Delany Derailed Oman As T20-Qualifier-heats-up > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - Delany derails Oman as T20 Qualifier heats up
And outstanding all-round display from Gareth Delany saw Ireland put an end to Oman's winning streak on day four of the T20 WC Qualifier, while hosts UAE recorded their second win as they handed Hong Kong their third consecutive defeat. Canada emerged victorious in the evening game to go top of Group A with two wins from two, while Nigeria are still looking for their first win.
In Group B Bermuda likewise remain winless after three games as they collapsed to their second sub-100 total of the tournament after Dhiren Gondaria's unbeaten 85 had set up Kenya's first win at the third attempt. This was after Scotland had held off Papua New Guinea in a last-ball thriller to pick up their second win.
Early favourites Scotland have yet to really hit their stride in the tournament, despite bouncing back from a shock opening loss to Singapore to comfortably best Kenya, and came perilously close to a second defeat as PNG restricted them to a sub-par 146-6 at ICC Academy 1 in Dubai. However, PNG fell just four runs short in the chase. Scotland skipper Kyle Coetzer toiled hard to put together a 47-ball 54 as the rest of the top-order struggled to get the Papuan bowlers away. Coetzer was the only top-five bat to manage a three figure strike rate , Norman Vanua and Asad Vala particularly economical with the ball, but a counter-attacking 23-ball 40 from keeper Matt Cross at six ensured Scotland would have something to bowl at.
The chase started with a sea-saw powerplay that begun with Asad Vala taking left-arm spinner Mark Watt for consecutive sixes in the opening over and ended with the same bowler completing a maiden over, with Vala already back in the shed. Lega Siaka pressed on with a brisk 31 before Watt returned to remove Charles Amini and Siaka in consecutive deliveries, the 13th over yielding two runs and as many wickets. Hamza Tahir bagged two in an over in the 15th to put the Scots on top as PNG needed exactly fifty from the last five with four wickets in hand. Vanua and Jason Kila looked set to take them home when they together took 17 runs off Sayaan Sharif in the penultimate over to leave Josh Davey with just eight to defend. But Davey removed both of them with the first two balls of the 20th, and last pair of Damien Ravu and Nosaina Pokana could manage only four off the last four balls as Scotland held on for the win.
In the afternoon Kenya lifted themselves from the bottom of the Group A table with their first victory, skittling Bermuda for just 93 after Dhiren Gondaria's composed, accelerating knock of 85 from 67 had seen Kenya to 138-4 from their 20 overs in the face of a much improved effort in the field from the Bermudans. That improvement was not matched with the bat, however. Okera Bascome was caught first ball chasing an Elijah Otiena bouncer, skipper Dion Stovell edged opposite number Shem Ngoche into his stumps on the last ball of the second, and Terryn Fray fell victim to a needless run-out a ball later as Bermuda fell flat out of the gate to 7-3. Delray Rawlins and Janiero Tucker looked to rebuild, their 58-run partnership providing the bulk of Bermuda's runs, but perished within four balls as Rawlins nicked Rakep Patel through to the 'keeper and Tucker was caught off Collins Obuya on the first ball of the 13th over. Obuya bagged four more wickets to finish with figures of 4-27 as the rest of the Bermuda tail all went for single figure scores, 45 runs the margin in the end.
Meanwhile, in Abu Dhabi, Ireland's young Delany eclipsed Gondaria's efforts. Deputising at number three for Andy Balbirnie, who had taken ill ahead of the match, Delany struck the highest individual score of the tournament so far with 89 not-out off just 49 balls to see Ireland post 183-3 against Oman at the Tolerance Oval, and taking two wickets in the Omani reply to see the Red Brigade sink to their first defeat of the tournament by a margin of 35 runs. Delany batted through the rest of the innings after joining Kevin O'Brien in the fifth over, coming to the crease when Paul Stirling was bowled by Mohammad Nadeem. O'Brien made 41 off 28, and in the process broke the record from most T20I sixes in a calendar year, before being cleaned up by Khawar Ali in the tenth over. Delaney then built partnerships with fellow comparative newcomers Harry Tector and Mark Adair, taking Ireland to their highest total of the tournament thus far and himself stranded just 11 runs short of a century.
