Singapore produced the shock of the ICC World Cricket League Division 5 (WCL Div. 5) so far as it stunned Afghanistan with a 69-run victory.
Singapore Produces Shock Of The Tournament
Chris Janik of Singapore (right) traps Dawlat Ahmadzai lbw to seal his side's victory over Afghanistan.
Christopher Janik produced outstanding figures of 5-9 off just 3.2 overs to inspire his side to a brilliant victory as Afghanistan capitulated to just 76 all out.
“It feels great, although it is all about the team. Afghanistan don’t lose many games so it is a great win for us,” said 22-year-old Janik. “We have Bahamas tomorrow and hopefully we’ll replay the Japan game the following day.”
Janik also admitted that it would be a dream if Singapore was able to make the semi-final and produce another shock win that would help them achieve promotion to ICC World Cricket League Division 4.
“For a small country like Singapore with four million people it would be absolutely fantastic for us,” he said.
Batting first, Singapore managed to score 145 all out in tricky conditions, with a number of batsmen making useful contributions, not least skipper Chaminda Kumarage who top scored with 32.
Afghanistan’s attack once again looked dangerous, with Mohammad Nabi the pick of the bowlers with 3-23.
Despite a solid opening stand of 31, Afghanistan’s batting dramatically collapsed with many batsmen self-destructing with over ambitious shots.
Taj Malik, coach of the Afghanistan team, was disappointed with the performance and believed the damp Jersey conditions were unfavourable to his side.
“The weather has caused a lot of problems for us. We are never sure when we will start and whether the matches are reduced in overs,” said Malik. “The weather here is the enemy of the Afghanistan cricket team.”
But he still believes that his side is capable of qualifying for the semi-finals, although it will face a massive test against Jersey tomorrow knowing that even a win will not guarantee it a place in the top four.
“I have told the guys they are still in the tournament and if we want to get a place in the semi-final then tomorrow is do or die.”
In the other matches today, USA skipper Steve Massiah helped his side into the semi-finals of the competition with a solid all-round performance. Massiah was in excellent form with both bat and ball in a comprehensive six-wicket win over Germany to ensure that his side remains unbeaten at this event.
Bowling first USA had reduced Germany to just 104 all out, with Massiah taking 2-11, before they reached their target with 4.5 overs to spare in a 33-over-per-side game.
Nepal joined the USA in securing a top two place in Group A with a comfortable 137-run win over Vanuatu, although once again the Nepalese players may have been slightly disappointed with their batting performance.
Mahesh Chhetri made 65 and hero of the week Mahaboob Alam, who took all 10 wickets in a match on Sunday, scored 34 as Nepal struggled to reach 220-9 in 46 overs in another game which had been reduced due to a delayed start.
But once again Nepal’s bowling helped it recover and it never looked in any trouble as it reduced Vanuatu to 83 all out. Paras Khadka was the pick of the bowlers with 3-26.
Nepal plays the USA tomorrow to decide who finishes top of Group A.
In Group B, Ryan Driver and Peter Gough were the heroes for Jersey as the host coasted to a seven-wicket win over Botswana.
“Four out of four – I couldn’t ask for anything more. We’ve got Afghanistan next so I hope we keep our winning run going and make it five from five,” said skipper Matt Hague.
Another disciplined bowling performance, which saw Ryan Driver (3-10), Tony Carlyon (2-12) and Andy Dewhurst (2-19) share the wickets, reduced Botswana to just 66 all out.
And although Jersey didn’t look entirely comfortable, Peter Gough’s outstanding run with the bat continued as he made an unbeaten 39 not out.
Hague admitted that he was looking forward to the challenge of taking on Afghanistan but believed his side had nothing to be afraid of.
“We haven’t looked at them that much but looking at their scores they seem to go quite hard but we fear nobody at the moment,” he said.
There was a dramatic tie between Japan and the Bahamas in another game which was reduced overs due to bad weather, with Japan narrowly failing to reach their target of 116 with a run out off the final ball of the match as it desperately tried to gain a second run that would have sealed the match.
And Mozambique registered an outstanding win over Norway by three wickets to gain its first victory of the tournament.
At Grainville, USA won by six wickets (match reduced to 33 overs per side)
Germany 104 all out, 32.5 overs (James Eggleston 20; Steve Massiah 2-11, Niraj Shah 2-18)
USA 107-4, 28.1 overs (Orlando Baker 45 not out)
At Victoria College, Nepal won by 137 runs (match reduced to 46 overs per side)
Nepal 220-9, 46 overs (Mahesh Chhetri 65, Mahaboob Alam 34; Manu Nimoho 3-53)
Vanuatu 83 all out, 32.1 overs (Richard Tatwin 23; Paras Khadka 3-26, Basant Regmi 2-8)
At Les Quennevais 1, Mozambique won by three wickets (match reduced to 36 overs per side)
Norway 110 all out, 33.2 overs (Nadir Karim 3-17, Aasif Koliya 3-20, Chandra Puspussen 2-31)
Mozambique 111-7, 33.4 overs (Syed Shah 23, Nadir Karim 21 not out; Waseem Gill 2-21, Zeeshan Ali 2-18)
At FB Fields, Singapore won by 69 runs (match reduced to 30 overs per side)
Singapore 145 all out (Chaminda Kumarage 32, Christopher Janik 27, Chetan Suryawanshi 26, Syed Ali 21; Mohammad Nabi 3-23, Ahmed Shah Ahmadi 2-16, Hamid Hassan 2-34)
Afghanistan 76 all out (Mohammad Nabi 24, Karim Khan 22; Christopher Janik 5-9, Anish Param 3-15, Shoib Razak 2-12)
At Farmers, Jersey won by seven wickets
Botswana 66 all out, 39.3 overs (Ryan Driver 3-10, Tony Carlyon 2-12, Andy Dewhurst 2-19)
Jersey 67-3, 15.2 overs (Peter Gough 39 not out)
At Les Quennevais 2, match tied (26 overs per side)
Bahamas 115, 24.2 overs (Gavin Beath 4-18)
Japan 115-8, 26 overs (Gavin Beath 58; Roderick Mitchell 3-16)