Afghanistan, Ireland, Netherlands Make Play-Offs
Afghanistan, Ireland and the Netherlands sealed their places in the play-offs with wins on day seven of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2012 in the United Arab Emirates.
Afghanistan finished on top of Group A with a perfect record after beating Bermuda while there was also a win for Kenya over Uganda after Ireland and the Netherlands beat Oman and Hong Kong respectively.
Six wins from six for Afghanistan but they were pushed hard by Bermuda. Mohammad Shahzad hit a blistering 64 not out in 38 balls with five sixes as the reigning champions made their way to 177 for five, Asghar Stanikzai and Gulbadeen Naib both hitting 26. The latter's innings came from just eight balls at the end. It proved to be vitally important as Bermuda closed on 162 for seven to go down by just 15 runs. Fiqre Crockwell led Bermuda's reply with 34 before Janeiro Tucker smashed 37 in 16 balls. Kamau Leverock hit 21 not out in 12 balls but his effort proved to be too little, too late.
The Netherlands finished in second place in the group by thrashing Hong Kong by 83 runs. 68 in 36 balls from Stephen Myburgh, 42 in 25 from Tom Cooper and 38 in 22 from Michael Swart saw them blaze a trail to 201 for five. Despite Jamie Atkinson's 64 in 45 balls, Hong Kong had little answer to the Netherlands bowling attack and closed on 118 for seven.
Ireland closed the group stage with just one defeat behind them as they beat Oman by 44 runs. Gary Wilson scored an unbeaten 52, Paul Stirling 35 and Kevin O'Brien 32 as they posted 160 for five batting first. Jatiner Singh then blasted 56 in 55 balls before his side closed on 116 for six. Max Sorensen and O'Brien took two wickets apiece.
Kenya finished their grop campaign with a 48-run victory over Uganda. Alex Obanda made 46 and Collins Obuya 57 not out as their top order produced another strong performance en route to a total of 167 for three. In reply, Uganda limped to 118 for nine as Shem and James Ngoche picked up figures of three for 20 and two for 20 respectively.
The winners of the two groups qualify for the 1st Qualifying Final, the winner of which qualifies for the ICC World Twenty20 and the final of the qualifying competition. The sides that finish in second and third place in Group A will play the sides that finish in third and second place in Group B, the winners of which progress to a Preliminary Qualifier. The winner of that game will play the loser of the 1st Qualifying Final for the right to reach the overall final, as well as the ICC World T20.
© Cricket World 2012