18 July 2015
PREVIEW: PNG v Namibia the highlight on day of crucial Group A matches
Jersey faces Nepal and Hong Kong takes on USA in the other games in the group on Saturday
Namibia's Stephen Baard in action.
The 34th match of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 in Dublin on Saturday (July 18) involves two Group A sides that have had similar campaigns so far. While Nepal has won just one of its five matches, Jersey has one win from four games.
Jersey rode on great batting displays from Edward Farley and Peter Gough to begin the tournament with an impressive nine-wicket win over Hong Kong in its first ever ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier match, but has slumped to three heavy losses since – against Papua New Guinea, United States of America and Namibia.
With only two games left, it is extremely important for Jersey to win this contest to keep its slim chances of making the knockouts alive.
Jonty Jenner’s 52-ball 90 was the cornerstone of the 161 for 4 Jersey put up against Namibia after batting first. But barring Anthony Kay, who took 1 for 25 in three overs, none of its bowlers found success on Friday. It will require both its batsmen and bowlers to fire in unison against Nepal.
After losing to PNG on Friday, Nepal has just one win, one washout and three losses from five matches.
Its batting has struggled throughout the tournament, managing totals of 53 (against Ireland) 109 (against Hong Kong) and 93 (against PNG). While Sharad Vesawkar and Rajesh Pulami contributed against Hong Kong, none of the other Nepal batsmen have done much and it will need the likes of Sagar Pun, Subash Khakurel, Gyanendra Malla and Paras Khadka, the captain, to fire. Meanwhile, Basant Regmi and Sompal Kami have spearheaded Nepal’s bowling, with little support from any other bowler.
With just one match to go, Nepal’s chances of making to the knockouts look very bleak but with an improved all-round performance over Jersey it could cap off its league stage campaign with a much-needed win.
Jersey: Peter Gough (capt), Corey Bisson, Dom Blampied, Corne Bodenstein, Paul Connolly, Ed Farley, Anthony Kay, Jonty Jenner, Ben Kynman, Tommy Minty, Rhys Palmer, Chuggy Perchard, Callum Rabet, Ben Stevens, Nat Watkins.
Nepal: Paras Khadka (capt), Pradeep Airee, Binod Bhandari, Shakti Gauchan, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Subash Khakurel, Siddhant Lohani, Gyanendra Malla, Anil Mandal, Jitendra Mukhiya, Rajesh Pulami, Sagar Pun, Basant Regmi, Sharad Vesawkar.
Namibia v PNG
Table-topper Papua New Guinea takes on Namibia in the second Group A match of the day in Dublin.
PNG comes into this match on the back of a fantastic eight-wicket win over Nepal on Friday. The only unbeaten side left in the tournament, PNG must feel that with two group matches remaining, it is within touching distance of a historic first appearance at a major ICC tournament.
Assad Vala and Kila Pala have carried out the batting responsibilities nicely, while Willie Gavera, the right-arm pace bowler, has accounted for early wickets in each game.
Coach Dipak Patel was pleased and impressed with Nepal's performances so far in the tournament but was anxious not to allow his players get ahead of themselves. “We’re very happy to take every game as it comes – and it’s easier said than done – but this is a new area that these guys are going into now. They’ve never been in this position. It’s our job to make sure they keep their feet on the ground. We have a plan for our next game and that will be the key,” said the former New Zealand player.
On the other hand, Namibia is placed third on the points table, with two more matches to go.
After starting the tournament with a seven-wicket loss to Ireland, Namibia steadied its campaign with wins over USA and Jersey , and now has five points.
With a win in this game, Namibia can vault to the top spot in Group A but will be wary of an in-form PNG outfit.
Papua New Guinea: Jack Vare (capt), Charles Amini, Sese Bau, John Boge Reva, Mahuru Dai, Willie Gavera, Loa Nou, Kila Pala, Pipi Raho, Lega Siaka, Chad Soper, Tony Ura, Vani Vagi, Assad Vala, Norman Vanua.
Namibia: Nicholas Scholtz (capt), Stephen Baard, Sarel Burger, Christopher Coombe, Jason Davidson, Michiel du Preez, Gerhard Erasmus, Louis Klazinga, JP Kotze, Bernard Scholtz, JJ Smit, Christiaan Snyman, Gerrie Snyman, Raymond van Schoor, Craig Williams.
Hong Kong v USA
The third Group A match of the day involves two teams that have had contrasting campaigns so far. While Hong Kong has had a decent run with two wins, a washout and a loss from its four matches, USA has just one win from its four outings.
Hong Kong’s thrilling five-run win over Ireland, the defending champion, on Friday was particularly impressive. It gave the Tanwir Afzal-led Hong Kong every chance of progressing in the tournament.
Irfan Ahmed was the hero with the ball, taking 3 for 11 off four overs including the crucial wicket of Paul Stirling. With a stellar fielding display, Hong Kong held some tough catches and effected two sharp run outs to back up the bowlers brilliantly.
Although USA's first two losses came against heavyweights Nepal and Ireland, the third loss – against Namibia by seven wickets – was demoralising. But it bounced back to launch a spirited fightback against Jersey on Wednesday. In Bready, a solid bowling performance from USA bowled Jersey out for just 87 in 17.3 overs. Naseer Jamali (3 for 12), Hammad Shahzid (3 for 22) and Timil Patel (2 for 16) did all the damage.
In response, following a solid start where Akeem Dodson and Fahad Babar put on 60 for the first wicket, USA stuttered but eventually reached it’s target with five wickets and 4.2 overs to spare.
It will be interesting to see if USA manages to do a repeat and play party pooper to Hong Kong’s qualification plans.
Hong Kong: Tanwir Afzal (capt), Irfan Ahmed, Nadeem Ahmed, Haseeb Amjad, Jamie Atkinson, Waqas Barkat, Mark Chapman, Aizaz Khan, Anas Khan, Nizakat Khan, Giacomo Lamplough, Ehsan Nawaz, Babar Hayat, Anshuman Rath, Kinchit Shah.
USA: Muhammad Ghous (capt), Alex Amsterdam, Fahad Babar, Adil Bhatti, Akeem Dodson, Karan Ganesh, Naseer Jamali, Japen Patel, Mrunal Patel, Timil Patel, Hammad Shahid, Jasdeep Singh, Nicholas Stanford, Timothy Surujbally, Shiva Vashishat.