Afghanistan And Ireland Clinch Big Victories
Afghanistan have joined Namibia in winning their first four matches in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2012 on day four of the competition.
They beat Nepal by 34 runs while there were also wins for Ireland, Kenya and Papua New Guinea.
Afghanistan remained on top of the group table by despatching Nepal by 34 runs. Karim Sadiq and Mohammad Shahzad both scored 52 while captain Nawroz Mangal hit 27 to steer Afghanistan to a score of 157 for six. A brace of wickets from Dawlat Zadran and Mohammad Nabi then held Nepal to 123 for six, despite Anil Mandal hitting 50.
Papua New Guinea took their second victoryof the competition as they beat Hong Kong by four wickets. Batting first, Jamie Atkinson's 52 in 42 balls was the highlight of Hong Kong's score of 131 for nine. Tony Ura then hit 46 and Geraint Jones 34 to get PNG off to a flyer and four late boundaries from Vani Morea (19 not out in nine balls) ensured they prevailed in a tight finish with a ball remaining.
Standings after four matches: Afghanistan 8 points, Canada, Netherlands 6 points, Papua New Guinea, Nepal 4 points, Hong Kong, Denmark 2 points, Bermuda 0 points
Ireland handed out a 64-run hammering to the United States of America. 47 in 36 balls from Kevin O'Brien and 46 in 47 from Ed Joyce handed the men in green a score of 160 for six, which they defended dismissing USA for 96 in 18 overs. Boyd Rankin's outstanding tournament continued as he finished with four for nine while there was a brace apiece for Trent Johnston and Andrew White.
Alex Obanda's 79 in 47 balls ensured Kenya beat Italy by seven wickets. Gareth Berg's unbeaten 60 and 32 from Peter Petricola had set italy up for a competitive score of 145 for four but Obanda, who struck 12 fours and two sixes, led Kenya's reply from the top of the order. Duncan Allan was unbeaten on 41 as Kenya reached their target with two overs and a ball to spare.
Standings after four matches: Namibia 8 points, Ireland, Scotland 6 points, Italy, Uganda, Kenya 4 points, USA, Oman 0 points
The ICC have approved that Denmark are able to replace injured Hamid Shah in their squad with Zahmeer Khan and USA can replace Gowkan Roopnarine with Japen Patel.
Elsewhere, Oman's Sultan Ahmed has been handed an official reprimand after pleading guilty to dissent during his side' match against Scotland.
© Cricket World 2012