There were wins for the Netherlands, Nepal, Afghanistan and Denmark in Group A and Italy, Scotland, Uganda and Namibia in Group B on the opening day of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in the United Arab Emirates.
Namibia produced an upset to beat Ireland while there were comprehensive wins for the Netherlands, Italy, Nepal and Uganda.
Reigning champions Afghanistan got their defence off to a sound start with a six-wicket triumph over Papua New Guinea. Despite the presence of former England gloveman Geraint Jones - who failed to score - PNG were restricted to 112 for six as Dawlat Zadran took a brace of wickets. Afghanistan then slipped to 80 for four but 52 not out in 49 balls from Mohammad Nabi took them home with an over to spare.
Bermuda's Dion Stovell made 56 and David Hemp scored 36 but both were on the losing side against Denmark. No other Bermudan could pass a score of eight and they closed on a disappointing 116 for seven after Stovell and Hemp had put on 74 together. 50 in 41 balls from Frederik Klokker and 47 not out from Rizwan Mahmood sealed a seven-wicket victory for the Danes with five balls remaining.
The Twenty20 International between Canada and the Netherlands proved to be a one-sided affair with the men in orange running out comfortable 42-run winners. Tom Cooper (29), Alexei Kervezee (29) and Mudassar Bukhari (28 not out) helped the Dutch score 135 for six and Canada mustered just 93 before being bowled out in reply. They were 26 for five before Jimmy Hansra (30) and Harvir Baidwan (21) offered some resistance but a haul of three for 16 from Pieteer Seelaar hurried the Netherlands to victory and top spot in the table.
Nepal lie second after they beat Hong Kong by 28 runs. Captain Paras Khadka hit the top score of the day with 68. That helped set up a score of 130 for six despte Munir Dar taking three for 15. Chandra Sawad then returned figures of four for 24 as Hong Kong were restricted to 102 for nine.
The major upset of the day came in Dubai where Namibia beat Ireland by four runs. Louis van der Westhuizen smashed 34 in 16 balls to set up Namibia's score of 160 for eight and Ireland fell short, closing on 156 for nine as van der Westhuizen grabbed a brace of wickets.
Group B's full Twenty20 International between Kenya and Scotland was another close game which was won by the Scots, who held on to take victory by 14 runs. Calum MacLeod (55) and Kyle Coetzer (46) helped them reach 178 for seven and although captain Collins Obuya scored 50 in 36 balls, Kenya lost their way in reply and were bowled out for 164.
Italy, who some have tipped to make a big impression in the tournament, dispatched Oman in ruthless fashion to win by nine wickets. Oman were dismissed for just 89, a target which Michael di Venuto (42 not out) and Peter Petricola (39 not out) wasted little time in overhauling.
Uganda proved too strong for the United States of America, prevailing by four wickets. Batting first, USA managed to reach 123 for eight, captain Sushil Nadkarni top scoring with 39. His opposite number David Arinaitwe led Uganda's victory charge with an unbeaten 27 while Frank Nsubuga smacked 30 in just 19 balls.
© Cricket World 2012