T20 WC Qualifier-Wrap: Singapore Shock Scotland, On The Day Of The Opening > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - T20 WC Qualifier Wrap: Singapore shock Scotland on opening day
Pre-tournament favourites Scotland were ambushed by unfancied Singapore in the opening match of the T20 WC Qualifier, which kicked off on Friday (October 18) in the United Arab Emirates. The defending joint champions sank to a two-run defeat as Singapore captain Amjad Mahboob defended just eight runs in the final over to see his side to another remarkable upset victory. Later in the day Ireland cruised to an 8-wicket win in their opening game against Oman, and the Netherlands completed a comfortable if not entirely convincing win over Kenya in the afternoon, before belaguered hosts UAE were comprehensively beaten by an in-form Oman side.
Scotland vs Singapore
Singapore had laid down something of a marker ahead of the tournament with their first T20I win over a full member at the first attempt when they beat Zimbabwe during a preparatory series, but arguably their win over the Scots today was a still greater upset. Certainly it is the more significant, potentially the perfect start to a surprise run to a first ever World Cup at what is already only their first ever global qualifier.
Scotland had Singapore on the back foot early after sending them in to bat, with the prodigal paceman Josh Davey, back in Scotland colours after an absence of over two years, striking in his first over to remove opener Rohan Rangarajan and Safyaan Sharif cleaning up danger-man Tim David with his first ball, but Aritra Dutta stuck a counter-attacking 32 off 15 from number four whilst at the other end Surendran Chandramohan painstakingly played himself into fluency. His 55-ball 51 was flattered by late acceleration, but in the end together with Manpreet Singh, he provided the platform from which the lower order was able to belatedly launch.
Janka Prakash's 11-ball 20 was instrumental in the late surge as Singapore posted a competitive if still seemingly below-par 168-6. George Munsey looked set to make a mockery of any pretensions that total might have to defensibility as he set about Singapore's bowling in typically hurried style, racing to 46 off 24 before holing out off Sidhant Singh in the 8th over. At 70-1 and rolling along at almost ten an over the Scots still looked in control, but veteran spinner Selladore Vijayakumar would break the back of the chase as he claimed the wickets of Scotland skipper Kyle Coetzer in the 14th over followed by those of Richie Berrington and Matt Cross in the 16th.
Calum Macleod and Tom Sole fought back heading into the death overs, Sole compounding David's miserable day by sweeping him for consecutive fours in the ante penultimate over, only to be run out on the last ball of the same. With just eight needed off the final over, MacLeod nonetheless looked to have the game in hand, but Sharif took two balls to get Macleod on strike before the latter pulled Mahmood to deep midwicket where David held a sliding catch. Sharif caught by the same combination two balls later and Davey unable to find the rope to tie the game on the final ball, and a run-out with two completed would ensure Singapore start their Qualification campaign with a win over the favourites, whilst Scotland will need to rapidly regroup ahead of their match against Kenya on Saturday.
Brief scores: Singapore 168/6 in 20 overs (Surendran Chandramohan 51, Aritra Dutta 32; Josh Davey 2-26, Safyaan Sharif 2-28) beat Scotland 166/9 in 20 overs (George Munsey 46, Calum MacLeod 44; Selladore Vijayakumar 3-16, Sidhant Singh 2-27) by 2 runs.
Netherlands vs Kenya
Scotland's stumble will have been welcomed by their fellow defending champions, the Netherlands. The Dutch saw off Kenya by a comfortable margin of 30 runs in the afternoon Group A game without really banishing their pre-tournament batting concerns, nor looking the dominant force their roster suggests they should be. Choosing to bat after winning the toss, Toby Visee's brisk 20 off 9 from the top spot ensured the Dutch looked well-set after the powerplay on 61-1, but the momentum flagged as the field spread, and when Ben Cooper fell for 36 off 28 in the 13th over, a 6-over boundary-less stretch ensued, with two further wickets falling.
