|Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier, UAE 2012|
Shenwari wins it for Afghanistan; Namibia continue unbeaten run
A fine all-round performance from Samiullah Shenwari has given Afghanistan a win over Canada at the global cricket academy in Dubai in one of two full Twenty20 Internationals today as part of the World Twenty20 Qualifier.
Batting first after winning the toss, Afghanistan's opening pair of Karim Sadiq and Shabir Noori put on 52 in the first seven overs, Sadiq contributing 36. Three wickets were taken by Zahid Hussain in the eighth over, briefly putting Canada on top.
But Mohammad Shahzad and Samiullah Shenwari then put on 80 for the fourth wicket before Shahzad was out for 27. Shenwari stayed in, eventually scoring 61 from 34 balls before he was run out in the last over. Two further wickets fell in that over, with Afghanistan finishing on 174-8.
It was a formidable target, and Canada set off quickly, scoring at ten an over for the first five overs. But they struggled to bat against Afghanistan's battery of spin bowlers, with only Nitish Kumar getting a start with 38. Shenwari starred with the ball this time, taking 4-16 to help restrict Canada to 133-9 from their 20 overs.
Canada had lost by 41 runs and Shenwari, having set his highest Twenty20 International score and best bowling figures in the same match, was the obvious choice for man of the match.
Afghanistan thus remain unbeaten, as do Namibia, who had a straightforward victory over Kenya at Sharjah. Kenya started well enough, with Duncan Allan and Collins Obuya putting on 71 for the second wicket to take them to 84-1. But Obuya's dismissal sparked a remarkable batting collapse.
Kenya lost their last nine wickets for just 24 runs and were bowled out for 108, Louis Klazinga taking four wickets for nine runs. Raymond van Schoor led the way in reply, scoring an unbeaten 49 and finishing the match with a six as Namibia won by seven wickets with almost four overs to spare.
Over at Abu Dhabi in the afternoon, Nepal's batting got back on track as they put on 151-6 from their 20 overs with Paras Khadka scoring an unbeaten 65 from 48 balls. Sharad Vesawkar also contributed with the bat with 44, whilst Dion Stovell was the pick of the Bermudian bowlers with 4-25.
Bermuda were never really in the hunt in reply and were restricted to 127-5 from their 20 overs, losing by 24 runs. Shakti Gauchan was the pick of the bowlers with 3-17, whilst Janeiro Tucker top scored for Bermuda with 32.
At the Dubai international cricket stadium in the morning, the USA finally got off the mark with a win over Oman. USA captain Shushil Nadkarni ended a run of three ducks by scoring 59 in the USA's total of 141-7 in their 20 overs.
Oman scored too slowly in their reply and were restricted to 111-7 from their 20 overs, Japen Patel taking 3-29 as Oman were beaten by 30 runs.
At the global cricket academy in the morning, Irfan Ahmed starred with the bat for Hong Kong, scoring a fine unbeaten 91 from 60 balls as Hong Kong scored 170-5 from their 20 overs against Denmark, for whom Bobby Chawla took 3-19.
Irfan Ahmed also took a wicket in Denmark's reply, but the star with the ball was Kinchit Shah. The 16 year old took his first wicket for Hong Kong when he trapped Aftab Ahmed lbw in the 13th over. He ended with 4-21 as Denmark were restricted to 135-9, losing by 35 runs.
Italy's innings against Uganda at Sharjah started badly when Michael Di Venuto was trapped lbw by Charles Waiswa from the very first delivery. They scored slowly at first, but the innings was given some impetus when Damien Crowley smashed 44 from 24 balls to help take Italy to 131-7 from their 20 overs.
Uganda got up with 13 runs of the Italy total, but in truth they were never close. Gareth Berg took 4-20 as Uganda were bowled out for 118, giving Italy a real chance at making the play-offs in Group B.