ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2013-14

How will the qualifiers fare in Bangladesh?

ESPNcricinfo takes a look at the Associates' chances in the first round of the 2014 World Twenty20

Peter Della Penna

December 1, 2013

Comments: 46 | Text size: A | A

Group A: Afghanistan, Nepal and Hong Kong paired with Full Member Bangladesh. Winner joins Australia, India, Pakistan and West Indies in Group 2 of the Super 10s


The Afghanistan players celebrate their 34-run win over Kenya, Afghanistan v Kenya, ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, Group B, Sharjah, November 24, 2013
Afghanistan are capable of matching up with Bangladesh's roster © ICC/Getty
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Afghanistan's loss to Ireland on Saturday night was a double-whammy. Not only did they miss out on reclaiming the tournament title in front of a partisan crowd, but they have now been dropped into Group A at the ICC World Twenty20 with the host side Bangladesh. Afghanistan are definitely capable of matching up with Bangladesh's roster and if Hamid Hassan can stay healthy enough to be in the starting XI for the tournament opener on March 16, Afghanistan will feel they have every chance of winning.

The problem for Afghanistan remains the ifs and buts. They are not a team that deals in certainties and as they showed against England in 2012 they are more capable of spontaneously combusting than they are of causing an upset. Despite the Cinderella nature of Afghanistan's ascent through the Associate ranks, it must be remembered that the shoe still only fits Ireland. They have beaten Full Members in ICC tournament play while Afghanistan have not.

Nepal's strength in Bangladesh will be their spin bowling. Left-arm spinner Basant Regmi adjusted very well to the step-up in class he faced at the qualifier in bowling to Division One Associates and there's no reason he can't do the same against Bangladesh. Shakti Gauchan had an off tournament in the UAE, but he was invited to train with Rajasthan Royals in 2012 and it wouldn't take much for him to regain his best form.

Unfortunately for Nepal, they have a popgun fast-bowling unit and they'll find it hard to seriously threaten better teams until they can find someone who bowls in the 130s kph at the very least. The batting is stronger than it was three years ago when they were in Division Five of the World Cricket League, but it doesn't match up well against quick attacks. They struggled against Afghanistan's fast men and may find the going difficult against Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel Hossain.

Hong Kong possesses an X-factor in fast bowling, the heavy-hitting allrounder Irfan Ahmed that Nepal wish they had. With him at the top of the order plus decent support in Jamie Atkinson, Hong Kong may actually stand a better chance of giving Afghanistan and Bangladesh a good fight. Curiously, though, they do not have a good record against Nepal and if they can't beat them, Hong Kong realistically have little chance against the other two teams in their group.

Bangladesh just walloped New Zealand on home soil in an ODI series and although they lost the lone T20, the overall results are a reminder of how formidable they can be in home conditions. The three Associates in Group A have their work cut out for them.

Group B: Ireland, UAE and Netherlands paired with Full Member Zimbabwe. Winner joins England, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka in Group 1 of the Super 10s


The Ireland players celebrate with the World Twenty20 Qualifiers trophy, Afghanistan v Ireland, ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers, final, Abu Dhabi, November 30, 2013
Winning the T20 Qualifier final ensured Ireland would not have to face Bangladesh on home soil © ICC/Getty
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Winning the T20 Qualifier final on Saturday achieved two things for Ireland. First, it ensured they would not have to face Bangladesh on home soil. Second, their run spree in amassing 225 for 7 put England, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka on notice that the Irishmen are coming to the games in March with a fully loaded batting arsenal. Perhaps most impressive of all is that the total was amassed with neither Niall O'Brien nor Ed Joyce in the line-up.

Ireland won't threaten to bowl any Full Member out, but they won't need to if they can muster up the same batting firepower against better attacks. Zimbabwe's line-up possesses few demons with bat or ball. It would be a major letdown for Ireland if they cannot capitalize on the Full Member pairing that the victory in the UAE has granted them.

Having said that, Ireland is not the only Associate in the group who will be penciling themselves in for two points against Zimbabwe. Netherlands may have scraped into the World T20 with a fifth-place finish in the UAE, but their qualification becomes very commendable when looking through a different lens.

Netherlands came to the UAE without Tom Cooper and Timm van der Gugten, two players who have been key contributors with bat and ball respectively over the last two years. They have also gone without the services of Ryan ten Doeschate for more than two years since he last appeared in an orange shirt at the 2011 World Cup and made two centuries. He's occupied himself with a T20 freelance career but the prospect of testing himself against the best at a World Cup event could lure him back. There's also the possibility of a Dutch requalification by Dirk Nannes, who was with Netherlands when they upset England at the 2009 World T20. He hasn't played for Australia since 2010 and would be eligible to return to play for Netherlands if he so desired. If he does, then all of a sudden, Netherlands are on equal terms with Ireland.

