A stellar allround effort from Ryan ten Doeschate, who scored an unbeaten 106 and bagged two wickets, helped Netherlands race to a four-wicket win over Kenya in Potchefstroom as they made short work of a competitive Kenyan score of 247. They did experience a minor wobble, losing the first three wickets for 62. ten Doeschate and Bas Zuiderent launched a counter-attack, adding an unbeaten 186 at almost a run-a-ball to shut Kenya out of the game. Zuiderent played the patient hand, while his partner's second century was a brisk one, laced with nine fours and three sixes. The Netherland bowlers did their part in restricting Kenya down to a chaseable score, striking at frequent intervals and preventing any threatening partnership from taking root. Kenya's decision to bat first appeared to backfire early on as fast bowler Edgar Schiferli dismissed the openers with just 14 on the board. He was well supported by ten Doeschate and Peter Borren who shared four wickets. The highlights for Kenya included a half-century by Jimmy Kamande and the lower-order recovery that helped them salvage a testing score from a precarious situation at 103 for 5. However, their efforts proved inadequate in the wake of a ruthless display of batting by ten Doeschate, who was adjudged Man of the Match.
Afghanistan, perhaps the most closely followed team in the tournament, didn't disappointing their fans, beating Denmark by five wickets in Vanderbijlpark. Their bowlers justified captain Nowroz Mangal's decision to field by limiting Denmark to 204 for 9, and the batsmen recovered well to chase down the target with more than three overs to spare. Afghanistan's star performer was Karim Khan who started his List A career on a high, taking 4 for 27 with his offspinners and scoring a brisk 39 as opener. Denmark, after getting themselves into a good position at 133 for 2, lost their next seven wickets for 71 as Khan, supported well by Mohammad Nabi and Hasti Gul made frequent inroads. Though Denmark did fight back with the ball, restricting Afghanistan to 88 for 4, including the wicket of Khan, their efforts were dented by a 78-run stand between wicketkeeper Mohammad Shehzad, who made an unbeaten 55, and Nabi who lent stability to the Afghan innings and helped their team to victory.
It was a new role for Khan, who took a break his wicketkeeping duties to have a bowl, and he was pleased on receiving the Man-of-the-Match award. "It was bad luck for Denmark that I injured my finger, which meant I stopped keeping wicket," he said. "My captain trusted me with the ball and I bowled wicket-to-wicket and ended up with four wickets and a run-out. I've done this before, but our new coach wants me to focus on my wicketkeeping, while Taj (the former coach) always used to trust me with my bowling. My coach is very happy with my bowling today, and I am hoping he will let me bowl in the other games."
United Arab Emirates, buoyed by an impressive allround display by their captain Khurram Khan, who scored an unbeaten 40 and captured three wickets, beat Bermuda by four wickets in the day's main upset in Potchefstroom. UAE gained the early advantage after they were asked to field, dismissing both the Bermuda openers fairly cheaply, leaving them reeling at 67 for 5. Medium-pacers Amjad Javed and Zahid Shah shared four wickets before the lower-order led by Janeiro Tucker's 66, staged a recovery, adding 78 for the last four wickets to salvage a score of 187. UAE started off briskly and their batsmen Arshad Ali and Saqib Ali had taken them to comfortable position at 105 for 2, after rain clouds cooled down the day and the teams left the field briefly during the reply, with lightning threatening to be a problem on the Highveld. Though they then lost four wickets for 53, Khurram held the innings together, stroking five fours, and received good support from Sameer Nayak to help take his team past Bermuda's total.
Uganda held their nerve to complete a six-run victory against Namibia in Krugersdorp. A composed fifty from opener Roger Mukasa and forties from Joel Olwenyi and Frank Nsubuga lifted Uganda to 234 for 7. Uganda started well reaching 45 for no loss in 10 overs but lost their first wicket, that of Arthur Kyobe for 17, in the 13th over. Mukasa scored 51 off 66 balls, hitting seven boundaries and one six en route, before he fell to Deon Kotze - Namibia's top performer with the ball with 2 for 22. The Namibian spinners did stem the flow of runs, but Frank Nsubuga provided some late fireworks with a 36-ball 45. During the chase, Namibia started slowly but Raymond van Schoor and Sarel Burger handed the advantage to Namibia, hitting 59 and 50 repsectively, and putting on 101 for the second wicket. However, both fell to right-arm offspinner Davis Arinaitwe, who went on to pick up 4 for 53, and his spell played a crucial role in containing Namibia to 228 for 9 in their 50 overs.
A brilliant hundred from captain Sunil Dhaniram helped Canada crush Oman by 103 runs in Pretoria. Having stroked 100 off 91 balls to push Canada to 247, he picked up two wickets as well to complete formalities by the 41st over during Oman's chase. Put in by Oman, Rizwan Cheema provided the momentum at the top with a quick 64. However, having lost their way in the middle, Dhaniram propped them up, hitting 10 fours and two sixes during his unbeaten stay. Tariq Hussain was the most impressive among the Oman bowlers picking up 5 for 39. It was disaster right from the start of the chase, as Oman lost three wickets for no score. And with half the side gone with nine runs, thanks to Khurram Chauhan's splendid effort of 4 for 27, it looked to be a tall ask. A 50-run partnership for the ninth wicket between No. 3 bastman Nilesh Parmar (38 not out) and Farhan Khan (43) was the highest of the innings, as Dhaniram fittingly brought an end to proceedings.
William Porterfield led from the front with a fine 101 as Ireland cruised to a seven-wicket thumping of their old rivals Scotland in the clash of the pre-tournament favourites. Read Will Luke's match bulletin here.
Ryan ten Doeschate
United Arab Emirates
ICC World Cup Qualifiers