Scotland, Afghanistan open Desert T20 Challenge with comfortable wins
Scotland came with an all-round performance to defend 190 against Hong Kong successfully while Afghanistan managed to upstage Ireland in a chase of 126 with five wickets in hand in the first two matches of the Desert T20 Challenge in UAE.
Scotland 189-3 (Berrington 60no) beat
Hong Kong 165-6 (Ehsan 42no) by 24 runs
First match, Desert T20 Challenge, Abu Dhabi
After George Munsey (22) and Kyle Coetzer (31) contributed 61-run opening stand, Calum MacLeod (60) and Richie Berrington (60 not out) with their 127-run stand for the third wicket ensyred Scotland reached 189 for three in the 20 overs.
In respond, Scotland were restricted to 91 for five in 13.1 overs. Even though Shahid Wasif (40) and Ehsan Khan (42 not out) tried to keep the fight going for Hong Kong, they were restricted to 165 for six in 20 overs.
MacLeod was awarded the man of the match for his 34-ball 60. The win has taken Scotland to top position in Group B.
Afghanistan 126-5 (Tarakai 31) beat
Ireland 125-6 (Stirling 25) by five wickets
Second match, Desert T20 Challenge, Abu Dhabi
Ireland decided to bat first on winning the toss. Paul Stirling (25) and Stuart Poynter (18) provided solid opening stand of 36 from 32 deliveries but the pace at which the runs came put pressure on the rest of the line-up.
A double strike from Rashid Khan (2-22) removed Kevin O'Brien (12) and Gary Wilson (23) in quick succession and Ireland were restricted to 125 for six in the 20 overs.
Even though Mohammad Shahzad (29) and Najeeb Tarakai (31) provided a 54-run opening stand, Jacob Mulder (2-23) brought Ireland back on track by removing Shahzad and Asghar Stanikzai (6).
Just when they were struggling, Mohammad Nabi (26 not out) played a 17-ball cameo to ensure Afghanistan completed the chase in 18.4 overs with five wickets in hand. He also bagged the man of the match after contributing with two wickets earlier as well.
© Cricket World 2017