Cricket

Nepal sees its hosts, Ireland collapse

Nepal sees its hosts, Ireland collapse

Canada, Nepal, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain picked up their first points on Day 1 of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers A, supported by Dream11.

Watch all the #T20WorldCup Qualifier A matches LIVE on FanCode (in the subcontinent), Himalaya TV (in Nepal) and ICC.tv (rest of the world).

Batting first, Canadian Rayyan Pathan made the team’s intentions clear from the very first ball of the match, smashing a six to get the ball rolling in the Men’s T20 World Cup A qualifier ICC 2022. Debutant Matthew Spoors was not to be left behind as Canada ran 64/0 in the Powerplay.

The carnage continued even after restrictions on the pitch were lifted, with Pathan and Spoors reaching their half-century on 32 and 34 balls respectively. Canada were shooting close to 10 runs per over for 15 overs before Huzaifa Mohammed finally broke the first stand of 149, dismissing Pathan for a 73 from 44 balls.

Pathan’s wicket was the only respite for the Philippines as Spoors and captain Navneet Dhaliwal (26* from 11) attacked the bowlers in the deathmatch. Spoors finished with 108* on 66 balls, the highest score by a T20I rookie, as Canada went 216/1 in 20 overs.

The Philippines’ chase got off to a bad start as they lost Richard Goodwin and captain Jonathan Hill in the first two overs which forced them into a shell. Canada was also precise with lines and lengths and didn’t allow the Philippines to come off. Daniel Smith was their leading scorer with a run-a-ball 34 as the Philippines batted through all 20 overs to post just 98/5 and trailed by 118 runs.

Player of the Match Matthew Spoors said: “Rayyan and I knew our roles well. We had a few practice matches here and we bonded well and it worked out well.

“I’m happy. It was a good win, and we hope to continue the form in the games to come.

NEPAL VS OMAN – Nepal won by 39 points

Oman took full advantage of the warm and sunny conditions at home after winning the draw and opting to play first.

Bilal Khan put Nepal on their backs with one wicket apiece in their first two overs. Aarif Sheikh was the glue that held the stick together with Nepal losing wickets at regular intervals. He has forged important partnerships with Lokesh Bam and Sandeep Lamichhane. Sheikh was ejected on the last ball of the innings for a 37-ball 38. Khawar Ali was the bowlers’ choice and finished with numbers of 3/30, limiting Nepal to 117/8.

In response, Oman lost three wickets in the Powerplay, including that of their star hitter Jatinder Singh. His run-out sparked a mini-collapse as Oman lost three wickets in the next three overs and were down to 35/6 at the end of nine overs.

Naseem Khushi was the only hitter to reach double digits for Oman, hitting an 18-ball 24, but couldn’t save them from a loss in their opener as they were knocked out for 78. All bowlers took contributed with wickets for Nepal, with Kamal Airee leading with 3/15 in three overs.

Reflecting on a disappointing loss, Zeeshan Maqsood said, “We didn’t click as a batting unit. No one could stay at the wicket for long and losing wickets at regular intervals made it very difficult. We’ll be back strong tomorrow [vs Canada] and bring forward the positives of this game.

The UAE struggled early on after opting to beat Ireland. They lost the experienced Chirag Suri in the very first round before fellow countryman Muhammad Waseem followed him to the clubhouse.

Coming in at No. 3, Vriitya Aravind put on a one-man show and single-handedly coached the UAE to a competitive total. He stitched up a vital 38-point stand with Rohan Mustafa to pull the team out of trouble.

Aravind was on 58 from 50 at the end of the 16th with the United Arab Emirates at 100/4 before starting in the final four overs. He crushed bowlers in all games and added 39 more points in 17 deliveries to finish at 97* from 67, helping the United Arab Emirates to 157/5.

With a large-scale competitive aim, Ireland started with intent, taking the UAE bowlers to the cleaners. Paul Stirling looked in his usual formidable form, linking up with Andrew Balbirnie to run 50/0 in six overs. But things quickly spiraled out of control when Karthik Meiyappan put Stirling out for 32 on the first serve in the seventh.

He then fired Gareth Delany in his next for 3 and then cleared Simi Singh in the next for 4. After slipping to 66/4 from 50/0, Ireland needed a solid position to boost them.

The Irish middle order played some great shots, but bowlers from the United Arab Emirates ensured that Ireland was kept under control. Shane Getkate (17) and Lorcan Tucker (25) attempted to restart the Irish innings but the UAE bowlers had the last laugh. In the end, the goal proved too daunting as Ireland were limited to 139/9, losing the game by 18 points.

Invited to beat first by Bahrain, German fly-half Vijay Shankar and Justin Broad provided a solid platform with an opening stand of 29 points. However, Broad’s wicket brought three more in quick succession, with Waseeq Ahmed securing two from two.

At 55/4, Shankar and skipper Venkatraman Ganesan came to Germany’s rescue with a 44-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Just when the two seemed settled in the crease heading into the final six overs, the introduction of Junaid Aziz turned the game upside down.

Aziz picked up three wickets from four, including Ganesan’s wicket, before Shankar left after a fifty. Aziz returned to clear the tail and finished with numbers 5/5 as Germany folded in 106, losing their last six wickets on 14 balls.

Bahrain had a horrible start to the hunt, losing two wickets in the first round. At 2/2 they looked like they were in all sorts of trouble but Sarfaraz Ali and Junaid Aziz kept them afloat.

Sarfaraz not only stabilized the ship, but also landed high shots to take out the lowly target. Muslim Yar eventually fired Junaid in the 10th. With more than half the target already scaled, Sarfaraz, now partnered by David Mathias, continued to plunder the tracks.

By the time Germany had a breakthrough, Bahrain needed just 16 more runs to win – they soon managed to secure a six-wicket win with 26 balls to spare. Sarfaraz finished with a brilliant 69* from 38 balls, sprinkled with four fours and six sixes.

Watch all the #T20WorldCup Qualifier A matches LIVE on FanCode (in the subcontinent), Himalaya TV (in Nepal) and ICC.tv (rest of the world)