Judging by UAE's performance against Ireland in the semi-final at the qualifier, they appear to have drawn the short straw in this group. Their batting is a bit erratic but more than anything it is their fielding which will hold them back in major tournaments. They threaten to concede 20-30 runs each game due to their own inferiority and their opponents' superiority in ground fielding and catching. Against a Full Member that's too much debt to forgive.

However, UAE will have some very capable spinners to contend with, provided all of them are cleared to bowl. Nasir Aziz was reported twice during the qualifier for a suspect bowling action. Heading into the World T20 without his services would be a major blow.

While many people are caught up in the rush of Ireland potentially knocking off the lowest-ranked Full Member, it's worth keeping in mind that Zimbabwe beat Pakistan in a Test this September. Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza were the architects of Zimbabwe's famous win over Australia at the first World T20 in 2007 too. They will expect to do the humbling in Group B rather than being humbled.

Ireland may currently hold the best chance of causing an upset against the Full Member in this group, but Netherlands should not be overlooked provided they can get all hands on deck. If that happens, it could be a three-way scrap between Ireland, Netherlands and Zimbabwe to make it out of Group B and into the Super 10s.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. He tweets here

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Posted by Shariful-Islam on (December 4, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

@mera_bharat_mahan_hai: Not only at home, but also in Sri Lanka; Bangladesh won last ODI against Sri Lanka. Ban Vs Sri at home: Asia Cup - 6th match, Bangladesh won by 5 wickets (ODI#3265). Ban Vs Sri in Sri Lanka: 3rd ODI, Bangladesh won by 3 wickets (ODI#3352). Bangladesh drawn the last ODI series (1-1) against Sri Lanka (in Sri Lanka).

Yes, you are right. Ind A not participate the tournament. But, Pak A and Sri A participate the tournament.

Posted by MichaelBurton on (December 4, 2013, 3:39 GMT)

To me, Afganistan has a very good chance for qualifying for the main round if they play to their full potential. Ireland will be clear favourite in Group B though Zim may give a hard time. Group A is wide open with Ban and Afg are playing for the top spot. While Nep might give them a hard time.

@Shariful-Islam: We Ind A didnt participate for the Asian Games cricket. Ban didn't win their last match against SL as you said.

Posted by Firdous.Ghani.Staniczai on (December 3, 2013, 16:59 GMT)

I am one of the biggest fans of Bangladesh Cricket Team since they have got great players, so we don't have to ignore. However, Afghanistan is the team that can give a tough time to Bangladesh Cricket Team. Many Afghan players have already played in Bangladesh Cricket Leagues and have shown great performance for cricket fans! We hope the better team wins the game!

Posted by Anil_Koshy on (December 3, 2013, 4:30 GMT)

Teams like Afghanistan, Nepal, Ireland and Neithelands should be encouraged to generate more interest and competition, they should get more games against top teams so that they get more exposure. If ICC does act on time, the same thing will happen what happened to Kenya.

The teams which missed the bus like - Kenya, Namibia, Bermuda, Scotland and PNG should also get their share of international cricket.

Posted by   on (December 2, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

I cannot agree more with Faheem Mohammad Omid! By making Bangladesh play the qualifiers, ICC only reconfirmed it's standing as an inept and unworthy world sport's body.In all probability, Bangladesh would march to the main draw; but it is indeed farcical to ask the HOST to qualify!T20 World Cup could easily have been a 16-nation tournament for furthering the cause of globalization of cricket.ICC is planning to host Test World Cup with 4-nations, ODI World Cup with 12-nations (after a brief hiatus of a 14-nation event, promising to expand to 16) and now for all practical purposes a 10-nation T20 World Cup! Aren't they supposed to act to make the sport more global? How? By limiting participation of teams in World events? By inventing the unique idea of forcing the host of an World event go through qualifying process? Could someone help me understand?

Posted by Fogu on (December 2, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

In my opinion, six associate nations along with 10 test playing nations should compete in world cup in 4 division. At a minimum, associate nations should complete and have two qualifiers to make 12 world cup teams. To isolate 8 test playing nations, and make the other two test playing nations compete in qualifying round reeks of protectionism. In T20 any team can cause an upset on any given day. All it takes is 3-4 bad overs and you can lose control of a game. BD and ZM can not afford to have a bad game otherwise, nonsense will be spouted by some of the fans of the so called "big teams" who did not have the guts to face the associate nations themselves. Go Tigers!

