball cameo worth 26 not out from Rebecca Stokell helped Ireland post 136 for seven from their 20 overs.
Zimbabwe, despite more excellent support from the stands, were unable to haul the target in, as they reached 133 for six from their overs.
Bangladesh followed the Irish through as they thwarted Thailand in the evening match on the main field at Abu Dhabi Cricket and Sports Hub.
The Asia Cup holders, who will seek to defend that title on home soil next month, managed 113 for five from their 20, with Rumana Ahmed top scoring with 26 from 24 deliveries.
Thailand’s challenge felt as good as over by the time they were 13 for three in the fifth over.
Natthakan Chantham provided some remarkable resistance as she made a half-century, but Thailand could only make it to 102 for six, leaving them 11 runs short.
The UAE will play off against the United States for last place in the tournament on Sunday after they were soundly beaten by Scotland on Tolerance Oval.
Two days earlier, the national women’s team had enjoyed their finest moment to date with their stunning, last-ball win over Zimbabwe at the same venue. The young host team looked emotionally spent.
They were outplayed, too, by a Scotland side who had a point to prove after they had been beaten by Ireland last time out.
Scotland dominated from the off, with opener Ailsa Lister setting the tone with her maiden T20I half-century.
Kathryn Bryce, Scotland’s captain, reached a similar milestone, as they amassed 172 for four, which is the highest score of the competition to date.
UAE never threatened in reply, and were bowled out for 87 as they subsided to an 85-run loss.
Scotland will face Papua New Guinea in the fifth-place playoff, after PNG thrashed United States by seven wickets.