Iqbal's six sets up Germany's victory
Kuwait's captain Hisham Mirza scored a run-a-ball 51 to lead his team to a three-wicket victory in their opening game of the ICC World Cricket League Division Seven, against hosts Botswana in Gaborone. Chasing a target of 121, Kuwait were in trouble at 66 for 6, with Botswana's medium-pacers Omar Ali and Aslam Chand cutting through the top order. Mirza then shared a 46-run partnership with Saad Khalid, who contributed 10, and secured victory as early as the 19th over. Ali finished with 3 for 42, while Chand took 3 for 36.
While Kuwait reached their target in quick time, Botswana took ages setting it. Their innings was in tatters at 16 for 4 and it did not recover. A brace of 30s from James Moses and Denzil Sequeira dragged Botswana past 100 but the tail folded quickly. Mohammad Murad was Kuwait's most successful bowler, taking 3 for 30 as Botswana was dismissed for 120 in 40.3 overs.
Mirza was concerned about the number of extras his side conceded - 19 runs - and their reading of the pitch. "It was new conditions for us to play on and a new surface to bat on too, so we were slightly shaky to begin with but Botswana are a good side and they showed that with their bowling early on in our innings.
"The amount of extras we gave away today is a bit of a concern, I think we misjudged the bounce of the wicket but we'll look at that and hopefully come back stronger."
Germany began their campaign with a convincing nine-wicket victory against Japan at the Lobatse Cricket Ground, reaching their target of 147 with 19.2 overs to spare. The victory was set up by Rana-Naved Iqbal, a 36-year old fast bowler, who took 6 for 25 to dismiss Japan for 146 in 49.3 overs. Patrick Giles-Jones was the top-scorer for Japan, with 56, while no one else made more than 20. Germany were sloppy with their extras, though, conceding 33 runs.
Germany's openers, Milan Fernando and Andre Leslie, shared a partnership of 77 before Fernando was dismissed by Munir Ahmed for 47. Asif Khan, Germany's captain, scored an unbeaten 27 and Leslie remained not out on 49 when the winning runs were scored in the 31st over.
Asif Khan said the early wickets Germany took were key to the end result. "We had Japan on the back foot from the start when we had them pinned at 5 for 12 and despite the side's bounce back to increase the total to 146 we knew with some strong batting we could win the match."
Nigeria beat Norway by five wickets and 28 balls to spare at the Botswana Cricket Association Oval. Norway were dismissed for 166 in 42 overs after they were asked to bat, with Shahid Ahmed top-scoring with 37. Kunle Adegbola and Endurance Ofem were Nigeria's best bowlers, taking 3 for 31 and 3 for 12.
Nigera's chase had a sound start - their openers Ademola Onikoyi and Ramit Gill added 76. From 95 for 1, however, they slumped to 121 for 5 but Sean Philips made 39 off 45 balls to steer the team to victory in the 39th over. The Shahzads, Babar and Umran, were the only successful bowlers for Norway, taking two wickets each.
Nigeria's captain Ofem admitted he'd expected more of Norway as a side. "I expected more from Norway today especially as they played in Division 6 but they were not nearly as tough as I had expected. I probably would have liked it if we lost fewer wickets than we did; we probably should have ended the game only two batsmen down."