UAE finish top of the pile
A round-up from the play-offs in World Cricket League Division Three where UAE finish top of the pile
With the four places in the World Cup Qualifier already allocated, there was only pride to play for on the final day of the World Cricket League Division Two in Namibia.
Saqib Ali with the trophy after UAE's 67-run defeat of Oman in the final
In the final, openers Arshad Ali and Mohammad Iqbal scored centuries to steer UAE to a comfortable 67-run victory over Oman, the only affiliate in the competition, at the Wanderers Cricket Ground. Former captain Ali scored 133 while Iqbal hammered 111 as UAE posted 347 for 8 after being put into bat. Oman fought gallantly but lost wickets at crucial stages before being bowled out for 280 with more than six overs to spare.
Ali and Iqbal laid the foundation for a mammoth total when they put on 200 for the first wicket in 29 overs. Ali, later adjudged Man of the Match, perished in the last over of the innings after scoring 133 off 145 balls, included 10 fours and two sixes. It was Ali's second century of the week as he finished the tournament with 443 run from five matches. Only Namibia's Gerrie Snyman, with 588 runs from one more match, as well as ten wickets, scored more.
Oman made a valiant effort to protect their unbeaten record in the competition but UAE backed up their impressive batting display with some sharp fielding and accurate bowling. Left-arm spinner Khurram Khan bowled with a lot of variation to grab 3 for 42 while pace duo of Amjad Javed and Javed Ismail shared four wickets between them to keep Oman's progress in check.
In the third/fourth-place play-off at the United Cricket Ground, Namibia ended on a high with a four-wicket win over Denmark. Snyman was once again the star of Namibia's victory as he scored yet another blistering innings. His 71 came off 68 balls and included eight boundaries and two sixes. However, Dawid Botha won the Man-of-the-Match award for his 58 as Namibia overtook the target of 221 with more than eight overs and four wickets to spare. In the fifth-six play-off between two sides already relegated, Uganda thrashed Argentina by 181 runs at the Centre for Cricket Development. Uganda's opener Joel Olweny hit a superb century and put on 176 runs for the third wicket with Nand Patel to help Uganda to 335 for 7. Olweny struck 17 boundaries in his 130-ball innings while Patel scored an 82-ball 79 with nine fours and a six. Kenneth Kamyuka hit hard in the closing overs, clobbering six sixes and two fours in his 20-ball 57. The target proved to be too stiff for the Argentinians who were bowled out for 154 despite Donald Forrester hitting 71 from 80 balls with five boundaries. Frank Nsubuga was the pick of Uganda bowlers with 4 for 39 while Kamyuka bagged 3 for 44.
By virtue of a top-four finish, UAE, Oman, Namibia and Denmark qualified for the World Cup Qualifier (formerly ICC Trophy) while Uganda and Argentina were relegated to Division Three. However, they will have a second chance to book a place in the Qualifier when the WCL Division 3 is staged in January 2009.