- Nepal beat Kenya in last ball thriller; UAE ease to victory over Oman; Canada lose first match of the tournament as Namibia claims victory
- The top two teams from ICC World Cricket League Division 2 to travel to Zimbabwe
The battle for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 intensified as Nepal joined Canada at the top of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 table after defeating bottom-of-the-table Kenya by three wickets in a last-ball thriller at Wanderers.
In the day's other matches, table-toppers Canada lost their first match, losing to Namibia by 17 runs, whilst UAE kept their ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier chances alive by defeating Oman by 46 runs.
Kenya v Nepal
Kenya, batting first, put on 177 runs from their 50 overs. Karim (42) and Obanda (41, 46b, 5x4) were the standout performers for the African side. Collins Obuya (27) and Nelson Odhiambo (24 not out) chipped in with important runs to take Kenya to a defendable total. Sandeep Lamichhane continued to make headlines with figures of 5/20 from his 10 overs.
Nepal’s reply centred on the knocks of three batters: captain Paras Khadka (42), Aarif Sheikh (42) and Paudel (47); while for Kenya, Ringera was the pick of the bowlers, taking three wickets for 19 runs. At one stage Kenya looked to be favourites, but with the match coming down to the last ball, it was Nepal's Sompal Kami who was the hero, scoring the two runs needed to hand Nepal victory by three wickets.
Canada v Namibia
Canada lost their first match of the tournament, as the hosts secured a 17-run victory. Batting first, Namibia put in their best performance of World Cricket League Division 2 so far. Craig Williams' 82 (89b, 2x4, 4x6) and another important innings from Gerhard Erasmus, whose 66 occupied just 64 balls (3x4, 3x6), led the African side to one of the largest totals of the week as they finished up on 268/8 from their 50 overs. The Canadian bowling unit of Dhindsa, Dhaliwal and Nikhil Dutta chipped in with two wickets each.
With three wins under their belt, Canada would have been confident going into the chase. Ruvindra Gunasekera yet again put in a great batting performance, making 57 from 70 balls. Pathirana (47) and Dhaliwal (44) edged Canada up towards the run rate they needed to secure victory, but it was not enough as they ran out of overs, scoring 251/8 from their 50 overs, as Namibia won by 17 runs.
UAE v Oman
The UAE got their tournament back on track, comfortably defeating Oman by 46 runs. Ghulam Shabber (63) was the only UAE batsman to significantly contribute, while Oman’s Khawar Ali took three wickets for 15 runs. Rameez Shahzad (20) and Ahmed Raza (15) chipped in with useful runs to get UAE to a defendable total of 159 from 50 overs.
Oman’s reply started off well and it looked like they could be on their way to victory, but an outstanding bowling performance from the UAE’s Mohammed Naveed (3/8) ensured victory for the UAE. Jatinder Singh’s 51 was the only contribution for Oman, as the UAE ran out comfortable winners by 46 runs.
The second-round match between Namibia and Kenya will be played tomorrow (Tuesday) on the reserve day.
Scores in brief:
Nepal won by 3 wickets at Wanderers
Kenya 177/8, 50 overs (I Karim 42, A Obanda 41; Sandeep Lamichhane 5/20)
Nepal 178/7, 50 overs (R Paudel 47, Paras Khadka 42; E Ringera 3/19)
United Arab Emirates won by 46 runs at WAP
United Arab Emirates 159 all out, 46 overs (Ghulam Shabber 63, Rameez Shahzad 20; Khawar Ali 3/15)
Oman 113 all out, 36.5 overs (Jatinder Singh 51, Aqib Ilyas 20; Mohammed Naveed 3/8)
Namibia won by 17 runs at Trustco UNITED
Namibia 268/8, 50 overs (Craig Williams 82, Gerhard Erasmus 66; Nikhil Dutta 2/26)
Canada 251/8, 50 overs (Ruvindra Gunasekera 57, D Pathirana 47; J Smit 3/10)
13 February: Namibia v Kenya (Trustco UNITED)
14 February: Nepal v Canada (Wanderers); UAE v Namibia (WAP); Kenya v Oman (Trustco UNITED)
15 February: Final (Wanderers); 3rd v 4th Playoff (WAP); 5th v 6th Playoff (Trustco UNITED)