Three of the semi-finalists were decided on the fourth day of the ACC Twenty20 Cup, with the three unbeaten teams - Afghanistan, Oman and UAE - all progressing to the last four.
UAE grabbed the headlines with a 209-run rout of the hapless China side, the biggest margin in a representative Twenty20 match. UAE made 236 for 5 and then bundled out China for 27, 15 of which were extras. In a week Australia’s chief executive claimed the ICC would be better off promoting cricket in China than in some existing Associates, it again highlighted the yawning chasm between the hopes of those running the game and the reality of the side itself.
Afghanistan bowled out Saudi Arabia for 72 to win by nine wickets, but Oman were made to struggle more, even so they beat Malaysia by 35 runs after posting 197 for 5. Nepal’s stop-start tournament continued with a six-wicket win over Qatar.
The closest game was between Hong Kong and Singapore where Singapore scraped home by one wicket off the penultimate ball.
The individual performance of the round came from Kuwait’s Khalid Butt who smashed 142 off 53 deliveries, including ten sixes, in his team’s nine-wicket win over Bahrain.
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa