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Tuesday 20 March 2012,

(BNA)

Afghanistan reached Thursday's 1st Qualifying Final after topping Group A of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier UAE 2012 following its 15 runs victory over Bermuda at the ICC GCA Oval 1 on Tuesday.

Batting first, Afghanistan batsmen maintained their rich batting form when they helped the defending champion to 177 for five. In turn, Bermuda finished at 162 for seven after needing 38 runs off the last two overs and 32 runs off the final six deliveries.

The victory meant Afghanistan topped Group A with seven straight victories and in Thursday match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, which will start at 1400 (local time), it will go head to head with the side that finishes on top of Group B. Unbeaten Namibia and second-placed Ireland are in contention to win the Group but the situation will become clearer only after afternoon matches.

The side which will win the 1st Qualifying Final will become the first of the two sides to qualify for the tournament proper to be played in Sri Lanka from 18 September to 7 October.

The star of Afghanistan's victory was wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad who slammed three fours and five sixes in a 38-ball 64 not out. Asghar Stanikzai (26), Mohammad Nabi (22) and Karim Sadiq (22) were the other notable run-getters.

Shahzad, together with Nabi, put on 56 runs for the fourth wicket before he was involved in an unfinished 47-run sixth wicket partnership with Gulbodin Naib who smashed three sixes and a four in an eight-ball 26 not out.

In turn, Bermuda finished at 162 for seven after Janeiro Tucker belted four straight sixes off Samiullah Shenwari in an electrifying 16-ball 37. Fiqre Crockwell was the other notable batsman with 34 off 40 balls with three fours.

Aftab Alam was Afghanistan's most successful bowler with three for 23.

Shahzad later said: "I'm very happy, my team is happy, because we are qualifying for the next stage.

"We want to qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 2012, because the players have worked very hard together, and the trainers, coaches, physios and everybody involved is working very hard to do well."

A delighted Afghanistan coach Kabir Khan said: "I think winning today was very important for us. We wanted to finish at the top. We wanted to keep our morale high as well. In this sort of cricket, if anything goes wrong, the morale of the team deteriorates to be honest, it just goes down very quickly, and we didn't want to do that.

"We dropped a few of our top players to give them a bit of rest and we gave the chance to new bowlers and new boys from our side. They performed really well and it shows how strong the bench is.

"Our next opponent is going to be decided today. No matter who comes in there, this is our final and we have to play it as a final, and we don't mind who it is.

"The weather conditions aren't really easy. It's quite unpredictable. It's been cold too. But it suited us because we've come from Kabul where it has been snowing. I hope it stays the same."

Scores in brief

Afghanistan beats Bermuda by 15 runs at ICC GCA Oval 1, Dubai Sports City, Dubai

Afghanistan 177-5, 20 overs (Mohammad Shahzad 64, Gulbodin Naib 26 not out, Asghar Stanikzai 26, Mohammad Nabi 22, Karim Sadiq 22; Curt Stovell 2-38)

Bermuda162-7, 20 overs (Janeiro Tucker 37, Fiqre Crockwell 34, Aftab Alam 3-23)

Man of the match Mohammad Shahzad (Afghanistan)


 

 

Sunday 18 February 2012,

 

Afghanistan and Namibia extended their unbeaten run in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier UAE 2012 to five matches after they won their respective matches on Sunday.

Afghanistan defeated Canada by 41 runs in a Twenty20 International at the ICC Global Cricket Academy Oval 1, Dubai Sports City, to stay on top of Group A while Namibia defeated Kenya by seven wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah to continue to head Group B.

In other crucial matches of day six of the tournament, the Netherlands made short work of Papua New Guinea (PNG) by nine wickets to record its fourth win and Nepal beat Bermuda by 24 runs for its third win in Group A, while in Group B, Ireland had the better of its traditional rival Scotland by 17 runs in a Twenty20 International which gave William Porterfield's side a fourth win while Italy was back in contention with a 13 runs victory over Uganda, its third win.

The two sides that will top their respective groups will feature in the 1st Qualifying Final at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on 22 March with the winner sealing a place for the Sri Lanka tournament to be staged from 18 September to 7 October.

The sides that finish second and third in the two groups will play cross-over matches. The two winners will progress to the Preliminary Final to be played on 23 March at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The 2nd Qualifying Final - for the second spot in the ICC World Twenty20 2012 - will take place on the morning of 24 March at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium between the loser of the 1st Qualifying Final and the winner of the Preliminary Final.

The two qualifiers will then lock horns in the tournament finale on the final evening and the side that wins the match will not only lift the trophy but will also join Australia and the West Indies in Group B. The losing team will complete Group A which also includes defending champion England and 2007 winner India.

Day six produced some outstanding individual performances.

Irfan Ahmed struck 10 fours and two sixes in a 60-ball 91 and Kinchit Shah took four for 21 in Hong Kong's 35 runs victory over Denmark, Tony Ura (70) of PNG was upstaged by an all-round performance by the Netherlands' Michael Swart (two for 20 and 59 not out) and Stephan Myburgh (52), Nepal captain Paras Khadka stroked a 48-ball 65 in his side's victory over Bermuda despite Curt Stovell's impressive figures of 4-0-25-4, Ed Joyce's superb 78 not out for Ireland and equally good 62 by Kyle Coetzer for Scotland, Namibia's Louis Klazinga's spell of 3-0-9-4 which doomed Kenya, the USA's captain Sushil Nadkarni's 59 which earned his side its first win in the tournament and Italy fast bowler Gareth Berg's figures of 3.4-0-20-4 which earned the European side a 13 runs victory over Uganda.

However, Afghanistan's Samiullah Shenwari's performance stood out as the all-rounder first scored 61 off 34 balls with six fours and three sixes in his side's 174 for eight. He then returned figures of 4-0-14-4 as Canada was restricted to 133 for nine.

Shenwari, adjudged man of the match, later said: "I am grateful that I was given a chance to bat higher up the order. I am very happy to take four wickets and score 61 runs. We are all feeling very confident and I am hoping we will have six wins from six and then seven wins from seven.

"It is up to the players to keep working hard and concentrate on the cricket. We are very happy to have Kabir back coaching us and things are going well."

In the Namibia-Kenya match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Namibia's Louis Klazinga took four for nine as Kenya lost its last nine wickets for 24 runs to be bowled out for 108 in 18.4 overs. In its reply, Namibia chased down the target with 21 balls and seven wickets to spare with Raymond van Schoor returning undefeated on 49.

Klazinga, who was declared man of the match, later said: "We started off slowly by conceding a few boundaries. It was difficult to bowl seam up. But we summed up the conditions very quickly. Luckily, it worked well for us.
"I am very happy with the show. It was a good all-round performance by us. To pull it back from the position they were in at 84-1 was great for us. We batted very well and knocked off the runs pretty easily. The morale in the camp is very good. We are taking it as it comes and it has been going good for us."

In a match between the arch rivals, Ireland prevailed over Scotland by 17 runs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Ed Joyce clubbed the last two deliveries of Ireland's innings for maximum to lift his side to 159 for five. In turn, Scotland finished at 142 for seven, despite Kyle Coetzer's 62 off 52 balls.

Joyce, who struck six four and three sixes, later said: "We knew 160 would be a par score on a wicket which was good to bat on. So, I am really delighted that I able to hit the sixes which took us to that total which we thought we could defend.

"It was also good to hit sixes off the final two deliveries as twenty20 format is not my strength unlike the 50-over or four-day format. But I think I am playing well and hitting the ball nicely which is good as we approach a very crucial stage of the tournament."

At the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Nepal captain Paras Khadka hit an unbeaten 65 and claimed one for 31 to help his side score 24 runs victory over Bermuda.

He later said: "Bermuda didn't play that badly against us but they were always going to struggle to chase down 150 against our bowling. It was a good effort by our bowlers but maybe we could have improved a bit, but that's always the case in any game."


Scores in brief

Group A

Afghanistan beats Canada by 41 runs at ICC GCA Oval 1, Dubai Sports City

Afghanistan 174-8, 20 overs (Samiullah Shenwari 61, Karim Sadiq 36, Mohammad Shahzad 27; Zahid Hussain 3-16, Harvir Baidwan 2-49)

Canada 133-9, 20 overs (Nitish Kumar 38, Samiullah Shenwari 4-14, Dawlat Zadran 2-23)

Man of the match: Samiullah Shenwari (Afghanistan)

Hong Kong beats Denmark by 35 runs at ICC GCA Oval 1, Dubai Sports City

Hong Kong 170-5, 20 overs (Irfan Ahmed 91, James Atkinson 31, Babar Hayat 28; Bobby Chawla 3-19)

Denmark 135-9, 20 overs (Aftab Ahmed 39, Frederik Klokker 27, Kamran Mahmood 25; Kinchit Shah 4-21, Munir Dar 2-18)

Man of the match: Irfan Ahmed (Hong Kong)

Netherlands beats PNG by nine wickets at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

PNG 140-7, 20 overs (Tony Ura 70, Chris Amini 44; Peter Borren 3-24, Michael Swart 2-20)

Netherlands 141-1, 16.1 overs (Michael Swart 59 not out, Stephan Myburgh 52)

Man of the match: Michael Swart (Netherlands)

Nepal beats Bermuda by 24 runs at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

Nepal 151-6, 20 overs (Paras Khadka 65 not out, Sharad Vesawkar 44; Curt Stovell 4-25, Josclyn Pitcher2-29)