Posted by   on (December 2, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

some senior players in afg team such as Karim Sadiq must be droped and make way to juniors !!! and they need discipline in their batting and fielding and bowling is fine ! Captaincy should improve , Field placement was very poor in the final against Ireland !

Posted by Shariful-Islam on (December 2, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

@Diganta Sarkar: Bangladesh will play their home ground. Normally pitch on Bangladesh is good for Batting and spin bowling. Batting and spin bowling is strength for Bangladesh. Now-a-days pace bowler of Ban also improve. In last ODI series Rubel Hossain hat-trick (6/26) against NZ who are naturally strong against pace bowling. I know pace bowling is strength for Afghanistan. But in ban, they cannot help from pitch.Condition,pitch,crowds all favor for Ban. If Bangladesh play poor cricket, then only Afghanistan won against Bangladesh, otherwise not.

Trinidad Quadrangular T20 2012: Afghanistan v Bangladesh Cricket Board XI:Bangladesh Cricket Board IX won by 8 wickets.

Asian Games Cricket Competition, 2010/11 final Afghanistan v Bangladesh A: Bangladesh A won by 5 wickets. Though, espncricinfo show Bangladesh, but that was Bangladesh A. Ind A,Pak A and Sri A also participate the tournament.

Posted by   on (December 2, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

On Ban-Afg, the closest to what I can call a match between these two were played in T&T Quad tournament. Bangladesh won it quite easily but the tournament eventually was won by Afghanistan. Check out Afghanistan v Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in Trinidad Quadrangular T20, 2012.

Posted by   on (December 2, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

@Shariful-Islam Sorry, if you thought I am not aware of the differences, then you're wrong. My question was whether Afghanistan has enough capabilities to beat Bangladesh on their day. I think the answer is yes. Otherwise, the teams are not comparable. Bangladesh is a Test playing nation for 10+ years and Afghanistan was not even an associate member untill last year. On the other hand, batting is the point of strength for Bangladesh, the opposite is the true for Afghanistan. You pointed out some scores of Bangladesh. But apart from Zimbabwe, all other oppositions put up 190+ scores upfront. Against Afghanistan, only England did it. I also pointed out that the conditions could make differences. Overall, it'll be a contest and I hope the better team on the day to win it.

Posted by Adhiqarie on (December 2, 2013, 5:46 GMT)

Nepal will produce at least an upset in this group for sure!!

Posted by Shariful-Islam on (December 2, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

@Diganta Sarkar: In Ban group only Afghanistan have temporary ODI and T-20I status untill the 2015 World Cup. Nepal and Hong Kong don't have T-20 status. Afghanistan plays 4 T-20 match against test team and score are 115/8(Ind) , 80/10(SA) ,80/10(Eng) ,136/10(Ind). And Ban last five T-20 score against test team are: 179/1(WI), 162/8(Zim),168/7(Zim), 181/7(Sri), 189/9(NZ). Hope, you will understand the team standard between Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Ban plays only a ODI match against Hong Kong and won by 116 runs.

Posted by haegger on (December 2, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

sure that ireland will get into the main round. just remains to be seen about group A. bangladesh are favourites but afg will fancy themselves.should be a good tussle.

Posted by   on (December 2, 2013, 4:44 GMT)

I think group A is the best place for Afghanistan, to be with Banladesh in the same group gives more chances of going into super 10s than being with Zimbabwe in Group B and that's because many of the Afghan players are already familier with the conditions in Bangladesh and they know how to play against their players and that's because Afghan Players with the like Shapoor Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Asghar Stankezai, Gulbadin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Samiullah Shinwari has already played in two big leagues of Bangladesh, BPL & DPL.

Posted by   on (December 2, 2013, 4:42 GMT)

On Ire-Zim, one must add fact is that Ireland beat Zimbabwe in 2013 T-20 World Cup warm up convincingly (by 54 runs). The match was played in Sri lanka and probably the conditions were similar to what we will see in Sylhet.

Posted by   on (December 2, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

@Shariful-Islam Bangladesh did really well at home. But, to put figures in perspective, Bangladesh never played T-20 against any Associate nation at home. They only played 5 T-20 matches at home (won 2, lost 3). So, overall how Bangladesh would do at home in T-20 international matches - is probably unknown.

