09 July 2015
PREVIEW: Canada takes on Kenya in first game
Beaten by Scotland in its opener, UAE will look to bounce back against formidable Afghanistan
Rizwan Cheema plays a shot.
Canada v Kenya
In the first Group B match on Day 2 of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier on Friday (July 10), Canada takes on Kenya in Myreside, Edinburgh.
In its first warm-up game, Canada made a competitive 146 all out mainly on the back of good knocks from Nitish Kumar (68) and Hiral Patel (44). Though it lost the match by eight wickets, Rizwan Cheema, who hammered a match-winning 98 off 36, led from the front in the next game to give the team a morale-boosting 74-run win just before the tournament over Namibia.
What will please the think-tank even more is the effort from the bowlers, who dismissed Namibia for just 75 with Saad Bin Zafar picking up four wickets and Cecil Pervez and Satsimranjit Dhindsa scalping two wickets each.
The team has a new leader in Cheema, who took over from Ashish Bagai recently. Canada has never made it to the ICC World Twenty20 and has just two wins from 11 games in this tournament. It will bank on the experience of Ruvindu Gunasekera, Nitish, Patel and Cheema to secure a passage to India.
Kenya, on the other hand, will have to regather focus soon after its warm-up matches were affected by rain. It lost the first game to Papua New Guinea by 10 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method while the second game, against the United States of America, was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
While rain robbed Kenya of crucial match practice, the team will take confidence from the fact that it has been a part of the World T20 in 2007 and this comes as a good chance to secure a berth for the tournament in India in 2016.
Canada: Rizwan Cheema (captain), Saad Bin Zafar, Khurram Chohan, Navneet Dhaliwal, Satsimranjit Dhindsa, Jeremy Gordon, Ruvindu Gunasekera, Amarbir Hansra, Shaheed Keshvani, Nitish Kumar, Hiral Patel*, Cecil Pervez, Junaid Siddiqui, Hamza Tariq, Srimantha Wijeyeratne.
Kenya: Rakep Patel (captain), Emmanuel Bundi, Narendra Kalyan, Irfan Karim, Karan Kaul, Lucas Ndandason, James Ngoche, Shem Ngoche, Collins Obuya, Eugene Ochieng, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Nelson Odhiambo, Elijah Otieno, Morris Ouma, Gurdeep Singh.
Afghanistan v UAE
The second game of group pits Afghanistan against the United Arab Emirates at Grange Cricket Club Ground in Edinburgh.
UAE suffered a heavy defeat against co-host Scotland, by nine wickets, and will look to bounce back for its first win. Apart from victory, the other thing on top of the UAE minds will be the net run rate, which at present is -5.550.
While points are going to be crucial for every team, they will have one eye on the net run rate to give themselves the best possible chance to qualify for the main event in 2016.
Led by Mohammad Tauqir, UAE will miss the experience of Khurram Khan, who ended his 14-year career soon after the conclusion of the ICC Intercontinental Cup last month. However, Khurram’s retirement provides the opportunity for some of the young guns to shine, and Tauqir can also bank of the experience of all-rounder Amjad Javed and batsman Shaiman Anwar. UAE’s attack is likely to be headed by pacers Mohammad Naveed and Manjula Guruge.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, will bank on wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad to repeat his heroics from the practice games. In the first warm-up match, Shahzad hammered a quickfire century to help the team register a 28-run win over Unicorn.
Afghanistan, which won the 2010 edition of this tournament, has a new leader in Asghar Stanikzai, who took over from Mohammad Nabi recently. The team will be aiming to build on the experience gained in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, and is one of the strong contenders to win this title.
Afghanistan: Asghar Stanikzai (captain), Javed Ahmadi, Aftab Alam, Mirwais Ashraf, Sharafudin Ashraf, Hamid Hassan, Nawroz Mangal, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Mohammad Shahzad, Samiullah Shenwari, Dawlat Zadran, Najib Zadran, Shapoor Zadran.
UAE: Mohamed Tauqir (capt), Fayyaz Ahmed, Amjad Ali, Saqib Ali, Umair Ali, Shaiman Anwar, Faizan Asif, Nasir Aziz, Manjula Guruge, Amjad Javed, Muhammad Naveed, Swapnil Patil, Ahmed Raza, Muhammad Shahzad, Abdul Shakoor.
According to the format of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015, the sides that top the two groups will automatically qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016, while the sides that finish second and third in each of the two groups will play cross-over matches with the two winners joining the table-toppers for the India tournament.
The losing sides of the two play-off matches will then play the fourth-placed sides from each of the two groups in cross-over matches with the winners completing the 16-team line-up for the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016.
The fifth-sixth and third-fourth position play-offs as well as the final will be played on the last three days of the tournament based on which these teams’ seeding/groupings for the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 will be confirmed.