29 July 2015
The Team of the Tournament
Preston Mommsen to captain a power-packed XI, Baard and Shahzad to open the innings, and a bowling attack featuring Mooney, Scholtz and Evans
Over 17 days, Scotland and Ireland played host to a feast of Twenty20 cricket. From Scotland’s brand of attacking cricket that saw it jointly lift the title with the Netherlands to numerous individual feats and surprise team performances, the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 was a tightly contested tournament that had it all.
Given that there were so many candidates for each position, picking a Tournament XI wasn’t an easy task. But having picked many brains and matched as many notes, we have here a team that could take on any Twenty20 side anywhere in the world.
1. Stephen Baard (Namibia)
Despite Namibia not being one of the top six teams to qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 2016 in India, Stephen Baard, its opening batsman, topped the list of highest run-getters of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier tournament with 309 runs from eight matches at an average of 51.50 and a strike-rate of 134.93. He had three fifties against his name and his 54-ball 87 against Papua New Guinea helped Namibia win the Group A clash by 49 runs in Dublin.
309 runs in eight innings at an average of 51.50 and a strike-rate of 134.93.
Highest score: 87
2. Mohammad Shahzad – Wicket-Keeper (Afghanistan)
Afghanistan rode on blistering knocks – 74 off 37 against UAE and 75 off 36 against Scotland – from Mohammad Shahzad in the first two matches to start the tournament on a high. Shahzad proved to be one of the most dangerous hitters of the tournament, holding together his team's batting and finishing with 199 runs, scored at an amazing strike-rate of 171.55, the highest for the tournament.
199 runs in four innings at an average of 28.42 and a strike-rate of 171.55.
Highest score: 75
3. Ben Cooper (Netherlands)
Ben Cooper was the most successful batsman for the Netherlands in its run to the final. His tally of 241 runs from eight matches meant he finished the tournament as the second-highest run-getter. But beyond the runs, it was his ability to lend stability to the middle-order that helped his team. Cooper's 59 off 24 balls – one of the two fifties he made in the tournament – against Kenya in a Group B clash to hand his side a four-wicket win underlined what he threat he could be.
241 runs in four innings at an average of 34.42 and a strike-rate of 129.56
Highest score: 59
4. Jatinder Singh (Oman)
Oman became the last team to seal a berth in the ICC World Twenty20 2016 by beating Namibia in the fourth Qualifying play-off at Malahide, and its success in the tournament was largely due to Jatinder Singh's heroics with the bat. The 26-year-old, in the seven matches he played, scored 213 runs – the third highest by any batsman in the tournament – at an average of 35.50 and a strike rate of 95.94. His unbeaten knock of 65 off 56 balls helped Oman register a famous six-wicket win over the Netherlands in Edinburgh.
213 runs in four innings at an average of 35.50 and a strike-rate of 95.94
Highest score: 65*
5. Preston Mommsen - Captain (Scotland)
Scotland’s captain fantastic had the team playing a brand of attacking cricket that won many plaudits. Apart from leading the side to the final, Mommsen also scored a crucial unbeaten 68 against the Netherlands and a 44 against Afghanistan – tall scores that couldn’t prevent defeat, but hugely helped the net run-rate that eventually helped Scotland finish top of Group B. He is the captain of the Tournament XI.
154 runs in four innings at an average of 77 and a strike-rate of 171.11
Highest score: 68*
6. Jonty Jenner (Jersey)
An explosive batsman, Jenner was the engine around which the Jersey batting line-up was built and a revelation in the tournament at just 17 years of age. His team finished sixth in Group A, but Jenner served up some breathtaking performances during the pool stages, none more so than the 52-ball unbeaten 90 against Namibia that helped him end as the fourth-highest run-getter in the tournament. Certainly has a bright future ahead of him
210 runs in six innings at an average of 52.50 and a strike-rate of 144.82
Highest score: 90*
7. Irfan Ahmed (Hong Kong)
Irfan's all-round heroics helped Hong Kong seal a spot in the ICC World Twenty20 2016. An opening batsman, his early performances were more impressive for his bowling, as he chipped away crucial wickets every game. But his batting capabilities were there for all to see in Hong Kong’s final Group A clash against Namibia as he scored a trailblazing 55-ball 98, just falling short of a century.
185 runs and 11 wickets in seven matches; batting average: 36.80, bowling average: 15.81; strike-rate 134.05; economy rate: 7.51
Highest score: 98
8. John Mooney (Ireland)
John Mooney ended the ICC Word Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 as the joint-highest wicket-taker with Alasdair Evans (Scotland) and Bernard Scholtz (Namibia), and played a big part in Ireland reaching the semi-final. He picked up 14 wickets from seven matches at an average of 10.14 and economy of 6.50. His best performance, a 3 for 20, came against Jersey where he helped Ireland bowl out the opposition for 122, setting up a comfortable seven-wicket victory. Of course handy with the bat as well, and despite only 4 innings in the tournament his strike rate of 188 was very impressive.
14 wickets from seven innings at an average of 10.14 and economy of 6.50.
Best figures: 3 for 20.
9. Timil Patel (United States of America)
USA’s strike bowler, Timil Patel, ended with ten wickets in six matches with a juicy economy of 6.31. His leg-spin which offered plenty of variation yielded at least a wicket in every game, and was at its most impressive in the Group A clash against the mighty Ireland, when he returned 3 for 13, including the prized scalps of William Porterfield and Kevin O’Brien.
10 wickets in six matches at an average of 14.10 and an economy rate of 6.31
Best figures: 3 for 13
10. Bernard Scholtz (Namibia)
The only spinner in the list of top five wicket-takers, Bernard Scholtz too picked up 14 wickets, at a better economy than Mooney's. His wickets came at an average of 11 and economy rate of just 5.70. His returns of 4 for 11 helped Namibia beat Papua New Guinea by 49 runs, but an equally impressive performance of 3 for 15 in the second Qualifying play-off ended in a losing cause against Netherlands.
14 wickets from seven innings at an average of 11 and economy rate of 5.70.
Best figures: 4 for 11
11. Alasdair Evans (Scotland)
Scotland's successful run in the tournament was also down to Alasdair Evans's bowling. The pacer, like Mooney and Scholtz, got 14 wickets. His wickets came from seven matches at an average of 12.50 and economy of 6.25. His best performance, however, came in a losing cause in the league stage. In a game where the Netherlands smashed 191 in 20 overs, Evans returned figures of 5 for 24. Unfortunately for him, he was on the losing side.
14 wickets from seven innings at an average of 12.50 and economy rate of 6.25.
Best figures: 5 for 24
12th man - Kevin O’Brien (Ireland)
Kevin O'Brien was by far the most economical bowler of the tournament for anyone who had picked up more than six wickets. He was the fourth-highest wicket-taker, picking up 12 wickets at an economy of 4.88 from seven matches. His best performance came against Nepal in the league stages where he returned figures of 4-0-8-3 to help bowl Nepal out for just 53. May have been a little disappointing with the bat but still had a strike rate of nearly 130 throughout the tournament.
77 runs from seven innings at an average of 11 but with a strike rate of 128, 12 wickets from seven innings at an average of 7.33 and economy of 4.88.
Best figures: 3 for 8