|Under 19 World Cup Qualifier: Ireland, July-August 2011|
More thrills and spills as Nepal edge out Namibia
Hosts Ireland, Nepal, PNG, Scotland and USA registered wins on the sixth day of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Derry.
Yet another day of thrilling action, witnessed further churning in the positioning of teams on the points table as the tournament enters the climatic final few days.
Just like the first day of the tournament in the Derry leg on Wednesday (3 August), Limavady Cricket Club produced one of the most amazing matches of the tournament. New ball bowler Graeme McCarter bowled a dream spell of 5 for 8 to help hosts Ireland bowl out Canada for a mere 37 in 25 overs, after being asked to field first. McCarter’s spell also included a hat-trick, second of this tournament, in which he claimed Nikhil Dutta, Darren Ramsammy and Tristan Ali.
Ireland’s chase was meant to be simple, but it was not to be. The home team slipped from 21 for one but soon slipped to 22 for five, opening up the possibility of a Canada win. But Shane Getkate (10 n..o.) held his nerves to close out the match for the home team.
McCarter won the Man of the Match award for his brilliant spell. His captain, George Dockrell, was thrilled with his key bowler. “Shane Getkate and Graeme McCarter got us off to a good start. The pitch was not poor at all. I think the bowling from both sides was brilliant. It was an exciting finish. We had to struggle in the last few games. But the last couple of wins has really done wonders for our side. This really sets us up for the important games later on in the tournament.’’
At the Drummond Cricket Club, Nepal and Namibia played out a closely fought match. Nepal posted 217 thanks to Naresh Budayair’s 51 (82b, 1x4, 1x6). Christopher Coombe picked up his career best haul of 6-41 to run through the Nepal middle and lower-order. Namibia’s chase appeared to be faltering, but Merwe Erasmus (63: 77b, 1x4, 3x6) revived the innings first with Coombe (30) and then with Shalako Groenewald (44). In the end, Nepal’s varied attack managed to make the breakthroughs at the right moments to claim a nine-run win.
Coombe won the Man of the Match award for his all-round spell. But he said that a win would have satisfied him more: “This (6-41) was my best spell at any level. The pitch assisted me a bit. While batting, I thought, we could win the game. I had to stay there long enough. Unfortunately, that was not the case today. But hopefully we can come back stronger.”
Freddie Coleman (63: 93b, 10x4) and Peter Ross (55: 99b, 7x4) played true to form to enable Scotland score 218 against Afghanistan at the New Strabane Park. Yamin Ahmadzai (3-49) and Sayed Shirzad with a spell of 4-33 were the best bowlers for Afghanistan. Afsar Khan Zazai waged a lone battle for Afghanistan with his knock of 84 off 135 balls with six boundaries and a six. Afsar added crucial runs with Najibullah Zadran (37) and with Nasir Ahmadzai (20) but could not take his side to victory as Scotland won by 33 runs.
Afsar’s valiant knock earned him the Man of the Match award, but that did not satisfy him: “We did not get a good start. We lost wickets regularly. I just needed a bit of support and we could have won this game. The pitch aided he seamers a bit and there was some turn for the spinners. We could have chased down the target. The boys are all disappointed. The mission to get to the World Cup is still very much alive. We have to keep playing to our potential.’’
The main Bready Cricket Club ground and the Bready 2 ground seemed to inspire the skippers of the winning sides to lead from the front.
At the main Bready Cricket Club ground, USA led by skipper Greg Sewdial’s 68 (103b, 7x4) posted 238 for nine in its 50 overs against Kenya. Emmanuel Ringera’s spell of 4-50 was the best on view for Kenya. Duncan Allan yet again top-scored for Kenya with a 70-ball 46. But apart from Allan none of the others made any worthwhile contribution as Kenya was bowled out for 108 in 34.1 overs to register a 130-run win.
Sewdial’s knock earned him the Man of the Match. The USA skipper was happy to have led from the front to revive the campaign yet again for his side: “I thought our team effort was at another level today. The batsmen batted really well today to post a good score. I thought if we bowled well, we were always going to win. The belief is now sky high in the squad thanks to our bowling, which clicked yet again.’’
PNG led by skipper Christopher Kent’s 49, along with handy contributions from rest of the line-up, posted 245 for nine against Vanuatu at Bready 2. Vanuatu’s bowlers did well to restrict PNG. But Kent returned with a spell of 2-21 to lead a disciplined bowling performance which saw Vanuatu being bowled out for 127. PNG ended winners by 118 runs.
Kent’s all-round effort saw him being nominated as Man of the Match: “I just wanted to stay as long as possible on the pitch. I managed to hold the batting together till the 39th over. I was disappointed to get out. But overall it was a good all-round performance.”
Today Canada plays PNG at Eglinton, Vanuatu takes on USA at Drummond, Ireland and Nepal play at Bready, Scotland and Namibia go head to head at Bready 2, Kenya plays Afghanistan at Limavady.