Uganda got off to a winning start on the opening day of the World Cricket League Division 3 with a 14-run win over Afghanistan at St Alban's Club. Afghanistan mounted a strong fightback after being reduced to 53 for 6 in pursuit of 217 but the lower order couldn't stretch their efforts to the end.
Frank Nsubuga top scored for Uganda with an aggressive 44-ball 62 batting at No. 7. A strong performance in the field limited the total to 216 but Afghanistan found the going hard early in the chase. Some dubious shot selection and excellent seam bowling by Kenneth Kamyuka reduced them to 23 for 5. They were later rescued by a 121-run stand for the seventh wicket between Raees Ahmadzi (78) and Samiullah Shenwari (52). However, Kamyuka broke the partnership and finished with 5 for 36 to seal a close victory.
"I am very sad for myself as I thought we were going to win this match at one stage," Ahmadzi said. "But we have not lost the tournament and I believe that we can still recover."
Wicketkeeper James Atkinson starred for Hong Kong with six dismissals to help his team ease past hosts Argentina by seven wickets at the Hurlingham Club Ground. Atkinson claimed four catches and two stumpings as Argentina were bundled out for a paltry 107. All six Hong Kong bowlers were among the wickets and the most effective was Nadeem Ahmed, who took 3 for 25. Zain Abbas remained unbeaten on 34 to guide his team home in the 28th over.
"It was really important to get off to a good start in this tournament," said Atkinson, who won the Man-of-the-Match award. "It is pleasing to get six dismissals, but it is more important that we got the wickets and recorded a victory."
A five-wicket haul by Rarva Dikana sent Cayman Islands crashing to 121 against Papua New Guinea, who won by six wickets at the Belgrano Athletic Club Ground. It was a dramatic collapse by the Caymans after their openers had added 43. Dikana, the right-arm seamer, sparked the collapse as Caymans lost their last eight wickets for 40 runs.
PNG raced towards the target with an opening stand of 97 in 12.1 overs with Vani Morea top scoring with 64, smashing four sixes. Ryan Bovell struck with four quick wickets but PNG were never in danger of collapsing.
"It was not as easy a win as the scoreboard suggests," Martin Gleeson, PNG's coach, said. "It may have looked easy but we had to work pretty hard in getting our wickets and to get ourselves back in the game."