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Scotland, Canada and UAE register comprehensive wins

Namibia beats Nepal and Hong Kong defeats Kenya in close encounters in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers warm-up matches

A fine bowling performance led by Safyaan Sharif and Rob Taylor, who picked up four wickets each, helped Scotland register a comfortable seven-wicket win over Papua New Guinea in the warm-up fixture of the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifier, played at the St. Andrew’s College Ground in Christchurch on Friday (January 10).

Put in to bat, PNG was shot down for just 171 in 47.2 overs, before Scotland chased down the target in 27.1 overs with seven wickets in hand.

PNG got off to a horrific start with a rush of top-order wickets, leaving the side struggling at 64 for 7 in 17.4 overs. Mahuru Dai and Chris Amini tried to rebuild with a 56-run eighth-wicket stand, the highest of the PNG innings, but with other batsmen failing to make an impact, the team folded for a paltry total.

Scotland’s chase got off to a steady start, with Calum MacLeod leading the charge in the 59-run first-wicket stand. Kyle Coetzer, who contributed with 17 runs, fell first to Raymond Haoda, in the 11th over. However, Matt Machan smashed a 45-ball 67, before falling to Vani Morea in the 25th over, and ensured Scotland surpassed the target with ease. MacLeod scored a 52-ball 57.

PNG will play Hong Kong on Saturday for another warm-up game before the tournament officially begins on January 13.

At the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, the United Arab Emirates sealed a comprehensive 73-run win over Uganda. After posting 280 for 8 in its 50 overs, UAE restricted Uganda to 207 for 5.

UAE was pegged back by a double blow early on, losing Chirag Suri (7) and Amjad Ali (3) with just 21 runs on the board in 9.4 overs.  However an 85-run third-wicket partnership between Salman Faris (47) and Khurram Khan (56) consolidated the innings. A 41-ball 59 from Shaiman Anwar and a 30-ball 48 from Rohan Mustafa helped the side get to a competitive total of 280.

Faruk Ochimi, the right-arm medium pacer, finished with figures of 2 for 37 from nine overs.

In its chase, Uganda lost Roger Mukasa, in the third over, for three. Abram Mutyagaba (48) added 40 runs for the second wicket with Hamza Saleh (22). However, the slow scoring rate meant Uganda could only manage 207 from its quota of 50 overs. Benjamin Musoke chipped in with a 71-ball 52. Amjad Javed, the medium pacer, picked up one wicket, giving away just 17 runs in his six overs.

At Burwood Park, Namibia defeated Nepal by four runs. Opting to bat first, Namibia posted 227 for 9 in 50 overs. Stephan Baard, who smashed a 67-ball 73, added 90 runs with Nicolaas Scholtz for the fourth wicket. Scholtz chipped in with a 110-ball 79. Sompal Kami, the right-arm medium pacer, picked up four wickets giving away just 36 runs in his ten overs.

In pursuit of the target, Nepal was reduced to 7 for 118, in 36.2 overs. However a 71-run eighth-wicket stand between Binod Bhandari and Basant Regmi saw it come back into the game. Louis Klazinga, the right-arm pacer, got Namibia the all-important breakthrough of Bhandari, in the 47th over, snatching victory from Nepal. Johannes Smit picked up three wickets giving away just 37 runs in his ten overs.

The Christ’s college ground witnessed another close encounter where Hong Kong trounced Kenya by two runs. 

Put in to bat, Hong Kong posted a total of 242, mainly due to the efforts of Mark Chapman, the left-handed batsman, who chipped in with an 89-ball 69, before he was bowled by Steve Tikolo in the 37th over, and Babar Hayat, who scored a 48-ball 46.

In reply, Kenya’s Irfan Karim hit a 164-ball 130, smashing nine fours and one six along the way. Kenya made a steady start with Karim and Alex Obanda, the openers, who put on 41 runs in 12.4 overs. However, twin strikes pegged them back when Obanda (12) and Morris Ouma, who could only manage eight runs, were dismissed in the space of 14 runs.

Rakep Patel then collaborated with Karim to string a partnership of 102 runs in 19 overs. Patel fell short of a half-century by just one run, scoring a 58-ball 49. Hong Kong bowlers prevented any lower order flourish, which meant Kenya could only manage 240 from their 50 overs. Irfan Ahmed picked up three wickets giving away 32 runs in his six overs.

In another warm-up enconter, Canada eased past Netherlands by 39 runs at the Bay Oval 2.

Opting to bat first, Ruvindu Gunasekera and Nitish Kumar, the openers, added 98 runs for the first-wicket, before Pieter Seelaar dismissed Gunasekera for 49. However, with seven batsmen failing to get into double figures, Canada could only manage 212 in 50 overs. Mudassar Bukhari was rewarded for his economical bowling as he picked up four wickets giving away 44 runs in his ten overs. Nitish Kumar smashed a 126-ball 107.

Chasing a modest total, Netherlands lost Eric Szwarczynski for a duck in the fifth over. Stephanus Myburgh chipped in with a 46-ball 40, but, with no significant partnerships flourishing, Netherlands could only manage 173 before being bowled out in 42.4 overs. Amarbir Hansra picked up three wickets giving away just 17 runs in his five overs.

The next round of warm-up matches will be played on Saturday (January 10).

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