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February 3, 2006
The final exchanges before the tournament starts on Sunday brought wins for India, Bangladesh and the West Indies, three of the favourites, but another defeat for Australia
New Zealand joined Australia with two defeats in two after they were thrashed by 130 runs by West Indies, the form side with the bat so far. They raced to 310 for 8 with contributions from all their batsmen. Richard Ramdeen led the way with 70 and Gajanand Singh chipped in with 59 from just 48 balls. Jason Donnelly, who came on as the Supersub for Hamish Bennett after just 19 overs, emerged with the impressive figures of 3 for 33, but the rest were forgettable. For the second day running, New Zealand's batting failed, only opener Todd Astle offering resistance with 56 as Nelon Pascal and Sunil Narine took three wickets each.
The match of the day was at Thurston College where Bangladesh just held off a gallant charge from Zimbabwe to record a three-run win. Bangladesh overcome the loss of Tamim Khan, who made a blazing unbeaten hundred against the USA the previous day, for 0 to amass 265 for 7, Roqibul Hassan making 69 and Sakib Al Hasan 53. That appeared way beyond Zimbabwe, who were missing captain Sean Williams because of a sore back, as they slumped to 27 for 3, but Gary Balance (68) and Keegan Meth (76) added 127 for the fourth wicket to reignite their hopes. Glen Querl and Ronald Benade put on an eighth-wicket stand of 51 to maintain Zimbabwe's push for victory, but Benade was run out with 23 still required - one of three run-outs in the innings thanks to brilliant Bangladesh fielding - and they fell agonisingly short in their chase.
England made it two wins in two with a 16-run victory over South Africa. They reached 259 for 9, but although five batsmen made 30 or more, only former captain Varun Chopra (51) reached a half-century. South Africa did well to get as close as they did to England's score after a horror start when they slipped to 5 for 3, but despite fifties from Peter Daneel (62), captain Dean Elgar (61) and Ramano Ramoo (56 not out) they were unable to force a win.
Nepal inflicted a second defeat in two matches on Scotland as they won by six wickets. Only Calum Macleod, batting at No. 10, passed 30 (he made 32) as Scotland limped to 189 for 9, with pace bowler Bantu Bataju taking 3 for 34. Sarad Vesawkar's 77 not out was the foundation of Nepal's successful chase as they eased home with 4.3 overs in hand. It was a match where the bowlers of both sides struggled desperately with their line, with 51 wides bowled. Scotland's share was 20, and they have some serious problems, conceding 51 wides in their two games to date.
Namibia secured a hard-fought three-wicket win over a USA side that bounced back from the ten-wicket thrashing they received from on yesterday. USA's batting once again failed to fire and it was left to opener Ravi Timbawala (47) and a late flourish from Nisarg Patel, who made an unbeaten 52 from 47 balls, to ensure they made a fighting score of 170. Namibia appeared to be cruising at 109 for 2 but the loss of three wickets in four overs resulted in a tense finish with Namibia indebted to an unbeaten 50 from Dawid Botha to see them home with four overs to spare as legspinner Anil Deopersaud took 3 for 18 in a testing 10 over spell.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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