Afghanistan, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland all secured victories on the morning of day six of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2012 in the United Arab Emirates.
All four sides are ranked in the top six at the tournament and they all scored victories batting second over Hong Kong, United States of America, Nepal and Italy respectively.
Afghanistan remain the team to beat after their sixth straight win, beating Hong Kong by nine wickets. Hong Kong were outclassed and only able to score 103 for nine - more than half of their runs coming from the bat of Irfan Ahmed, who made 54 in 52 balls as Dawlat Zadran picked up five for 14. Karim Sadiq fell for 22 before 38 from Javed Ahmadi and 43 from Mohammad Shahzad guide Afghanistan to victory with almost nine overs to spare.
Nepal proved no might for the Netherlands, who are on a strong run of form. They were held to a disappointing score of 85 for seven although the Dutch batsmen also struggled, needing 13.5 overs to knock off 86 for the loss of four wickets. Basanta Regmi, who had earlier scored a career-best of 20 not out with the bat, returned career-best figures of three for 32 but even his personal double was not enough to get his side near to victory.
Italy's rugby players might have beaten Scotland over the weekend but the result was reversed when their cricketers met in Dubai. A brace of wickets from Matthew Parker and Majid Haq helped Scotland restrict Italy to a score of 136 for eight. Richie Berrington blasted 67 in 45 balls and Preston Mommsen hit 36 in 30 as the Saltires made their target in exactly 18 overs.
Ragheb Aga and Nelson Odhiambo took three wickets apiece as Kenya skittled USA for just 90 in a one-sided encounter. USA captain Sushil Nadkarni played a lone hand once again with the bat, hitting 41 in 42 balls before Kenya's bowlers ran riot, Nehemiah Odhiambo also taking two for 17. Duncan Allan (34 not out), Alex Obanda (34) and Collins Obuya (24) then hurried Kenya to victory in ten overs.
Injuries continue to take their toll on the participating squads with Afghanistan and Ireland becoming the latest to make changes. Noor Ali Zadran (shoulder) and Shahpoor Zadran (knee) have been replaced by Asghar Stanikzai and Aftab Alam while Ireland's John Mooney (torn hamstring) has been replaced by Andrew Poynter.
Two Bermuda players - Dion Stovell and Lionel Cann have been given official reprimands for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct. The pair were both found guilty of showing dissent by delaying their departure from the crease. Both were men were dismissed leg before wicket in the fourth over of their game against Nepal, a game they went on to lose by 24 runs.
© Cricket World 2012