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September 11, 2009
Three teams separated by net run-rate - Netherlands, Uganda and Hong Kong - will compete for one remaining spot in the World Cup Qualifiers in King City. All three were tied on six points following the results on Friday, which witnessed the most embarrassing of collapses.
Vanuatu crashed out of the competition when they collapsed to 28 against Hong Kong at the Maple Leaf North-East Ground. Niaz Ali and Aizaz Khan took five wickets apiece to finish the job in 9.2 overs, and the game itself barely lasted 18. The most sorry scorecard of the tournament so far contained seven ducks. Hong Kong's chase wasn't as smooth as they would have liked - they still lost two wickets. Their next match is against USA on Sunday.
"We would have also batted first had we won the toss but it proved to be a good toss to lose as the ball swung for us," Hong Kong coach Aftab Habib said. "It has given us a boost ahead of our last match and it is an advantage to have a day off before the all-important match against the USA. I am really pleased to pocket maximum points from this match as now we have an opportunity to qualify.
"The USA is a good team as it has beaten Ireland in this competition but if we play like we played today, then we can remain positive about qualifying."
The batsmen didn't have much to shout about at the North-West Ground either. After bowling out Netherlands for a paltry 93, Uganda lost eight wickets and huffed and puffed to victory. Uganda's Geoffrey Nyero and Henry Ssenyondo took three wickets apiece to bundle out Netherlands in 36.3 overs. Uganda appeared to be coasting at 49 for 2 before a sudden collapse altered the script. Oliver Klaus, the right-arm seamer, plucked out three middle-order wickets to leave their opponents at 51 for 6. Deusdedit Muhumza managed to steer his side through with an unbeaten 21 and he was supported by Nyero, who made 12.
Uganda's fate will now depend on the results of the games that Netherlands and Hong Kong play.
"Until now, our performance has been disappointing in the tournament," Ahmed Yakub, the Uganda captain, said. "We had thought we would win more than three matches. We've got to wait for the other teams to complete their matches before we know if we have qualified. Whatever happens on Sunday, our batsmen need to go back and work on their games."
The Afghanistan batsmen didn't have such a difficult day in the field as they eased past Papua New Guinea (PNG) by six wickets at the South-West Ground. Ayoub Ahmedzai and Noor-ul-Haq scored seventies to lead the chase of 198. Zakiullah Zaki, the left-arm spinner, was the most effective bowler for Afghanistan with 4 for 43. Tony Ura top scored for PNG with 59, scoring seven boundaries.
"We want to win this tournament. It will be a pleasure to play against Canada and I hope we can get a victory," Noor said. "I am very proud of my team at this event, especially my captain and my coach."
The hosts Canada, who have already qualified for the World Cup, prevailed over their neighbours USA by three wickets at the South-East Ground. Rustam Bhatti and Darius D'Souza scored half-centuries to steer Canada to the target of 235 with three wickets in hand. Seamer Arsalan Qadir was the pick of the Canada bowlers with 6 for 44. USA captain Shiva Vashishat had a good outing with 72, that included four sixes.
|Papua New Guinea Under-19s||8||6||2||0||0||12||+0.270||1412/331.1||1342/336.0|
|United States of America Under-19s||8||5||3||0||0||10||+0.384||1399/350.0||1258/348.1|
|Hong Kong Under-19s||8||3||5||0||0||6||-0.293||1033/308.3||1212/332.5|
|Sierra Leone Under-19s||9||0||9||0||0||0||0/0.0||0/0.0|
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A collection of fine cricket writing on great cricket feats, and never mind the omissions
Plays of the Day from the first ODI between South Africa and India in Johannesburg