Posted by cricket2011 on (December 2, 2013, 4:23 GMT)

2014 WC format is very bad and it will not help cricket to improve. ICC is very cruel.

Posted by Shariful-Islam on (December 2, 2013, 3:49 GMT)

Correction: My last comment was according to home condition.

Posted by Shariful-Islam on (December 2, 2013, 3:30 GMT)

@Diganta Sarkar:

It should be include there that Bangladesh never lost any match against associates after got test status. Bangladesh only lost one match against Kenya in 1999 when Bangladesh and Kenya both had same ODI status. So it can be say, Bangladesh never lost any match against lower status team at home in cricket history. Besides that, Bangladesh won top 8 match regularly at home. Some ODI result at home :

Ban Vs NZ: Ban won last 7 match. Ban Vs WI:Ban won last series. Ban Vs Ind: Ban won last match. Ban Vs Sri: Ban won last match. Ban Vs Eng: Ban won last match.

Posted by   on (December 2, 2013, 3:07 GMT)

A lot of people commented about Afghanistan and Bangladesh group match as an Afghan I want Afghanistan to beat Bangladesh but it needs a lots of hard working which includes GOOD BATTING, GOOD FIELDING AND GOOD BOWLING to be honest with you all Afghanistan had the chance to qualify but they give it Ireland by losing to them so fingers crossed let's wait and see what happens also I don't like that WT20 2014 format ICC should reconsider their decision Bangladesh didn't need to qualify they are the host just a last question from ICC do you think that Qatar will be Brazil or Spain in soccer no way but still Qatar Qualified for the 2020 world cup you know why because they are the HOST

Posted by   on (December 2, 2013, 0:03 GMT)

Coming to the records and stats, both Bangladesh and Zimbabwe won two matches against top-8 teams. Zimbabwe won once against Australia and one more against WI. Bangladesh, on the other hand, had a couple of success against WI. The other aspect, losing to the associates, was not that regular. Zimbabwe never lost to an associate team. They tied against Canada but they eventually won it in bowl-out. Bangladesh lost to associates twice, once against Scotland and one more time against the Netherlands. Both these loses came in 2012 on the foreign soil, the same year Bangladesh did really well in Asia Cup. The Netherlands side they lost to, did not have Tendo or Nannes and did not have much contribution from Cooper either.Canada and Scotland did not even qualify for the main tournament - which shows the competition could be closer than we think. So, as the record stands, both groups could see "upset"s.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2013, 23:39 GMT)

Afg lost the opportunity to qualify in super 10 Ire got it.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2013, 21:30 GMT)

There are other factors less discussed in this article. Let me put them into perspective. Although the possibility of rain is low in this part of the world in March, still a rain-curtailed match of 5-10 overs can produce any result. Corners of the bat is as effective as clean hitting in a rain-curtailed 7 over match. The second factor is pitch and conditions. I have seen previous complaints about dew factor in Bangladesh and all these matches will be played at night. A few showers before the matches could induce the new white ball to swing more. All these little factors could add up and result into an "upset".

Posted by cryptq1 on (December 1, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

@Golam Azad - if the match is listed here it was an official T20 International. It can be verified by opening the scorecard for the game. You will notice a line that states: T20 no xxx

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=3;template=results;type=team;view=results

Posted by Shariful-Islam on (December 1, 2013, 18:59 GMT)

@Golam Azad: Please read my previous comment again. I have two example here. 1. 66th Match, Qualifying Play-off: Netherlands v Scotland at Abu Dhabi - Nov 28, 2013 and 2. 59th Match, 11th place play-off: Canada v Kenya at Sharjah - Nov 26, 2013. Both of the match was T-20I.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (December 1, 2013, 18:48 GMT)

Obviously bar Bangladesh the rest of the teams in the first phase will at a disadvantage mainly due to no matches scheduled till the tournament. Teams like Zimbabwe have only themselves to blame for refusing a full limited overs tour to Bangladesh in December. I expect Ireland to go through and the team Bangladesh should invite for preparation since they have a full bilateral series with Sri Lanka and Asia Cup before the World T20. And whoever said Ireland better than Bangladesh blah blah blah which is why Bangladesh beat Ireland in the last 3 T20 matches at their grounds and also won the last 4 ODIs.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2013, 18:11 GMT)

@shariful islam: only the final between afgan and ire was counted as t-20 international and was counted towards the ranking. check the ranking plz. not all matches are officially considered international matches and counted towards ranking. if u look at the qualifying matches there was ~ 70 matches but only final match was counted towards the t20 ranking. so my Q is will the matches btwn countries in group A and group B be counted towards ranking?

