Ireland fell short by 18 runs despite their top five scoring 123
Geraint Jones (39), along with Mahuru Dai (20), put on 33 runs for the fifth wicket as PNG finished with 161 for 8. Kevin O’ Brien was the pick of the bowlers for Ireland with figures of 3 for 31.
In reply, Ireland got off to a steady start but lost both openers in quick succession. Brothers Niall and Kevin O’Brien put up 49 for the third wicket before Kevin fell to Amini. John Reva picked up three wickets, while Norman Vanua picked up two as Ireland fell short.
At the Sheikh Zayed Stadium Nursery 2 in Abu Dhabi, Nepal lost to the United States of America. Batting first, Nepal put up 129 for 7 with Gyanendra Malla (36) and Binod Bhandari (22) putting together 35 runs for the fourth wicket. Muhammad Ghous picked up two wickets for the USA.
Set a relatively easy target, USA rode home with five wickets in hand. After a steady start, USA lost both openers with 39 runs on the board. Elmore Hutchinson (33) was the highest scorer in the innings and after he was dismissed with the total on 96, Timroy Allen (32*) and Srini Santhanam (10*) took the team home without any further hiccups. Sagar Pun picked up two wickets for Nepal.
At Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Scotland eased its way to a nine-wicket victory over Namibia. Having opted to bat, Namibia lost Louis Petrus van der Westhuizen and Raymond van Schoor, with only eleven runs on the board. Christoffel Viljoen then added 55 runs with Craig Williams for the third wicket. However, the lack of any more significant partnerships and economical bowling from Neil Carter, the left-arm medium pacer, meant Namibia could only post 116 in its 20 overs. Carter picked up two wickets giving away just 23 runs in his four overs.
Chasing a modest total, Scotland lost Richie Berrington early. Calum McLeod (62) and Matt Machan (43) then added 109 runs for the second wicket to ensure no further damage was done as Scotland overhauled the target in the 13th over.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan beat Uganda by six wickets at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Batting first, Uganda’s batsmen failed to get going as only two of them registered double-digit scores. Astonishing figures of 3 for 6 from Mohammad Nabi, the Afghanistan captain, meant Uganda could only post 76 runs on the board.
Chasing a below-par total, Afghanistan was reduced to 40 for 4 after seven overs. But Gulbadin Naib chipped in with an unbeaten 25 and Nabi (13*) then carried Afghanistan home in the 13th over with six wickets in hand.
At ICC Academy Oval 2, Bermuda defeated Canada in a close encounter by three wickets. Opting to bat first, Canada scored 182 runs after Hiral Patel, the opening batsman, and Ashish Bagai, the captain, added 77 runs for the second wicket. Patel and Bagai scored 64 and 47 respectively.
In pursuit of the target, Bermuda was reduced to 46 for 3 in the seventh over. But Dion Stovell (55) collaborated with Janerio Tucker (42) for a 67-run stand in six overs to bring Bermuda back into the match. Tucker then added 36 runs in 3.2 overs with Allan Douglas before Bermuda snatched victory off the last ball.
At Sheikh Zayed Stadium Nursery 2, Kenya defeated Hong Kong by three wickets in another close encounter. Hong Kong was restricted to 99 in its 20 overs, as Steve Tikolo, the offspinner, picked up three wickets giving away 13 runs in his four overs.
Kenya was rattled early in its chase, as they lost Tikolo and Morris Ouma with just 26 runs on the board. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals but Irfan Karim’s run-a-ball 37 guided it to a win in the 20th over.
In another match, Netherlands eased its way to a six-wicket win over Italy in the ICC Academy Ground. Having won the toss, Italy scored 145 runs, mainly due to the efforts of Damian Crowley, who scored a 52-ball 70. Peter Petricola, who chipped in with 39, supported Crowley.
In reply to 146, Netherlands lost both its openers within two overs, with only ten runs on the board. However, Eric Szwarczynski and Peter Borren carried Netherlands home, contributing unbeaten 59 and 48 respectively. Crowley picked up two wickets in his three overs.
In another low-scoring encounter, United Arab Emirates thrashed Denmark by six wickets at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium. Opting to field first, UAE restricted Denmark to a paltry total of 90 in 20 overs. Lack of any significant individual scores and partnerships hampered Denmark’s progress. Kamran Mahmood scored 24 runs, while Amjad Javed, the right-arm medium pacer, finished with figures of 3 for 7 in his four overs.
UAE started briskly as the openers added 32 runs in 2.3 overs, before Aftab Ahmed, the right-arm medium pacer, dismissed Shaiman Anwar for 14. UAE chased down the target in the 13th over.