ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, Group B, Dubai November 21, 2013

Afghanistan race to two-wicket win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Afghanistan 146 for 8 (Zadran 61, Bashir 3-34) beat Denmark 145 for 3 (Pedersen 36) by two wickets

A two-wicket margin is indicative of a narrow victory but Afghanistan were far more comfortably placed at the finish against Denmark than the scoreline suggested. However, they had to overcome a poor start to their chase to earn the points that took them level with Netherlands at the top of Group B.

In pursuit of Denmark's 145, Afghanistan had slipped to 19 for 3 in less than three overs. It was then that Najibullah Zadran began to counterattack, and by the time they lost their next wicket, Afghanistan were 55 in 5.3 overs. Zadran continued the assault, hitting 61 off 34 balls with five sixes, and found a more aggressive partner in Mohammad Nabi, who blitzed 25 off 11 deliveries. When Zadran fell, Afghanistan were coasting to victory at 132 for 6 in 13.2 overs. They lost two more wickets on the doorstep of the target but sealed victory with 27 balls to spare.

Afghanistan's bowlers had not been effective in striking after they won the toss. They managed only three wickets during Denmark's innings but they did not let the batsmen break free despite having plenty of resources in hand. Denmark's openers added 67 and were separated in the 12th over, and they needed a late burst from Aftab Ahmed, who made 32 off 19, to reach 145 for 3.

Scotland 181 for 5 (MacLeod 58) beat Papua New Guinea 97 for 9 (Taylor 3-16, Goudie 3-15) by 84 runs

A powerful performance from Scotland's top order and bowlers culminated in an 84-run thrashing of Papua New Guinea.

Scotland made a strong start after they were asked to bat, with their openers adding 100 in 11 overs before the first wicket fell. Calum MacLeod made 58 off 40 balls, while Richie Berrington made 43 off 33 deliveries. The No. 3 batsman Matt Machan was the most explosive of the lot, hitting two sixes to race to 44 off 25 balls. Those performances were enough to power Scotland to 181 for 5 in 20 overs.

In reply, PNG lost their openers with the score on 13 and then lost three more wickets for the addition of one run to slump to 26 for 5 in the ninth over. There was no coming back from that and they limped to 97 for 9 in 20 overs. Rob Taylor and Gordon Goudie bowled economical spells for Scotland and took three wickets each.

Kenya 125 for 3 (Tikolo 54*, Obuya 31) beat Bermuda 124 for 7 (Hemp 30*, Ngoche 2-6, Tikolo 2-33) by seven wickets

Steve Tikolo's fifth Twenty20 fifty inspired Kenya to a seven-wicket win over Bermuda after the game in Dubai had been reduced to 18 overs per side due to rain. Tikolo blasted an unbeaten 54 off just 36 deliveries, with six fours and a six, to help the team overhaul Bermuda's target of 125 in 11.2 overs.

Tikolo, who was called out of international cricket retirement before this tournament, was well-assisted at the other end by Nehemiah Odhiambo and Collins Obuya, with whom he added stands of 56 each for the second and third wickets respectively.

Tikolo made an impact with the ball too, picking up two wickets during Bermuda's innings. David Hemp top-scored for Bermuda with an unbeaten 30, but in the absence of any big partnerships, they were restricted to just 124 for 7 in their 18 overs.