In this week's Global Game, Cyprus and Estonia made their maiden T20I appearance in a tri-series involving Isle of Man while the preparations for the First Round of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup kicked off in Oman.
Isle of Man this week returned to the cricket field in Cyprus, facing the hosts and Estonia in the Cyprus T20 Cup between the 6th and 8th of October in the town of Episkopi on the southern shore of the island. It was a successful trip for the Manx, who sailed through all four of their matches in the double round-robin undefeated. Cyprus and Estonia, meanwhile, got off the mark in T20Is, with both making their official debuts in the format with two matches on the 5th.
That day, Tuesday, saw Cyprus win both matches comfortably. In the morning game, seamer Tejwinder Singh scalped 3/11 in his 4 overs to restrict Estonia to 102/8, before skipper Michalis Kyriacou led the hosts to a 4-wicket win with 11 balls remaining as he anchored the chase with 44* (47). In the afternoon match, both teams lifted their batting efforts, with Estonia posting 130/6 before Cyprus thrashed their way to the target in 14.1 overs - Gurpratap Singh’s 54 (25) providing much of the impetus.
The tri-series began the next day on Wednesday, with Isle of Man claiming victory against both of the newcomers. In the morning game, it was a Burrows brothers double-act, with Joseph’s left-arm orthodox wrecking the hosts’ top order with 4/10, before George hit 33 (27) to carry the tourists past the Cyprus total of 92 with 8 wickets and 8 overs to spare.
The afternoon game was another successful chase for the Isle of Man, as seamer Conor Smith’s 3/15 kept Estonia to 118/7 from 20, then Carl Hartmann steered the response with 34* (28) to reach victory in the 16th over with 6 wickets to spare.
In the second day’s play on Thursday, Cyprus pushed Isle of Man close in a tense match. Led by Zeeshan Sarwar’s 46 (25), the hosts posted a competitive 149/7 in their allotment (Matthew Ansell’s 2/16 off 4 was the best of the Manx bowling efforts). The hosts struggled for penetration early, and with the score on 107/1 in the 12th over (opener Adam McAuley top-scored with 45 off 32), the result looked certain. But a collapse of 6/29 brought Cyprus back into the game, thanks to Gurpratap Singh and Waqar Ali taking 2/26 and 3/22 in their respective allotments. It was down to number six Edward Beard’s 14* (13) to guide the nervy chase home with just 3 balls to spare.
The afternoon game on was one-way traffic, however, with Cyprus thrashing Estonia by 79 runs. Roman Mazumder led the way with 53 (38), as the hosts racked up 187/8 in their 20 overs, before Waqar Ali’s 4/14 bundled out Estonia for just 108.
Friday’s morning game went much the same way, with Zeeshan Sarwar’s 61 (39) taking the hosts to 160/9 in their allotment; Timothy Filer was the only bowler with a measure of control as he took 3/18 in 4 overs. Estonia’s chase was a little better, as Habib Khan’s 50 (40) took them to 121/6, but they were never in contention.
The last match was a rout by the Isle of Man, ensuring that Estonia will have to wait for their first T20I victory. Young seamer Jacob Butler’s 4/12 led a dominant bowling display as Estonia were skittled for just 71, then the Manx batters polished off the target inside 9 overs with 8 wickets to spare.
Summer T20 Bash
In the Gulf, preparations are well underway for teams competing in the First Round of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which starts on the 17th. In Oman, the hosts faced off against Sri Lanka, while over in Dubai, the rest of the teams (aside from the Netherlands) joined up with the UAE for the Summer T20 Bash.
Oman played twice against Sri Lanka between October 7-9, and with a pair of losses, coach Duleep Mendis will have plenty to think about. On Thursday, they got off to an impressive start against Sri Lanka, with Kaleemullah and Fayyaz Butt making early inroads to have the Lankans wobbling at 21/3 and 51/4. But rapid half-centuries to Avishka Fernando (83* off 59) and Dasun Shanaka (51* off 24) took them to 162/4 in their 20. Oman’s top order sputtered to 23/4 in 5 overs, but the lower order fought back, led by Nadeem Khushi (40 off 22). However, the top order collapse had left too much to do and the hosts fell 19 runs short.