A useful cameo from skipper Pieter Seelaar at the death pushed the total to 166-4 by the break, but the Dutch will have gone in feeling they'd left runs on the field and would have to bowl well to avoid an upset against a Kenya side that, despite their horrendous recent record and constant off-field turmoil, was not hugely different to that which had brought the Dutch to their lowest ebb at the 2014 World Cup Qualifier.
In the event the seam attack bowled very well indeed, with just 30 runs coming in the powerplay at the cost of the wickets of both openers Alex Obanda and Dhiren Gondaria, pushing the required rate rapidly into double figures. Throughout the chase, the evergreen Collins Obuya, bugbear of 2014 for the surviving members of that Netherlands squad, played a defiant hand from number four, keeping the Kenyans in something approaching contention into the death. Yet with 45 needed of the final three overs, the advantage was always with the Dutch.
Obuya would fall on the third ball of the 18th as Fred Klaassen turned on a dime and covered half the distance back towards the boundary behind him to claim a superb catch off his own bowling to see the veteran depart for a 40-ball 63, and with him Kenya's hopes. Skipper Shem Ngoche would be caught two balls later and just eight more runs would come in the last two overs, Brandon Glover and Paul van Meekeren each finding the woodwork as the Dutch jumped to the top of the table.
Brief scores: Netherlands 166/4 (Max ODowd 53, Ben Cooper 36; Collins Obuya 3-16) beat Kenya 136/8 in 20 overs (Collins Obuya 63; Paul van Meekeren 3-27, Fred Klaassen 2-23) by 30 runs
Hong Kong vs Ireland
Meanwhile in Group A, Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie made light work of the 155-run total that a weakened Hong Kong side had fought bravely to put up. Vice-captain Kinchit Shah, who has shouldered an increasing share of responsibility in recent tours as Hong Kong continues to lose key players for one reason or another, again looked to thrive under the pressure as he struck an assured 79 off 53 from first drop. His was the only innings of real substance however, though young Haroon Arshad again performed creditably down the order, providing Hong Kong's second-best individual score of 20 as they posted a total of 153-5.
When Kevin O'Brien was run out without facing a ball on the final ball of the first over of the Irish reply, Hong Kong might have dared to hope it would be enough, but Stirling and Balbirnie rapidly dispersed that notion, adding 86 for the 2nd wicket at over nine an over before Stirling finally holed out off skipper Aizaz Khan for a 36- ball 62. By then the required rate was barely a run a ball and in company with Harry Tector, Balbinie guided his side home with 16 balls to spare, finishing unbeaten on 70 from 53.
Brief scores: Hong Kong 153/5 in 20 overs (Kinchit Shah 79; Mark Adair 2-22) lost to Ireland 155/2 in 17.2 overs (Andrew Balbirnie 70*, Paul Stirling 62) by eight wickets
UAE vs Oman
The day's final match, played under lights at Abu Dhabi, saw hosts UAE entirely outclassed by Oman, the "Red Brigade" living up to the pre-tournament hype as they held their hosts to just 108-9 after putting them in to bat, before Aaqib Ilyas marshalled a controlled if initially contested chase. New-ball pair of Bilal Khan and Fayyaz Butt restricted the scoring early, and the latter would kill off a late resurgence led by Mohammad Usman, who would top-score with 27 before falling to Butt in the 19th over.
Butt took three in four balls to ensure Oman retained the momentum going into the second innings. Again an early wicket would provide false hope, with Khawar Ali caught by UAE skipper Ahmed Raza off Junaid Siddique in the first over, but Ilyas would bat through the innings and Aamir Kallem's 19-ball 27 from number four injected urgency into the chase before he was caught off Raza in the 14th over. By then the chase was something of a foregone conclusion and Zeeshan Maqsood would seal the win with a six with ten balls to spare.
Brief scores: UAE 108/9 in 20 overs (Muhammad Usman 27; Fayyaz Butt 3-16, Bilal Khan 3-23) lost to Oman 109/3 in 18.2 overs (Aqib Ilyas 45*; Ahmed Raza 1-23) by seven wickets
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