The United States of America shocked the United Arab Emirates to win an ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier warm-up match by one wicket while there were also wins for Ireland, Scotland and Afghanistan two days before the tournament gets underway.
UAE were bowled out for 141 in 19.5 overs, Saqib Ali making 43 and when they reduced USA to 119 for nine in the 18th over, they appeared set to close out a routine victory before an unbeaten 57 in 36 balls from Timroy Allen saw the States home with four balls to spare.
Ireland held on to beat Canada by 11 runs in another close game. William Porterfield made 36 and Kevin O'Brien 28 as they posted 138 before being bowled out from the final ball of their innings, Khurram Chauhan taking three wickets. Geoff Barnett then blasted 21 but Canada lost their way with George Dockrell spinning his way to figures of four for 20 and Alex Cusack taking three for 23 and despite an unbeaten 19 from Umar Bhatti, they were bowled out for 127 in 19 overs.
Scotland had been on the end of two ten-wicket thrashings by Kenya in the last week but they hit back to win by 16 runs to prove they can set a target and defend it. Gavin Hamilton hit seven fours and a six during his 51-ball 58 that enabled his side to post 149 for six, Navdeep Poonia also making 24. Spinner Majid Haq then took for 23 and Richie Berrington returned three for 17 to restrict Kenya to 133 for nine. David Obuya top scored with 32.
Afghanistan took a comprehensive 39-run win over an Emirates Islamic Bank Invitation XI. They racked up 190 for nine, captain Nowroz Mangal hitting 55 in 26 balls, Asghar Stanikzai 41 in 28 and Mohammad Shahzad 27 in 15 and then held the Invitational XI to 151 for seven despite 61 in 43 balls from Khurram Shehzad.
The qualifying tournament opens on 9th February with matches between Scotland and the USA, Ireland and Afghanistan, Kenya and the UAE, and Netherlands and Canada.
© Cricket World 2010