|World Cricket League Division 7: Botswana, May 2011|
Disappointing day for Europe at WCL Division 7
Botswana bounced back from yesterday’s defeat at Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 7 (WCL Div. 7) to beat Japan by eight wickets at Botswana Cricket Association Oval 1.
Meanwhile, Norway showed Kuwait that it is not a side to be taken lightly when it posted the biggest total of the day but the Division 8 qualifiers responded with a fine batting display to beat the Europeans by seven wickets. At Lobatse, Nigeria defeated Germany by two wickets to continue its winning start to the tournament.
After a disappointing loss to Kuwait yesterday, the hosts were hoping for a better all-round performance by the side today against Japan.
On a blustery day in Gaborone, Botswana won the toss and Akram Chand made what proved to be the right decision by the hosts to field.
The Japanese side were unable to handle the fast pace bowling of Omar Ali while a couple of mix-ups between the batsmen saw two run-outs in the Asian side today.
Gavin Beath was the first to fall after miscommunication between the openers saw Aslam Chand run the 32-year-old out for 16 and not long after Omar picked up two quick wickets dismissing Tatsuro Chino and captain Masaomi Kobayashi.
Aslam then combined with his brother, captain Akram, to dismiss Ko Irie for just nine runs before Karabo Modise got to work with the middle and lower order of the Japanese side.
Modise’s spin bowling proved key for the hosts with the 22-year-old snaffling four wickets for just nine runs and helping to skittle the whole Japanese team for just 84 runs.
Modise admitted it was a good game for the hosts but the Japanese did offer some challenges.
“We started the game today with a more positive attitude and went out there much more as a team today. I also think winning the toss was important here as defending the total on this surface is hard to do.
“This track does turn a bit for us and for me I was lucky today that it worked out well for us. I think we were lucky to get the left-hander Patrick Giles-Jones out early as it helped us but I have to say Japan did work hard today especially with their bowling in the second innings,” said Modise.
The hosts knocked off the runs at a slow pace losing Faisal Rana and Noor Ahmad in the process but the opening duo had already contributed 26 and 22 runs respectively towards the total before they departed – Faisal being dismissed after being caught and bowled by Naotsune Miyaji.
Denzil Sequeira worked the final runs out for the side to reach its target, finishing proceedings with a six to seal victory by eight wickets as the sunshine began to break through the clouds.
At BCA Oval 2, Norway made amends for a poor batting display yesterday against Nigeria by smashing its way to 246-7 in its 50 overs to post a good target for Kuwait to chase down.
Captain Damien Shortis was off the field injured so Iram Dawood took control of the side as it faced up to the bowling of Kuwait’s Mohammad Murad for the first time. It was not a pleasant introduction for the Norwegians with the left-arm fast bowler ripping his way through the top order under the grey skies of Gaborone.
Murad dismissed Shehraz Khalid, Shahid Mahmood, Adeel Ibrar and Shahid Ahmed to leave the European side reeling at 4-57 and had it not been for the stabilising influence of Ehetsham-ul-Haq and Shahbaz Butt the side would have been in trouble.
The duo added 155 for the fifth wicket before Ehetsham-ul-Haq departed off the bowling of the ever present 21-year-old Murad. Once again Kuwait’s bowlers gave away numerous extras, this time 48, to add to the Norwegian total – something captain Hisham Mirza had stated yesterday he wanted the side to not do today.
As the side returned to the field after lunch, Norway worked hard with the ball with Dawood leading from the front dismissing Irfan Bhatti and Abid Mushtaq but not before the former had amassed 64 runs off the total.
After the departure of Saad Qamar for just four runs, it fell to wicketkeeper-batsman Sabtain Raza and captain Mirza to guide the side to victory as the winds picked up across the pitch.
Kuwait coach Basil Jayawardena said: “I think we did underestimate the batting quality of the Norwegian side especially when the posted such a high total on the board. We decided that in response we would drop our top performing batsman to five in case we needed him to later in the game to bat out the innings.
“The Norwegian bowling wasn’t as strong as its batting which worked out well in our favour to help us win the game. I was particularly pleased with Mohammad Murad and his fast bowling, he’s been working really hard and his performance helps to illustrate how much we deserve to be here.”
Finally at Lobatse, Germany took on Nigeria with both sides keen to build on its victories from the previous day’s matches.
Milan Fernando once again led from the from front for the German side, striking a 130-ball 82 with six boundaries and two sixes and proved to be the only batsman to really contribute for the side.
None of the other batsmen in the side managed to really contribute with the top scorer after Fernando being Kashif Haider with 13. Nigeria’s bowlers shared the spoils when it came to taking wickets with Endurance Ofem, Sean Philips and Joshua Ogunlola claiming two-a-piece.
In reply, Nigeria took its time in chasing the target with Philips proving the cornerstone performance of the innings helped by contributions from Ademola Onikoyi and Joshua Ogunlola.
Germany’s Rana-Javed Iqbal once again was the pick of the German bowling attack claiming 3-32 while Ehsan Latif provided assistance in claiming two wickets but Nigeria’s grit showed through with the team reaching the target with two wickets in hand and 32 balls remaining.
Man of the match Philips said: “I’m obviously really happy that we’ve scored another victory today but we can’t rest on it. As someone who is both player and coach of the side I feel we lost too many wickets when it came to chasing down a small target and something I want us to work on ahead of Wednesday’s fixture against Kuwait.”