Canada maintained their unbeaten record in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier as they downed Ireland by ten runs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Captain Navneet Dhaliwal (69) and Nitish Kumar (53) starred to lay the platform for the win with a 111-run second-wicket partnership, with the surprise result seeing Canada move top of Group B.
After posting 156 for five from their 20 overs, Romesh Eranga (two for 32) got the first of his two wickets to remove Kevin O’Brien in the first over, with Ireland only able to reach 146 for seven as they fell to a second defeat.
Oman remain level on six points with Canada after they also secured their third Group B win with a seven-wicket victory over Nigeria.
Aamir Kaleem’s four for 14 was too hot for the Nigerian batsmen to handle as they succumbed to 71 all out, before Oman chased their target down with 13 overs to spare.
The final Group B game of the day proved the most dramatic as captain Aizaz Khan held his nerve to give Hong Kong their first win of the tournament.
The skipper successfully defended 15 from the last over as Jersey fell eight runs short in their chase of 145.
In Group A, Kenya strolled past Singapore by seven wickets thanks to opener Irfan Karim’s 71 not out in their successful chase of 158.
Meanwhile, Namibia eased to a six-wicket win over Bermuda to narrow the standings in Group A even further.
Only the Bermudans are yet to register a point, while five teams – Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Kenya, Singapore and Namibia – sit on four points, two behind leaders Netherlands.
Namibia overpower Bermuda by six wickets
Namibia’s bowlers dominated Bermuda to restrict them to 106 for nine from their 20 overs as they earned their second win of the competition, prevailing by six wickets.
From the second ball of the innings, when Jan Frylinck dismissed Kamau Leverock, Bermuda were in trouble.
And it wasn’t long before Bernard Scholtz’s (three for 17) spin alongside the canny JJ Smit (two for 18) and Christi Viljoen (two for 27) did the trick for Namibia, though Bermuda fought hard from 48 for seven.
In response, Nikolaas Davin (37) and Stephan Baard (27) got Namibia off to a flyer, Davin’s score coming off just 12 balls, as they reached their target of 107 in 13.1 overs – only Leverock’s three for 19 causing any difficulties.
Namibia’s Bernard Scholtz, man of the match, said: “I don’t think too much has changed from those first two games, our batsmen are just in a better space and our bowlers are executing plans a bit better.
“The guys are in a beautiful space at the moment having won the last two games. Hopefully we’re building nice momentum heading towards the play-offs and hopefully we can reach them and peak at the right time.”
Bermuda captain Rodney Trott said: “Our fielding has been excellent, our bowling has not been too bad but our batting has been our downfall.
“We’re losing too many wickets in the first six, we talk about it every night that we’re looking for someone to bat eight overs at least.
“We’ve got to keep playing our best, it’s been hard because our preparation hasn’t been the best but at the end of the day, I must commend our guys they’ve given it their best effort.”
Oman ease past Nigeria by seven wickets
Veteran Aamir Kaleem took four for 14 to skittle Nigeria for 71 all out in 19.5 overs before Oman cruised to their target within seven overs.
Nigeria started quietly, hitting just 22 runs from their opening powerplay but, at 34 for one, then lost nine wickets for 37 runs as Kaleem and Bilal Khan (three for seven) ran through the line-up.
The chase was kicked off quickly by Jatinder Singh’s 48 from 22 balls, including nine fours and one six, and from there the result looked certain with the game wrapped up in seven overs.
Oman’s Aamir Kaleem, man of the match, said: “This was an important game for the table and credit goes to the team for bowling them out for 70-80 runs which was our aim.
“We are aiming for the top two, we’re playing well and as a group we’re working very hard and are ready for the next game.
“Getting to Australia would mean a lot, it would be the second time if we qualified.”
Nigeria captain Ademola Onikoyi said: “I thought winning the toss and choosing to bat would have been good but we just didn’t get it right while batting.
“We didn’t get a good start and it was tough to try and increase the run rate in the middle, I give it to the opposing they controlled the game well.
“We have to go back home after this and work on our power hitting and make sure we’re more confident going for our shots”
Kenya prove too strong for Singapore by seven wickets
Kenya strolled to their victory target of 158 against Singapore thanks to Irfan Karim’s unbeaten 71 after Lucas Oluoch (three for 22) and Elijah Otieno (three for 29) did the damage with the ball.
Top-order players Surendran Chandramohan (40), Aritra Dutta (33) and Tim David (29) all chipped in to take Singapore to a respectable total of 157 for nine from their 20 overs.
However, it didn’t appear to be enough when Karim, along with Aman Gandhi (50), hit 110 for the first wicket before the middle order took them over the line with seven balls to spare.
Kenya’s Irfan Karim, man of the match, said: “Aman played really well to get a fifty, he took the pressure off me too, and we were able to set a platform for some of the lower order to come in and play some good cameos so I think it was a good team effort.
“Our target was to keep them under 160 but we were confident that, if we had a good powerplay, we have some big hitters at the end to take us over the line.
“This win will boost the confidence a lot because we started with two losses against two good teams, hopefully we can carry the momentum into the next games.”
Singapore captain Amjad Mahboob said: “Credit goes to Kenya, they played very well – especially in the last two overs [of Singapore’s innings], they bowled very well.
“The main reason we lost I think is Karim’s batting, he played fabulously.
“We’re still very much in the tournament, if we win the last two games, we could finish fourth.”
Canada stun Ireland by ten runs
Canada made it three wins from three atop Group B as they inflicted another big defeat on Ireland.