Posted by Shariful-Islam on (December 1, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

@Golam Azad: The ten Test-playing nations have permanent T20I status. The following six teams have this status: Kenya (until the 2013 ICC World Cup Qualifier),Scotland (until the 2013 ICC World Cup Qualifier),Netherlands (until the 2013 ICC World Cup Qualifier),Ireland (until the 2015 World Cup),Canada (until the 2013 ICC World Cup Qualifier),Afghanistan (until the 2015 World Cup). One other Associate Nation has held temporary T20I status as a result of World Cricket League performances.Bermuda (8 April 2009): When these team meet each other with permission of ICC, match status is T-20 International.

Why my previous comment not published?

Posted by Wahid59 on (December 1, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

@mera_bharat_mahan_hai: Maybe your bharat is 'mahan', but I'm sure you're not. Bangladesh lucky to have Ireland in Group B! You kidding? Do you follow cricket at all? Bangladesh beat Ireland 3-0 in a T20 series in IRELAND last year!And those who're talking big about Afghanistan(taking nothing away from the Afghans, whom I do admire): they were actually beaten in the Asian Games by Bangladesh A!Bangladesh are yet to come into terms as far as T20 is concerned, but fact remains that Bangladesh's score in the last 5 T20's are 179,181,162,168 and 189; that too against higher ranked test playing countries!I'm sure BD would be a force to reckon with in T20's(as they already are in ODI's)soon enough.Anything can happen in cricket (for example India getting beaten by BD and eventually not making the second round of 2007 World Cup), but that is called an upset (or do you think that was normal!). So, the best you could hope for is a huge upset to prevent BD from qualyfying.(Not so) best of luck!

Posted by   on (December 1, 2013, 17:20 GMT)

hope to see BD and Ireland going through. If ireland goes then there will be some more hope for test status but group B is harder though. Does anyone know if these qualifying matches will be counted towards the ICC ranking? any cricinfo staffs can ans it plz. i know that the final match between afgan and Ire was counted towards the ranking but I do not know about other matches

Posted by KingAjmal on (December 1, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

Fantastic opportunity for our Bangladesh guys to boost up their stats. What's so good about Hamid Hassan? Bangladesh successfully can take on Anderson, Malinga, Gul etc good warm-up for the main round for Bangladesh. Heard they will prepare rank turners when they face Australia and Windies in the main round and another 6/6 from the left armer.

Posted by SyedAreYouDumb on (December 1, 2013, 16:11 GMT)

I am foreseeing a load of records being set by some of the Bangladesh players maybe our first t20i century. But unfortunately for Afghanistan as much as I like them, Bangladesh will be too strong for them and the other teams especially in their own backyard. Also would be great to see Nannes and Tendo (who is such a quality player) back in Netherlands. I see Bangladesh and 1 of Zimbabwe, Netherlands or Ireland qualifying.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2013, 16:06 GMT)

Peter Della Penna, this is the first time I heard your name and mark my words Bangladesh is gonna eat Afganistan, Nepal and HK in wt20. They way you underestimate BAN is strange and Basant Regmi is gonna shine against BAN? Keep dreaming. And Hamid Hassan beating the Tigers? Keep on dreaming. The Tigers will grasp them in a moment!

Posted by proud_Bangladeshi on (December 1, 2013, 15:54 GMT)

@mera_bharat_... whatever. overhyped Bangladesh! Who overhyped us?

I remember last time mighty India played Bangladesh and the result was... can you tell me please?

My advice to you: Just enjoy the time as India play well on and off the field. Don't ruin your sleep for others. Ciao...

Posted by Anantas11 on (December 1, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

I will not overrule Nepal's Spirit..they have always played well in Big tournaments..like Beating Pakistan, South Africa (twice), NewZealand in under 19's World cup....they are Giant Killers..n I will not be surprise if they pull off some serious surprises in the this world cup... Good luck all Asian teams group... whoever wins... Asia will be proud of this!!

Posted by kuikel2 on (December 1, 2013, 15:21 GMT)

Nepal loves to be rated as underdog. and if they improve their batting display against fast bowling then who knows what they deliver.. beating Afghanistan first time in t20 and that in world cup will be best gift to Nepalese fan... prepare well Nepalese team ...

Posted by MichaelBurton on (December 1, 2013, 15:20 GMT)

Ireland and Afghanistan should have given the direct entry. Overhyped Bangladesh and Zimbabwe should have played with other associates for the qualifying round.

