T20 WC Qualifiers | Scotland shocked by Singapore; Ireland and Netherlands cruise to comfortable victories
Scotland succumbed to a shock two-run defeat at the hands of a spirited Singapore side with captain Amjad Mahboob defending 8 runs off the final over. Ireland and Netherlands started strongly with convincing victories while hosts UAE were outclassed completely by the red brigade of Oman.
Singapore Vs Ireland
Brief scores: Singapore 168/6 in 20 overs (Surendran Chandramohan 51, Aritra Dutta 32; Josh Davey 2-26, Safyaan Sharif 2-28) beat Scotland 166/9 in 20 overs (George Munsey 46, Calum MacLeod 44; Selladore Vijayakumar 3-16, Sidhant Singh 2-27) by 2 runs.
Minnows Singapore managed to pull out a big upset by beating the mighty Scottish team by a narrow margin of two runs. Scotland won the toss and put Singapore into bat. Aritra Dutta scored a swashbuckling 32 of 15 balls which proved to be a counter-attack of sorts after Scotland pacer Josh Davey was able to make early in-roads. Surendran Chandramohan's 55-ball 51 was slow but it ensured that one end of the crease was intact with the scoreboard ticking along. Singapore managed to post a fighting total of 168 in their innings. Scotland came all guns blazing with the reply which saw them score 70 odd runs in first seven overs for the loss of just one wicket, thanks to Josh Munsey's 46 of 24 balls. But, the turning point came when experienced spinner Selladore Vijayakumar was introduced in the attack. He picked up wickets of Scottish captain Kyle Coetzer, Richie Berrington, and Matt Cross and broke the game open for Singapore.
Calum Macleod and Tom Sole lead the Scottish fight back. With eight runs needed off the final over, captain Amjad Mahboob showed great skill and composure to deliver the ball in the right areas to give Singapore a famous win. This shows that their win against Zimbabwe was not a fluke, Scotland will have to recover quickly from this defeat ahead of their next clash against Kenya.
Netherlands vs Kenya
Brief scores: Netherlands 166/4 (Max ODowd 53, Ben Cooper 36; Collins Obuya 3-16) beat Kenya 136/8 in 20 overs (Collins Obuya 63; Paul van Meekeren 3-27, Fred Klaassen 2-23) by 30 runs
The Netherlands sailed to a comfortable 30-run victory against Kenya, starting their campaign on a winning note unlike joint defending champions Scotland. Opting to bat first, Netherlands did not shoe any batting concerns as they cruised through the powerplay being 61-1 after the end of six overs. But Kenya tightened their grip on the game with the field spread and with a period of six overs with no boundaries hit. But a late cameo from Captain Pieter Sealer was enough to push the Dutch total to 166-4.
Knowing that the runs might not be enough, the Dutch bowlers stepped up, conceding only 30 runs in the powerplay and claiming the wickets of openers Alex Obanda and Dhiren Gondaria. Veteran Collins Obuya tried to keep Kenya in the game, but with 45 required off the last three overs, it was only going to get tougher for the Kenyans. In the end, the Kenyans fell short by 30 runs, handing the Dutch an early advantage in the tournament.
Hong Kong vs Ireland
Brief scores: Hong Kong 153/5 in 20 overs (Kinchit Shah 79; Mark Adair 2-22) lost to Ireland 155/2 in 17.2 overs (Andrew Balbirnie 70*, Paul Stirling 62) by eight wickets.
Elsewhere, in Group A , another heavyweight associate nation in the form of Ireland faced Hong Kong. Batting first, Hong kong put a fighting total of 155. Vice-Captain Kinchit Shah held up one end while wickets continued to tumble at the other end. He showed great composure and hitting ability to score 79 runs off 53 balls. Haroon Arshad's late blitz propelled Hong Kong to 153-5.
Ireland did not get to the best possible start, with Kevin O'Brien getting tun out in the first over of the chase without even facing a ball. But Hong Kong bowlers could not build on the pressure as Paul Stirling and Balbirnie took the game to the opposition by playing free-flowing strokes, adding 82 runs for the second wicket. But by the time Paul Stirling was dismissed for 62, the damage had already been done. Balbirnie managed to stay unbeaten on 70 from 53 balls stringing a partnership along with Harry Tector as Ireland cruised to victory with 16 balls to spare.
UAE vs Oman
Brief scores: UAE 108/9 in 20 overs (Muhammad Usman 27; Fayyaz Butt 3-16, Bilal Khan 3-23) lost to Oman 109/3 in 18.2 overs (Aqib Ilyas 45*; Ahmed Raza 1-23) by seven wickets
The last match of the day saw hosts UAE take on Oman. Also known as their "Red Brigade", Oman were hyped to have a strong bowling attack. They lived up to that hype by restricting UAE to a meagre 108-9 in their 20 overs, thanks to a fiery opening spell by Bilal Khan and Fayyaz Butt. Mohammad Usman top-scored with 27 but the innings never really got going. Last three wickets fell in four balls, all to Butt, ensuring momentumto Oman.
Oman failed to give an ideal start to the chase by losing a wicket very early with opener Khawar Ali sent packing by Junaid Siddique in the very first over. But Aqib Ilyas held one end with an unbeaten 45, while Aamir Kallem's 19-ball 27 broke the back of the chase. In the end, Zeeshan Maqsood sealed the win with a six as Oman chased down the target with ten balls to spare.
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