Afghanistan open with victory
The ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers began in the UAE on Tuesday as 16 teams aim for a place at the main tournament in September
Afghanistan beat Papua New Guinea by six wickets and with an over to spare at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Set a target of 113, Afghanistan were in early trouble at 35 for 3 and with their opener Noor Ali Zadran retired hurt. But Mohammad Nabi put his team on course with an unbeaten 52 off 49 balls, under pressure, and was aided by captain Nawroz Mangal who made a steady 19 in a recovery stand of 45. Samiullah Shenwari gave Nabi company through to the end and the pair sealed the chase in 19 overs. PNG, after they were put in, were reduced to 55 for 5 at one stage but useful contributions from Christopher Kent, Willie Gavera, Mahuru Dai and Jason Kila helped them reach a respectable score that was eventually inadequate.
Italy thrashed Oman by nine wickets at the ICC Global Cricket Academy in Dubai. Offspinner Carl Sandri picked up four wickets for nine runs in his four-over spell to help keep Iman down to 89 for 9. Only one batsman, wicketkeeper Sultan Ahmed, reached double-figures in the Oman innings. For Italy, in their chase, Michael Di Venuto made an unbeaten 42 and was supported in a win-sealing stand of 84 by Peter Petricola (39). The game was won in 14 overs in the chase.
Nepal are considered a a good chance of making a mark at these World Twenty20 Qualifiers and laid down an early marker with a 30-run victory against Hong Kong at the Global Cricket Academy. Captain Paras Khadka led the way with 68 off 62 balls to steer Nepal to 130 after they'd been in trouble at 38 for 3 in the ninth. Hong Kong were never in contention during the chase as Chandra Sawad took four of the first five wickets to fall. From 28 for 5 the game was over although Nizakat Khan's 32 helped Hong Kong survive their 20 overs.
A half-century from Freddie Klokker at the top of the order and 47 not out from Rizwan Mahmood helped Denmark to a seven-wicket win over Bermuda with five balls to spare in Sharjah. Chasing 117 to win, Denmark accumulated steadily, keeping wickets in hand, and were well on course for victory by the time Klokker fell in the 18th over, for 50 off 41 balls. Bermuda's innings was built on a 74-run second-wicket partnership between Dion Stovell, who top-scored with 56, and David Hemp but after Hemp's departure the momentum could not be sustained - with Michael Pedersen's 1 for 12 from four overs the pick of the Danish bowling.
Namibia clinched a tight win over Ireland at the ICC Global Cricket Academy Ground No.2 in Dubai. Read the full report here.
Uganda beat United States of America by four wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. USA chose to bat and posted a modest 123 for 8. Captain Sushil Nadkarni top-scored as opener with 38 off 29 balls. After being reduced to 71 for 5, the middle and lower orders rescued the team but Uganda responded well. Roger Mukasa was economical with his medium-pace, taking 2 for 14 in four overs. In their chase, Uganda were in trouble at 53 for 5 in the 12th over but captain Davis Arinaitwe and Frank Nsubuga added a match-turning 47 for the sixth wicket. Nsubuga made 30 in 19, Arinaitwer was unbeaten on 27 and Jonathan Sebanja swas unbeaten on 11 off 9 balls at the close. The win was sealed with four balls to spare.
Scotland overcame Kenya by 14 runs in the highest scoring game of the opening day. Kenya made a positive start to their pursuit of a testing 179, but from 55 without loss in the sixth over lost their way. Gordon Drummond did most to dent the chase with 3 for 20 after Majid Haq had broken the threatening opening stand. Collins Obuya, the Kenya captain, reached 50 but the innings fell away with Richie Berrington claiming three run outs. Earlier, Scotland's innings was based around a third-wicket stand of 83 in nine overs between Calum MacLeod (55) and Kyle Coetzer (46).
Netherlands saw off Canada by 43 runs in Dubai, with three wickets for slow left-armer Pieter Seelaar. Netherlands were unable to put together any substantial partnerships in making 135 for 6, having chosen to bat, but their bowlers were up to defending the total as Canada were dismissed with 3.2 overs to spare. Canada were quickly in trouble, falling to 26 for 5 before Jimmy Hansra and Harvir Baidwan mustered some resistance with a 48-run association - only for the last five wickets to fall for 19. For the Netherlands, Tom Cooper and Alexei Kervezee both made 29 before Mudassar Bukhari lifted the final total with a hard-running 28 off 15 balls that contained just two boundaries.