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March 16, 2012
Afghanistan maintained their unbeaten run in the tournament with a 34-run defeat of Nepal at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the UAE. Afghanistan lost opener Shabir Noori in the first over but Karim Sadiq and Mohammad Shahzad both made 52 and captain Nawroz Mangal chipped in with 27 to take them 157 for 6. Pradeep Airee was caught behind of the first ball of Nepal's innings before Anil Mandal and Sharad Vesawkar steadied the ship. However, in doing so Nepal fell too far behind the the asking rate, and could only manage 123 for 6.
Netherlands secured an important seven-wicket victory against Denmark at the ICC Global Cricket Academy to keep themselves in touch with the top of Group A. Their disciplined bowling display restricted Denmark to 117 for 9 with captain Peter Borren taking 3 for 14. At the start of the chase Michael Swart was run out without facing a ball, but Stephen Myburgh led the reply. Myburgh and Wesley Barresi completed the victory with an unbeaten stand of 58 which was dominated by Barresi who hit 45 off 30 balls while Myburgh eased to 55.
Canada overwhelmed Bermuda by 72 runs to move second in the group. Twenty-year-old Ruvindu Gunasekera hit 83 off 48 balls - his first Twenty20 half-century - to launch Canada towards their total of 175 for 6. Tyson Gorden ensured the innings finished with a flourish with a brisk 39. Two Bermuda bowlers, Dion Stovell and Rodney Trott, bowled their combined eight overs for figures of 4 for 29 but the others couldn't offer support. Lionel Cann offered Bermuda some early hope in the chase, however when he fell for 33 things fell away as Rizwan Cheema took 3 for 16.
Late cameos from Geraint Jones and VV Morea lifted Papua New Guinea to a four-wicket victory over Hong Kong with one ball to spare at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Hong Kong's total of 131 for 9 was built around Jamie Atkinson's 52, but there was little support from anyone else as Babar Hayat led the rest with 21. Chris Amini was by far the best of PNG's bowlers, taking 2 for 15 from his four overs. PNG got off to a steady start, led by Tony Ura, who made 46, but a middle order collapse appeared to have swung the game in Hong Kong's favour. With 28 needed from two overs, Morea smashed Irfan Ahmad for three fours in the 19th over and Jones smashed Aizaz Khan for six off the first ball of the final over. Jones fell one ball later, but Khan crucially overstepped two balls later and Morea capitalised with another four to leave PNG needed one run from three deliveries. Morea took a single of the penultimate ball too give his team what had looked like an unlikely win a few minutes earlier.
Calum MacLeod made the second hundred of the World Twenty20 Qualifiers to lead Scotland to a thumping 52-run victory over Oman at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Dubai. MacLeod and Richie Berrington justified Scotland's decision to bat first by adding 104 for the first wicket. Berrington eventually fell for 30 and three quicxk wickets followed as Scotland stuttured from 104 for no loss to 119 for 4, but MacLeod was undaunted, bringing up his hundred in the 20th over with a six over wide long on. His unbeaten 104 took 76 deliveries and contained six fours and four sixes as Scotland finished with 158 for 5. Oman lost three wickets in the first four overs and were unable to recover, and it took No.8 Amar Ali's 25 to get them to three figures. Majid Haq was the pick of the bowlers for Scotland, taking 3 for 12 in 3.4 overs.
Namibia kept their winning streak alive by pipping Uganda by four runs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, in Abu Dhabi. Having beaten both Ireland and Scotland, Namibia have established themselves as the surprise leaders of Group B but they were almost undone by a determined Ugandan side. With three overs to go, Uganda needed just 23 runs to win and had four wickets in hand. But Christi Vijoen and Louis van der Westhuizen allowed just nine runs between them in the 18th and 19th overs and the batsmen were unable to get Viljoen away in the final over, managing just one four amidst five singles to give Namibia their fourth straight win. It was Raymond van Schoor who set the table for Netherlands total of 140. He made 60 from 62 balls, before falling victim to Charles Waiswa(3-29) with four balls to go in the innings. Opener Arthur Kyobe led Uganda's reply with 38.
Alex Obanda powered Kenya to a seven-wicket win against Italy although they are still struggling to stay in touch in the tournament. Obanda cracked 79 from 47 balls with 60 of his runs coming in the boundaries to ensure Kenya eased across the line with 13 deliveries to spare. He shared an opening stand of 123 with Duncan Allan who remained unbeaten on 41. Italy had earlier posted a competitive total thanks to Gareth Berg, the Middlesex allrounder, who batted through the innings for his 60.
Boyd Rankin's outstanding figures of 4 for 9 propelled Ireland to victory against USA. Read the full report here.
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