Six Teams Make It Two Wins In A Row
On day two of the ICC World Twenty20 2014 Qualifier in the United Arab Emirates, six teams won their second match of the tournament.
In Group A, Hong Kong, Ireland and United Arab Emirates backed up wins on the opening day and in Group B, Bermuda, Nepal and Papua New Guinea did likewise.
On another day full of drama, the highlights were perhaps Nepal scoring 20 runs in four balls to chase down a big target against Kenya and Canada almost beating Ireland before falling two runs short.
Ireland didn't make a great start to their innings against Canada, losing openers William Porterfield (5) and Paul Stirling (16) cheaply but they kicked on later on thanks to Trent Johnston (39 not out in 24 balls) and Kevin O'Brien (31) to post 168 for five.
The runs that Johnston, Gary Wilson (24) and John Mooney (14 not out) were able to add in the last five overs proved vital.
Canada made the worst possible start when Max Sorensen trapped Hiral Patel in front with the first ball of the innings and then lost Rizwan Cheema to the next ball, bowled by the same bowler.
A brilliant 125-run partnership from Ruvindu Gunasekara (65 in 52 balls) and Ashish Bagai (67 not out in 55 balls) brought the Canadians back into the game although the departure of Gunasekara in the 16th over was a huge blow.
Nevertheless, with Jimmy Hansra joining Bagai the match could have gone either way. Ireland looked to have done enough when Canada needed 14 to win from the final over only for Hansra to hit the fourth ball for six.
Left with four needed to win from the final ball, Hansra connected cleanly enough but instead of finding the boundary, found Niall O'Brien who made a diving stop close to the ropes to hand Ireland the win, Hansra ending unbeaten on 22 and Canada on 166 for three.
United Arab Emirates beat Namibia by five wickets with an over to spare. Despite Christi Viljoen getting them off to a flyer with 35, Namibia only managed to post 120 for nine after being pegged back by Rohan Mustafa's three for 14 and two for 29 from Nasir Aziz.
Mohammad Azam then hit 56, Khurram Khan 23 and Shaiman Anwar 16 to make it two out of two for UAE who play Ireland in an early top-of-the-table clash tomorrow (17th November).
Hong Kong's second win came in a low-scoring match against Uganda in which Tanwir Afzal played a key role with bat and ball.
Opening the bowling, he took three for 12 from four overs as Uganda were dismissed for 105.
Hong Kong then made heavy weather of the run chase and at 78 for six in the 17th over, Afzal turned the game with two sixes, going on to finish unbeaten on 26 in 12 balls at the start of the 19th over to give Hong Kong a four-wicket win.
United States of America's Steven Taylor hit 91 but ended up on the losing side as Italy won by six wickets.
Taylor hit six fours and five sixes in 56 balls and with Karan Ganesh making 36 in 34 deliveries, USA posted a competitive 160 for five.
However, Gareth Berg opened for Italy and cracked 90 in 47 deliveries with 15 fours and one six. He departed at the end of the 13th over to give USA hope but they were beaten thanks to Carl Sandri's unbeaten 27 in 16 and Damian Crowley's 15, the Italians getting home with four balls to spare.
Standings: Hong Kong, Ireland, United Arab Emirates 4 points, Italy, USA 2 points, Canada, Namibia, Uganda 0 points
Papua New Guinea followed up their brilliant opening day win over Kenya by posting 193 for three and then beating the Netherlands by 52 runs.
Tony Ura scored the first century of the tournament, hitting exactly 100 in 60 balls with Kila Pala making 57 in 40 balls alongside him. The pair put on 127 for the second wicket to set the Dutch an insurmountable target.
Regardless of what target they might have been chasing, they weren't going to get there once they slipped to 15 for five in reply. Norman Vanua led the way with the ball by taking three for 12 before the Netherlands restored some pride by rallying to score 141 for nine, Michael Rippon hitting 50 in 40 balls.
Kenya failed to defend a big score for the second day in a row. After being humbled by PNG on day one, they posted 182 for seven and despite Nepal needing 17 from the final over, the Africans came off second best.
Rakep Patel had earlier struck a fine 103 in 45 balls as he helped Kenya recover from a poor start. From 32 for four, he and Ouma (37) put on 131 together and despite both Jitendra Mukhiya and Basant Regmi taking two wickets, Kenya would have been confident they had enough runs on the board.
Nepal lost Pradeep Airee for one but hit back with Subash Khakurel making 54 in 48 balls and Gyanendra Malla 32 in 22 deliveries.
When they fell, Paras Khadka came in and kept Nepal's hopes alive but when Binod Bhandari went for 12 in the penultimate over, they looked to have been left with too much to do.
As Khadka, who finished unbeaten on 54 on 31 balls, was not on strike, it was left to Sharad Vesawkar to try to do the seemingly impossible but he managed it by taking on Raghab Aga and from the first four balls of the final over hitting six, two, six, six to hand Nepal a memorable six-wicket win with two balls to spare.
Afghanistan got off the mark with a 17-run win over Scotland who are still looking for their first win of the competition.
After being bowled out for 90 on the opening day, Afghanistan's batsmen made a much better fist of things this time around, scoring 171 for six. Mohammad Nabi struck some huge blows in his 46 in 29 balls, opener Mohammad Shahzad cracked 42 in 22 and Samiullah Shenwari was unbeaten on 31 in 29.
Iain Wardlaw picked up three for 40 and Gordon Goudie two for 29.
Richie Berrington then gave Scotland a fast start with 19 before a 76-run stand between Calum MacLeod (56) and Matt Machan (54) gave the Afghans plenty to worry about.
However, once Dawlat Zadran had dismissed MacLeod and Shapoor Zadran done for Machan, Scotland were unable to keep their challenge alive, Shapoor striking again to finish with two for 30 and a couple of run outs preventing Scotland from taking the game to the wire.
They closed on 154 for six having needed to score an unlikely 24 from the final over to win.
Bermuda shocked Scotland on the opening day but delivered an expected victory over Denmark, winning by nine wickets.
Denmark's struggles with the bat continued as they reached 111 for eight, Hamid Shah top scoring with 31 and Frederik Klokker hitting 23. Derrick Brangman took three for 29, Dion Stovell two for 14 and Jacobi Robinson two for 15.
Stovel then thumped 24 in 11 balls before an unbroken second-wicket partnership of 75 between Tre Manders (45 not out) and David Hemp (27 not out) eased Bermuda home with more than three overs in hand.
Standings: Bermuda, Nepal, Papua New Guinea 4 points, Afghanistan, Netherlands 2 points, Denmark, Kenya, Scotland 0 points
© Cricket World 2013