ICC WCL Division 1: Scotland defeat Afghanistan, Canada beat Kenya, Ireland beat hosts Netherlands
Scotland, Canada and Ireland won their matches on the last day of the group matches of the ICC World Cricket League Division One at Amsterdam, Netherlands. Scotland was able to defeat Afghanistan by 2 wickets (with 37 balls remaining) to confirm its place in the final with Ireland. Canada won the full dress rehearsal of the 5th and 6th position play-offs to be played tomorrow against Kenya (by 6 wickets). In the last match of the day, Ireland defeated the hosts by 39 runs to continue its winning streak.
The 13th match of the championship was played at Hazelaarweg, Rotterdam, where Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat first. The Afghans were in the mood to set up a big target on board to outclass the Scottish side and get a place in the final against Ireland. The Afghan openers carefully started the innings, but lost 2 wickets in the 3rd and 5th overs of the match when Karim Sadiq and Javed Ahmadi were caught on the balls of Gordon Goudie. Noor Ali Zadran (15 off 46) and Mohammad Shahzad’s (34 off 44, that includes the only six of the match) partnership of 47 runs was the only stand that could stay on wicket for some time. Nawroz Mangal was the highest scorer for the side with 38 runs off 83 balls. The Afghans managed to set a target of 141 runs (all out) in the 48th over of the match. Ross Lyons was the best bowler for the Scottish side; he took three wickets with an economy of 2.1 runs in his 10 overs. Gordon Drummond was next, with 2 wickets off 9 overs, with an economy of 2.11.
Scotland’s opening stand was broken in the third over (when Ollie Hairs was dismissed by Shapoor Zadran after contributing only 4 runs), but coming batsmen played patiently on the bowler-friendly track. Fraser Watts (46 off 98) and Omer Hussain (17 off 22) gave their side a much needed 35 runs stand. The Scottish side was in total command of game in the 32nd over of the match, where they were on 105 for 3. The Afghan bowlers gave their side some hope by taking 5 wickets (conceding only 34 runs), but Scotland prevailed and managed to score the winning runs. The Scottish side won the match in the 44th over with two wickets and 37 balls remaining. A staggering 22 extras (19 wides, 2 no-balls, and 1 lb) conceded by the Afghan side was one of the main factors that contributed to their loss in this low scoring game. Fraser Watts was given the Man of the Match award for his 46 runs. With this victory, Scotland is through to the final match to be played tomorrow against Ireland.
In the 14th match of the tournament, played at Sportpark Thurlede, Schiedam, Canada defeated Kenya by 6 wickets, with 85 balls remaining. Ashish Bagai, the Canadian Skipper, won the toss and elected to field first. Kenya started with much self-confidence and was scoring with a run-rate of more than 4 runs per over. However, with the loss of Alex Obanda (14 off 19) in the 7th over of the match, the run-rate decreased to 3 runs per over. Collins Obuya (23 off 68) was run out in the 26th over of the match. After this loss, the whole side stumbled in front of the Canadian bowlers, and was all out in the 46th over of the match with just 153 runs on the board. Harvir Baidwan was the most successful bowler of the Canadian side with 3 wickets, conceding only 24 runs in 8 overs for an economy of exactly 3.00.
The North American side easily chased down the target in the 36th over of the match with only 4 wickets down. The unbeaten stand of 83 runs between Ashish Bagai (61 off 78) and Zubin Surkari (23 off 47) was enough for chasing down the target. Harvir Baidwan was declared the Man of the Match for taking 3 wickets for the Canadian side.
Ireland remained unbeaten in the tournament, when they beat hosts Netherlands at the VRA Ground, Amstelveen by 39 runs. The Irish side won the toss and elected to bat first. Their first 5 batsmen were back in the pavilion when there were just 57 runs on the board (in the 22nd over). A sixth wicket stand of 48 runs between Andrew White (23 off 46) and John Mooney (54 off 71) brought them back in the game. The Irish side was all out in the 49th over, gathering a total of 177 runs with a run-rate of 3.66 runs per over. Mark Jonkman and Bernard Loots took 3 wickets each for the home side.
The Dutch side, in reply to the 177 runs made by Ireland, kept losing their wickets at regular intervals. The Netherlands were 59 for 4 in the 12th over of the match. A 5th wicket stand between Bas Zuiderent (28 off 87) and Peter William Borren (47 off 53) added 73 runs to the total. Netherlands was in the driving seat by then, but 4 quick wickets by Paul Robert Stirling (in the 37th and 39th overs) changed the scenario for the home side, and Ireland won the match by 39 runs. Paul Stirling was awarded Man of the Match for his 33 runs and 4 wickets for his side.