Bermuda 127-5, 20 overs (Janeiro Tucker 32, David Hemp 26; Shakti Gauchan 3-17)

Man of the match: Paras Khadka (Nepal)

Group B

Ireland beats Scotland by 17 runs at Dubai International Stadium, Dubai Sports City

Ireland 159-5, 20 over (Ed Joyce 78 not out, Gary Wilson 26, Alex Cusack 22; Majid Haq 2-18)

Scotland 142-7, 20 overs (Kyle Coetzer , Fraser Watts 33; Kevin O'Brien 3-34, Trent Johnston 2-23)

Man of the match: Ed Joyce (Ireland)

Namibia beats Kenya by seven wickets at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Kenya 108 all out, 18.4 overs (Duncan Allan 40, Collins Obuya 31; Louis Klazinga 4-9, Christoffel Viljoen 2-5)

Namibia 109-3, 16.3 overs (Raymond van Schoor 49 not out, Gerrie Snyman 22)

Man of the match: Louis Klazinga (Namibia)

USA beats Oman by 30 runs Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai Sports City

USA 141-7, 20 overs (Sushil Nadkarni 59, Abhimanyu Rajp 20; Zeeshan Siddiqui 2-19)

Oman 111-7, 20 overs (Vaibhav Wategaonkar 30, Adnan Ilyas 24; Japen Patil 3-29, Abhimanyu Rajp 2-23)

Man of the match: Usman Shuja (USA)

Italy beats Uganda by 13 runs at Sharjah Cricket Stadum, Sharjah

Italy 131-7, 20 overs (Damian Crowley 44, Carl Sandri 26, Andrew Northcote 23; Jonathan Sebanja 2-14, Deusdedit Muhumuza 2-19)

Uganda 118 all out, 19.4 overs (Charles Waiswa 25 not out, Deusdedit Muhumuza 24; Gareth Berg 4-20)

Man of the match: Gareth Berg (Italy)

 

Teams

Mat

Won

Lost

Tied

N/R

Pts

Net RR

Afghanistan

5

5

0

0

0

10

1.764

Netherlands

5

4

1

0

0

8

1.008

Canada

5

3

2

0

0

6

0.396

Nepal

5

3

2

0

0

6

0.328

PNG

5

2

3

0

0

4

-0.005

Hong Kong

5

2

3

0

0

4

-0.196

Denmark

5

1

4

0

0

2

-2.101

Bermuda

5

0

5

0

0

0

-1.292

GroupB

 

Teams

Mat

Won

Lost

Tied

N/R

Pts

NetRR

Namibia

5

5

0

0

0

10

1.032

Ireland

5

4

1

0

0

8

1.793

Italy

5

3

2

0

0

6

0.405

Scotland

5

3

2

0

0

6

0.34

Uganda

5

2

3

0

0

4

-0.362

Kenya

5

2

3

0

0

4

-0.897

USA

5

1

4

0

0

2

-0.648

Oman

5

0

5

0

0

0

-1.731




Monday's schedule

Netherlands v Nepal (1000-1300), Global Cricket Academy No.1, Dubai Sports City

Scotland v Italy (1000-1300), Global Cricket Academy No.2, Dubai Sports City

Kenya v USA (1000-1300), Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Afghanistan v Hong Kong (1000-1300), Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

PNG v Bermuda (1400-1700), Global Cricket Academy No.1, Dubai Sports City

Ireland v Uganda (1400-1700), Global Cricket Academy No.2, Dubai Sports City

Canada v Denmark (1400-1700), Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Namibia v Oman (1400-1700), Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

 

Friday 16 March 2012,

(BNA) Kabul
Defending champion Afghanistan rode on an excellent all-round performance by Karim Sadiq to sink Denmark by 89 runs at Sharjah while Raymond van Schoor stroked a fine 79 as Namibia overpowered a spirited United States of America (USA) by 17 runs at the ICC Global Cricket Academy, Oval 2, Dubai Sports City.

In the other matches of the day, Canada routed Hong Kong by eight wickets, Kenya beat Oman by 35 runs and Papua New Guinea defeated Nepal by 35 runs (all in Group A) while Ireland defeated Italy by two wickets, Scotland beat Uganda by 34 runs and the Netherlands held its nerves to overcome Bermuda by four runs (all in Group B).

After three rounds, Afghanistan leads Group A with three wins each from as many matches while the Netherlands, Canada and 16th seed Nepal have two wins from three matches.

The position in Group B is, however, very exciting with Namibia leading the pack, followed by a four-way tie for the second place between Italy, Uganda, Ireland and Scotland.

All the 16 teams are currently targeting a place in the top three of each group which will keep their chances of qualifying for this September's ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012 alive.

The two sides that will top their respective groups will feature in the 1st Qualifying Final at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on 22 March with the winner sealing a place for the Sri Lanka tournament to be staged from 18 September to 7 October.