He followed that up with the ball, his legspin claiming the crucial wickets of number 3 Aaqib Ilyas and Khawar Ali, whose 34-ball half-century was the best individual effort from an Omani batsman. The middle and lower order were able to provide neither permanence nor acceleration as they stumbled to 148-9 at the close.
Hosts UAE completed a comfortable win over the hapless Hong Kong even as the ACU's match-fixing investigation into Emirati cricket deprived them of another player, the ECB electing to provisionally suspend Ashfaq Ahmed ahead of the game despite no formal charges having been brought as yet. The Emiratis seemed unfazed in the field, however, as they held Hong Kong to just 116-7 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, before chasing at a canter to overhaul the target with almost five overs to spare. The Hong Kong top four all got starts but none were able to find any fluency in the face of a disciplined effort from the Emirati attack, who kept the scoring rate on or around a run a ball as the Hong Kong batsmen got in and got out - Nizakat Khan's 31 off 29 from the top being the eventual top score. Hopes of late acceleration were nipped in the bud as Zahoor Khan and the in-form Rohan Mustafa each took two wickets in the 19th and 20th overs to keep Hong Kong to just 116-7.
Young opener Chirag Suri struck an unbeaten 44 from 43 from the top of the order to marshal the chase in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. Number three Rameez Shahzad, coming in at three after the loss of Mustafa to up the run rate, scored a 37-ball 54 to ensure the hosts got home with time to spare, earning themselves a welcome net run rate boost that saw them briefly top the table before Canada took pole position with a win over Nigeria in the day's final match, with a game in hand over their nearest rivals.
Nigeria put up a promising show with the ball. An impressive effort from the attack which did not give away a single extra and produced plenty of chances meant that Canada lost regular wickets, albeit not as many as perhaps they should have. Nigeria let chances go in the field, and might have held Canada to something more chasable were it not for a missed run-out opportunity and three spilled catches, including a sitter at mid off that would have seen eventual top-scorer Nitish Kumar back to the pavilion early. As it was Kumar was able to take advantage of the reprieve to hit an unbeaten 56 off 36 with Hamza Tariq adding some late acceleration with 33 off 16 before being finally caught off the final ball of the innings as Canada finished on 159-7.
Eight an over was always likely to prove beyond Nigeria, whose obvious talent with ball in hand is not matched by their batting any more than by their fielding. And the early wickets of Daniel Ajeku and Adeleke Oyede which left Nigeria two down for just two runs in the second over will have settled any early Canadian nerves. Nonetheless Chimezie Onwuzulike and young Sulaimon Runsewe put on a defiant 57-run partnership for the third wicket, interrupted only by Runsewe's brief departure to answer nature's call, to take Nigeria to 59 at the half-way stage, when Rusewe holed out off Saad bin Zafar for 27 off 27 on the last ball of the tenth. The celebrations that ensued when skipper Navneet Dhaliwal clean bowled Onwuzulike for 39 in the 13th over suggested that up until then Canada at least believed the game was still alive, but the climbing asking rate and Nigeria's lack of batting depth would tell in the end, Sylvester Okpe's 12 off 19 from number 9 the only other two-figure contribution, as Nigeria finished on 109-8. The fifty-run margin of victory saw Canada to the top of the table with a game in hand.
A somewhat less intense schedule tomorrow sees just three matches lined up, with the Dutch returning to action to take on Singapore at Academy Ground 1, both sides currently undefeated and eying the top spot in Group A. Scotland will also be back in action when they take on Namibia at the same ground in the morning, with the Scots looking to reimpose themselves on the group while Namibia look to turn around a disastrous start to their campaign. Over in Abu Dhabi the sole Group A match in the agenda will see the hosts take on Jersey.
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