|World Cricket League Division 2: Dubai, April 2011|
UAE reaches WCL 2 Final
The hosts of Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (WCL Div. 2) continued its winning streak at the event today, when United Arab Emirates (UAE) defeated Uganda by eight wickets. It is the fourth victory of the tournament by the side and it means the team has cemented its place in the division and cannot be relegated. Meanwhile, Namibia beat Bermuda by 86 runs after a superior batting performance by the Africans and Division 3 promoted sides, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea (PNG) battled at the DSC Stadium, for PNG to come out victorious by 43 runs.
After its success against Bermuda yesterday, the Ugandans may have thought it could have continued its winning streak as it elected to bat having won the toss.
It was a decision that captain David Arinaitwe may have regretted after the side were bowled out for a meagre 86 runs. Arinaitwe proved to be the best batsman of the side with 20 runs to his name but the side simply crumbled to the UAE’s superior bowling attack.
Arthur Kyobe and Lawrence Sematimba both made just 14 runs each while the UAE’s bowlers continued to penetrate the Africans’ batting line up. Arshad Ali continued to impress claiming two wickets as did Mohammad Tauqir but it was spinner Ahmed Raza who had the best figures of the day with the 22-year-old claiming 4-17.
In reply the UAE team made light work of the Uganda bowlers, dropping just two wickets on the way reaching the total set, managing it in just 17.2 overs. Naeem Aslam and Amjad Ali got the side of to a good start before Aslam departed for 21. It was then up to Amjad, assisted by Shaiman Anwar and later Amjad Javed to knock off the remaining runs and secure the hosts a fourth victory in the event.
Man of the match Raza said: “This is the fourth time this wickets been played on and today it definitely helped me as a spinner. It’s a good wicket and I felt I needed to prove myself today after a comparatively poor performance yesterday against Hong Kong.
“I don’t think the conditions really helped Uganda and we felt coming into this game that we had the upper hand as we beat them in the warm-up fixture we played before the event started.
“Tomorrow we’re playing Bermuda and we can’t take the fixture lightly, even if we are guaranteed our place in this division now. Every team that’s here deserves to be Division 2 so we have to play them to win and hopefully we can remain unbeaten right through to the finals. We’d really like to face Namibia in the final and beat them, it would be a great way to end the tournament.”
At the second ground at the ICC Global Cricket Academy, Namibia got off to a fine start with opening batsman Ewald Steenkamp hitting seven boundaries and one six on his way to 87 runs. The dismissal of Steenkamp’s opening partner Andries Burger for a duck saw Sarel Burger stepping into the breach to help bring the total to 157 before departing for 59.
Captain Craig Williams once again showed his batting prowess scoring 74 runs in just 35 balls, including four boundaries and impressive seven sixes. Rodney Trott, Damali Bell and Dion Stovell were the pick of the Bermudian bowlers, dismissing the key wickets of Williams, Steenkamp and the two top order Burgers to name some of the trio’s haul of wickets.
Bermuda stuttered in its reply and matters weren’t help with the early departure of captain David Hemp and Fiqre Crockwell both for ducks. Stovell contributed a hard-fought 73 runs off 67 balls but he departed after being caught by Williams off the bowling of Louis van der Westhuizen.
Despite a spirited half-century by Lionel Cann and a valuable 29 runs added by Trott the side from the Americas fell short of the mark by some 86 runs. It was another good day for Namibian spinner van der Westhuizen who claimed four wickets for just 14 runs to claim Man of the Match, while Kola Burger also took a couple of key wickets in the afternoon sun.
Bermuda coach David Moore said: “Namibia is a very strong team, and we just didn’t play well enough today. We bowled well in the first two-thirds of the game – but we just lost it in the last. In terms of batting we set off like a house on fire with Stovell and Cann, but those boys should really be getting centuries.
“Our batting was very aggressive – we took the game to them and Namibia didn’t like that. They don’t like people bringing the game to them. Our bowling was disappointing, it began very well but we just lost it.”
“If we win tomorrow we have a very good chance of remaining in the division - even if other teams win as well. This last game will determine who gets the fourth spot, as us, Hong Kong and Uganda have all won one game thus far. Tomorrow is do or die as far as we’re concerned. Ours is a very good run rate so we’re in a good position.”
After its huge defeat at the hands of Namibia yesterday, PNG looked to turn its luck around playing its first game at DSC Stadium. Having won the toss and elected to bat, Tony Ura opened the batting line-up but having departed for a duck yesterday, the 21-year-old managed just nine runs today. Christopher Kent came out with the highest total of the day for the Papua New Guineans with a hard-fought 59 off 113 balls while Mahuru Dai added 43 to the total before being deemed leg-before off the bowling of Hong Kong captain Najeeb Amar.
Dai was not the only player to fall prey to Najeeb’s spin bowling skills – Kent, along with Jack Vare and captain Rarua Dikana all leaving the middle after facing the 39-year-old.
A re-shuffle of the Hong Kong batting line-up proved to be ineffective with only Nizakat Khan making a half-century for the team. Najeeb came into open the batting with a respectable 35 while Hussain Butt added 37 but the dismissal of Mark Chapman and Courtney Kruger by Hitolo Areni and Dai respectively proved key to the game.
Tight bowling by the Papua New Guineans, the side only gave away four extras in comparison to Hong Kong’s 16, helped the team to victory, with Dikana walking away with match figures of 3-31 and the man of the match award.
“It was really good to beat Hong Kong today, especially since we had lost to them in the final of Division 3 so all the boys are really happy about the win today.
“We knew by posting such a big total they would struggle to chase it down and the instruction to the bowlers was to bowl full and straight, which they did and credit it to them all, they followed instructions and it paid off.
“Thursday’s games are important for every team in this competition, we came here to play every game to the best of our abilities and Thursday will be no different to any of other days, we’ll go out and give it our all,” said Dikana.