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06 July 201515:03

Looking Back: ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers 2008

Ireland, the Netherlands and Scotland went through in a bowler-dominated tournament to seal spots in the ICC World Twenty20 2009

Looking Back: ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers 2008 - Cricket News
In the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 that was held in South Africa in 2007, Kenya and Scotland qualified for the tournament, but on the basis of their performance in the ICC World Cricket League Division 1 in Nairobi, a 50-overs-a-side competition. So, for the next edition of the ICC World T20, in England in 2009, the ICC World T20 Qualifiers were introduced, and the event has remained on the calendar since, giving Associate members a pathway to being part of the main event alongside the Full Members.

Here’s a look at how the first edition of the qualifiers, held in Belfast in 2008, went:

Format
Six teams, divided into groups of three each, took part in a league, with the top two teams from each group making the semi-finals and then the winners facing off in the final. Games to determine the positions of the remaining teams were also played out.

Group Stages
Ireland, Scotland and Bermuda were in Group A, while Kenya, Netherlands and Canada made up Group B. Most of the matches turned out to be low-scoring affairs, with only the first of the games, between the Netherlands and Kenya, registering high totals. Kenya ended on 134 for 9 in response to the Netherlands’s 153 for 5. There were only three other totals of more than 100 in the group stages as the bowlers held sway.

In Group A, Ireland won both its games, beating Scotland by four runs, with one ball remaining, and Bermuda by an identical margin in a game with a Duckworth-Lewis revised target. Scotland joined Ireland in the knockouts after beating Bermuda by eight wickets.

In Group B, all three teams won a game apiece, but Canada missed the bus because of an inferior net run-rate to the others.

Knockouts/Playoffs
The first semi-final, between Ireland and Kenya, was a low-scoring game again, with the Irish medium pacers rolling the Kenyans over for just 67 in 17.2 overs. It wasn’t an easy chase for Ireland, though, as Kenya pushed it all the way to the last over before going down by four wickets.



In the second semi-final, Scotland rode on Kyle Coetzer’s 44-ball 40 to reach 107 for 8, competitive in the bowler-friendly conditions, but good hands from Eric Szwarczynski, Tom de Grooth and Ryan ten Doeschate gave the game to Netherlands, by five wickets.

Scotland got the better of Kenya in the playoff for the third spot, while Canada was better than Bermuda in the playoff for the fifth spot.

Finals
It was a disappointment as rain meant that the final, between Ireland and the Netherlands, didn’t see a ball being bowled. A result, of course, wouldn’t have made a difference to qualification for the World T20 – both Ireland and the Netherlands, as well as third-placed Scotland, went through.

Top 3 Individual Performances
Harvir Baidwan: 4-19 for Canada v Netherlands
It was a tournament dominated by bowlers, but the Netherlands, eventual finalist, was expected to get the better of Canada in its group game. Henry Osinde got the early breakthroughs, but it was Baidwan’s burst in the middle that made the difference, his spell helping bowl the opposition out for just 97 and paving the way for a four-wicket win.

Ryan ten Doeschate: 56 in 45 balls for Netherlands v Kenya
There were only two half-centuries scored in the entire tournament, and ten Doeschate’s stood out. It was the highest-scoring game of the tournament, made possible by his big hitting, one four and three sixes, against a competitive Kenyan attack. The allrounder’s 56 took Netherlands to 153 for 5, and ensured a 19-run win for his team.

Alex Cusack: 4-21 for Ireland v Scotland
Scotland is a strong team, and most would have expected it to score more than the 117 it eventually got against Ireland, a team it has faced plenty of times over the years. A higher total wasn’t possible because of Cusack’s burst, when he removed Colin Smith early on, and then got Gregor Maiden, John Blain and Gordon Drummond later. Just a few more runs, and one wonders what might have happened, because Ireland squeezed through to victory with just one ball remaining.




Top Three Matches
Ireland v Scotland – Group A
It was the closest of the games, going down to 39.5 overs before Ireland finished marginally ahead of Scotland. Opting to bat, Scotland struggled against Alex Cusack (4-21) and Andre Botha (3-18) to reach 117, but bar Botha, who scored a 34-ball 38, no Irish batsman found the going easy, forcing a nail-biting finish to the game, which went Ireland’s way by four wickets.

Canada v The Netherlands – Group B
This was about as exciting as a low-scoring Twenty20 game can be. The Netherlands, batting first, totalled 97, with Peter Borren top-scoring with an unbeaten 37 and Harvir Baidwan returning 4 for 19. The Netherlands then had four batsmen getting starts, and that was enough for it to inch ahead of Canada by four wickets with only three balls remaining.

Ireland v Kenya – First semi-final
Once upon a time, Kenya was the top dog among the Associate Members. This match, in many ways, symbolised the change of guard in that respect, with Ireland sealing a four-wicket win with five balls left in the game. All the Irish pacers were among the wickets as Kenya was bowled out for 67. It wasn’t about to give up though, and it took Ireland 19.1 overs before the winning runs were scored – a win by four wickets.

Top Three Batsmen
Ryan Watson (Scotland): Games 4, Runs 100, HS 54, Avg 25.00, SR 95.23
Kyle Coetzer (Scotland): Games 3, Runs 99, HS 48*, Avg 49.50, SR 90.82
Ryan ten Doeschate (Netherlands): Games 3, Runs 84, HS 56, Avg 42.00, SR 120.00

Top Three Bowlers
Johann Nel (Scotland): Games 4, Wickets 9, Best 3-10, Avg 6.66, ER 4.00
Harvir Baidwan (Canada): Games 3, Wickets 8, Best 4-19, Avg 5.25, ER 4.66
Andre Botha (Ireland): Games 4, Wickets 8, Best 3-18, Avg 5.25, ER 4.20