In the second match on Saturday, the batting showed some improvement, with Aqib Ilyas striking 59 (38) to lead Oman to 159/8, but Sri Lanka’s batting was again too strong, as the Omani bowlers leaked runs - Mohammad Nadeem’s 2/22 off 3 overs the only effort among six bowlers below 8 RPO as Sri Lanka cruised home with 5 wickets and 15 balls to spare.
Across the desert in Dubai, the Summer T20 Bash showed some creative thinking from the Associates involved, with a series of warmup matches packaged together and sold as a tournament to broadcasters. Hosted at the ICC Academy ground between the 5th and 10th of October, the UAE looked impressive despite not qualifying to the T20 World Cup, while Namibia won their four matches and Ireland showed cause for concern.
The 5th, Tuesday, saw victories to Scotland and Namibia, with the Scots carried by a blistering George Munsey knock (67 off 25) to gallop past Ireland’s 176 in the 18th over. Meanwhile, Namibia pushed to 159/8 courtesy of Craig Williams (57 off 37) against the UAE, before Jan Frylinck stole the limelight with 6/24 to restrict the hosts to 142/9 in their 20.
Wednesday’s only match was a blowout as Namibia piled on 249/3 against Papua New Guinea, with a century to skipper Gerhard Erasmus (129 off 60), and breakneck innings to David Wiese (66* off 32) and JJ Smit (42* off 14). PNG’s batting did fight in response, reaching 165/9 in their 20, but with Lega Siaka’s 33 (23) the top score nobody went on with their start.
Most fours in men's T20I cricket— Cricket Ireland (@cricketireland) October 10, 2021
1️⃣ Paul Stirling: 288
2️⃣ Virat Kohli: 285
3️⃣ Martin Guptill: 256
4️⃣ Rohit Sharma: 252
Congratulations, Stirlo! Another record broken 👏@ITWSports pic.twitter.com/ChHKsaxdDs
Thursday saw Ireland cruise to a comfortable victory, with UAE restricted to 123/7 thanks to Curtis Campher’s 3/19, before irrepressible opener Paul Stirling guided the chase with 53 (46) as Ireland got home in the 19th over with 7 wickets in hand.
In Friday’s doubleheader, the UAE took revenge in the morning game, with Chirag Suri’s 51 (44) leading them to 163/4 before young legspinner Palaniapan Meiyappan scalped 4/25 to bundle out the Irish for just 109. The afternoon game was a clinical win to Scotland, with George Munsey again in form. Opting to bat first, PNG posted a competitive 154/5 thanks to skipper Assad Vala’s 55 (43) and a sparky 38* (26) from Sese Bau down the order; legspinner Chris Greaves was impressive in his T20I debut for Scotland, his 1/17 in 4 making him the only Scottish bowler to go at under 7 per over. Munsey got the chase off to a rapid start, thumping 50 (33) before Richie Berrington’s 41* (28) finished the job inside 18 overs.
On Saturday, Berrington’s form continued against Namibia, as he struck 61 (46) to carry Scotland to 137/8 after early wickets to Ruben Trumpelmann (2/23 off 4) and JJ Smit (1/19 off 4). Namibia’s response was led by another half-century to Craig Williams (50 off 37), and despite Mark Watt’s left-arm orthodox tying them in knots during the middle overs (2/11 off 4), the Africans cruised home 5 wickets down in the 18th over.
Sunday’s double-header raised more questions for Ireland, as they were blown away by Muhammad Waseem in their third match against the UAE in the morning. Batting first, Ireland posted a middling 134/5 as crafty offspinner Rohan Mustafa grabbed 3/23 - though they will be encouraged by veteran opener Kevin O’Brien finding form with 54 (45). The UAE’s chase was all about Waseem though, as he slammed 107* (62) out of a team total of 139/3 in 16.1 overs, a remarkable 77% of the team’s runs.
Rounding out the series was another win for Namibia in the afternoon, as they reached 174/6 thanks to another half-century for Williams (57 off 43) and a late burst from JJ Smit (48 off 34). PNG’s response rode on a belligerent half-century to opener Tony Ura (69 off 43), but when he departed after 13 overs the chase fizzled and they fell 14 runs short.
Global Game is a collaboration between the ICC and Emerging Cricket.
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