Navneet Dhaliwal and Nitish Kumar struck a 111-run second wicket partnership to set up a score of 156 for five from 20 overs, a total that proved ten runs out of Ireland’s reach
Both captain Dhaliwal (69) and Kumar (53) were free flowing with boundaries aplenty as Ireland’s bowlers struggled to contain the Canadian batsmen, only Boyd Rankin (two for 32) registering more than one wicket.
Paul Stirling (23) got the chase up and running but regular wickets from Saad Bin Zafar (two for 31) and Romesh Eranga (two for 32) meant Ireland were always behind the required rate.
Stuart Thompson’s late 28 not out gave them late hope as they fell short on 146 for seven, with Canada now victorious in each of their last eight completed T20Is.
Canada’s Nitish Kumar, man of the match, said: “The key was taking wickets at important times which meant they were struggling to get any rhythm. The fast bowlers stood up today and we’re very happy about that.
“It was very important to push the twos and keep the strike rate up while you’re getting set but you didn’t want to take too many risks to setup the boundaries that came for me and Navi [Navneet Dhaliwal] at the end.
“That [the direct qualification spot] is always at the back of the mind but we know that three games is a lot. Although we’ve got three wins it’s the next three games that count.”
Ireland captain Gary Wilson said: “I think 157 was slightly above par on that wicket but we were disappointed not to chase it down.
“They played very well between overs eight to 14, they were able to put on quite a few runs there and we weren’t able to squeeze – we didn’t restrict them well enough but we also didn’t bat well enough.
“We just need to get better all-round now, we’re in must win territory now, if we play our best cricket we’ll be fine but we’re a little more up and down at the minute.”
Hong Kong edge past Jersey by eight runs in thriller
Hong Kong secured their first two points of the tournament with a tense eight-run win over Jersey thanks to a superb comeback with the ball.
Nizakat Khan blasted 48 at the top of the order but, with wickets tumbling elsewhere, Scott McKechnie’s 40 not out proved invaluable as Hong Kong registered 144 for seven.
Benjamin Ward had taken three for 19 for Jersey as they reduced their opposition to 81 for six midway through the 12th over.
Jersey’s pursuit of the target started quickly but a sensational first over from spinner Kinchit Shah (two for 31) changed the game, removing openers Nick Ferraby and Harrison Carlyon with his first and sixth balls of the evening.
Ben Stevens (39) and Jonty Jenner (27) put on 58 for the third wicket as Jersey crept towards the win but two superb wickets in two balls from Ehsan Khan (two for 18) turned the momentum in the 13th over.
Jersey kept fighting and needed 15 from the last over, but captain Aizaz Khan (one for 14) showed his experience to give Hong Kong a deserved first win of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier.
Hong Kong’s Scott McKechnie, man of the match, said: “We’ve been in this position a couple of times before in this tournament, we worked out that if we took the game deep, we do have batting later on in the order.
“The bowlers defended it really well, it was a used wicket and we felt it might break up. The spinners came into it in the second half and did really well.
“Today was a better performance, we’ve lost the powerplay against a lot of teams but we did better, but we’re now finding that blueprint which is getting us longer-term success.”
Jersey captain Charles Perchard said: “It was a really good game, both teams had opportunity to win it but credit to Hong Kong for coming out on top.
“It wasn’t our day, we were trying to put them under pressure but they batted very well, we didn’t quite have it with the bat.
“We’re disappointed but we’ve got two massive games against Ireland and Oman to come, and we’re going to hit them with everything we’ve got.”
Scores in brief:
Namibia beat Bermuda by six wickets, ICC Academy Ground No 2, Dubai
Bermuda 106-9, 20 overs (Okera Bascome 37, Derrick Brangman 23 not out; Bernard Scholtz 3-17, JJ Smit 2-18, Christi Viljoen 2-27)
Namibia 111-4, 13.1 overs (Nikolaas Davin 37, Stephan Baard 27, Gerhard Erasmus 19 not out; Kamau Leverock 3-19)
Oman beat Nigeria by seven wickets, Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi
Nigeria 71 all out, 19.5 overs (Daniel Ajekun 16; Aamir Kaleem 4-14, Bilal Khan 3-7)
Oman 72-3, 7 overs (Jatinder Singh 48, Khawar Ali 13; Sylvester Okpe 1-4)
Kenya beat Singapore by seven wickets, ICC Academy Ground No 2, Dubai
Singapore 157-9, 20 overs (Surendran Chandramohan 40, Aritra Dutta 33, Tim David 29; Lucas Oluoch 3-22, Elijah Otieno 3-29, Shem Ngoche 2-32)
Kenya 159-3, 18.5 overs (Irfan Karim 71 not out, Aman Gandhi 50; Amjad Mahboob 2-30)
Canada beat Ireland by ten runs, Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Canada 156-5, 20 overs (Navneet Dhaliwal 69, Nitish Kumar 53; Boyd Rankin 2-32)
Ireland 146-7, 20 overs (Stuart Thompson 28 not out, Paul Stirling 23; Saad Bin Zafar 2-31, Romesh Eranga 2-32)
Hong Kong beat Jersey by eight runs, Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Hong Kong 144-7, 20 overs (Nizakat Khan 48; Scott McKechnie 40 not out; Benjamin Ward 3-19, Ben Stevens 2-26)
Jersey 136-9, 20 overs (Ben Stevens 39, Corey Bisson 30 not out; Ehsan Khan 2-18; Kinchit Shah 2-31)
© ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2018