Posted by MichaelBurton on (December 1, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

Bangladesh was lucky to have Ireland in Group B. Otherwise it would have been tough ask for them to go to the main round. Still, Afg has some chance of getting through if they play up to their potential. My predictions are with Afg and Ire.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

I feel Ireland can deafeat the Zimbabwe in qualufier and will reach the super 10

Posted by Rafelgibt on (December 1, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

Congrats to all the associate countries for qualifying into the next stage.As a die hard BAN cricket fan i wish BAN can easily make it through.But as its t20 and still BAN is struggling in this format so im little bit worried but confident that our boys would make it count.Roar tigers Roar>>>>>

Posted by   on (December 1, 2013, 13:52 GMT)

Afghanistan have lost the game but there were a few important lessons to be learnt. First of all throw out Karim Sadiq for good. Secondly Shapoor is not a world class bowler and only looks good against inferior teams. Afghanistan will have to world on Hamid Hassan's fitness and also work hard on Izzatullah and Dawlat's line and length. Finally its the planning. Having played Ireland in the last final Afghanistan knew very will how Ireland will come at them but still they did not do their homework and attacked Ireland in the same fashion. If these lessons are applied correctly, they might have a chance against Bangladesh. As an Afghan fan I have to admit that for the foreseeable future we are firmly stuck in the number 2 spot of the associates and even that is being challenged by Netherlands right now. All the best for the future.

Posted by QTS_ on (December 1, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

Afghanistan players in Bangladesh domestic leagues have fared decently. Also, since T20 is the most unpredictable form of cricket, Bangladesh need to be on guard against complacency against Afghanistan. Nepal and Hong Kong have to play out of their skins to challenge Bangladesh, especially given their inexperience against strangling Bangladeshi spin attack and their benign fast bowlers. When playing in Bangladesh, Bangladesh players are susceptible to genuine pace rather than spin, which puts these teams at a disadvantage.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

They should allow 4 teams to qualify. T20 offers the best format to upset bigger teams. See what's happened to kenya and Zimbabwe - they were tough teams once but due to various reasons now they are struggling. If Cricket is to become more popular then more chances should be given to these teams. anyway they won't become test-playing nations easily - so why not give them chances in these formats? Am sure there will be more money for those intent only on that. But Afg, Ire, Ken, Net should be allowed to regularly compete with the bottom two nations in T20 and ODIs. this should be Tier 2 teams and include the bottom 2 teams from big time cricket. In turn, Nepal, UAE, Canada, Namibia, etc should be allowed to qualify if they are good enough to beat the bottom 2 Tier 2 teams. This is the way Cricket will go forward.

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (December 1, 2013, 11:34 GMT)

I think Shakib alone is enough to crush the teams in Bangladesh group. Easy unbeaten 100 and 5 wicket haul like his world record 6/6 in T20 history.

Posted by EnglishCricket on (December 1, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

Ireland v Zimbabwe is an interesting one. If Ireland can beat them and go through then for sure they are making a massive claim in their bid for full status. Afghanistan are overrated. Don't know how to bat properly. Cannot rotate the strike rate and bowling with bad length and too short and wide.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (December 1, 2013, 11:21 GMT)

Its extremely likely going to be Bangladesh and either Zimbabwe or Ireland that goes through despite the fact is a 20 over game. Afghanistan batting is poor and bowling okay but nothing extraordinary. Fielding especially how to set and fitness levels is also very poor and that is the key element in T20 Cricket. Players like Tamim who scored back to back 100s in England against quality bowlers like Anderson, Finn, Broad etc and 100 this year against Sri Lanka against the dangerous Malinga and Shakib who scored 84 against Pakistan against the likes of Gul and Tanvir will simply crush these 3 teams especially at home.

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Tournament Results
Afghanistan v Ireland at Abu Dhabi - Nov 30, 2013
Ireland won by 68 runs
U.A.E. v Nepal at Abu Dhabi - Nov 30, 2013
Nepal won by 5 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)
U.A.E. v Ireland at Abu Dhabi - Nov 29, 2013
Ireland won by 62 runs
Afghanistan v Nepal at Abu Dhabi - Nov 29, 2013
Afghanistan won by 7 wickets (with 34 balls remaining)
Hong Kong v Netherlands at Abu Dhabi - Nov 29, 2013
Netherlands won by 7 wickets (with 8 balls remaining)
P.N.G. v Scotland at Abu Dhabi - Nov 29, 2013
Scotland won by 5 wickets (with 0 balls remaining)
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days