The sides that finish second and third in the two groups will play cross-over matches. The two winners will progress to the Preliminary Final to be played on 23 March at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The 2nd Qualifying Final - for the second spot in the ICC World Twenty20 2012 - will take place on the morning of 24 March at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium between the loser of the 1st Qualifying Final and the winner of the Preliminary Final.

Reverting to the third day's proceedings, Afghanistan opener Karim Sadiq turned in a fine all-round performance (91 and four for 12) to steal the show in his side's 89 runs win over Denmark at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Sadiq, whose 91 came off 60 balls and included nine fours and five sixes, later said: "This was my best day in Twenty20 cricket. I love to entertain and so I love Twenty20 cricket. I am glad that I could contribute to the team's win today. We are looking good and want to keep up the winning momentum."

At the ICC Global Cricket Academy in Dubai Sports City, Namibia defeated the United States of America (USA) by 17 runs. Opener Raymond van Schoor struck a fine 79 and former captain Craig Williams chipped in with 41 as Namibia posted 177 for four. In turn, the USA fought gallantly before finishing at 160 for seven.

A delighted Namibia captain Sarel Berger said: "Obviously, it is great position to be in. We won all our three matches, including two against the more dangerous and experienced sides like Ireland and Scotland, which is something we were hoping for."

Man of the match van Schoor slapped 11 fours in a 55-ball 79 and after putting on 49 runs for the first wicket with Gerrie Snyman (29), he added 56 runs for the third wicket with Williams whose 41 came off 26 balls and included two fours and three sixes.

In turn, the USA showed a lot of grit and fight but ended up 17 runs short at 160 for eight with Aditya Mishra and Orlando Baker scoring 53 and 38, respectively.

At Abu Dhabi, Ireland claimed a tight victory by two wickets over Italy. The Italians were lucky to make 100 in their 20 overs after captain Alessandro Bonora hit two sixes on his way to making 20 to ensure the side reached triple figures for the innings. Michael di Venuto scored 23 off 44 balls.

In its chase, Gary Wilson proved to be the batsman of note for Ireland after the 26-year-old right-hander hit 30 not out to guide the team home after the top order failed against strong Italian bowling led by Damian Crowley.

Wilson later said: "I think some big lessons need to be learnt from this game but that being said I'm still delighted that we've secured a win after our disappointment against Namibia. I'm not sure we were complacent against Italy that certainly wasn't the case in the dressing room."

 

Friday 16 March 2012,

(BNA) DHAKA: Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets on Thursday to virtually book their place in the final of the Asia Cup one-day tournament here at the Shere Bangla National Stadium on Saturday.

Chasing 189, Pakistan made a disastrous start losing three early wickets for 33 but captain Misbah-ul-Haq and young Umar Akmal came to rescue and steered their team to a comfortable victory in 39.5 overs.

This was Pakistan’s second successive win after a 21-run victory over Bangladesh on March 13. Now, Pakistan will face India in their last league match on March 18.

Both hit half-centuries, 19th for Misbah and 14th for Umar in one-day international cricket.

They were involved in an impressive fourth wicket partnership of 152 runs which was Pakistan’s second century stand for any wicket in this tournament.

Misbah remained not out on 72, scored off 93 balls with a six and nine fours while Umar hammered 77 from 72 balls with two sixes and seven boundaries.

For Sri Lanka, paceman Suranga Lakmal claimed two wickets for 37.

Earlier, the defending champions were bowled out for 188 runs in 45.4 overs after captain Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and decided to bat first.

Kumar Sangakkara (71) and Upul Tharanga (57) hit half-centuries while only openers Jayawardene (12) and Tillekaratne Dilshan (20) were the only other batsmen to get into double figures.

Paceman Aizaz Cheema was the most successful bowler with four wickets for 43 runs and later won the man-of-the-match award while off-break bowler Saeed Ajmal captured three for 27 and pacer Umar Gul two for 20.

Umar Gul also completed his 150 ODI wickets – the tenth Pakistani bowler to reach this milestone.

Sri Lanka were well-placed at 161-4 following a 96-run fifth wicket stand between former skipper Sangakkara before losing their last six wickets for 27 runs.

Saeed Ajmal started the slide when he bowled Tharanga and then removed Farveez Maharoof and last-man Suranga Lakmal.

Cheema, who conceded 21 runs in his first two overs, came back strongly to dismiss openers Mahela Jayawardene (12) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (20) in quick succession before removing Sangakkara and Lasith Malinga.

The Pakistani bowlers were backed by their fielders, with Younis Khan taking a superb catch to his left in the slips to account for Dinesh Chandimal off Gul.

Sri Lanka raced to 33 in the opening five overs before they were reduced to 65-4, with Cheema taking two wickets and Gul and Hammad Azam one apiece.