ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018 - Day 2 Round Up

ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018 – Day 2 Round Up

It was a day of some highly spirited performances from various sides like Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, and UAE.

Zimbabwean team
Zimbabwean team celebrates the victory. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It was a day to remember for the Caribbean batsman and the Zimbabwean bowlers at the World Cup Qualifiers being hosted in Zimbabwe. Whilst the hosts pulled off an absolute humdinger, Windies annihilated UAE with the bat but the latter showed great spirit with the bat, giving the Caribbean bowlers a reality check.

Chris Gayle for a moment threatened to go past Rohit Sharma‘s 264. A fact that he was dismissed for a mind-boggling 123 off 91 balls in 28th over of the innings is a testament to that. He was in the mood to clobber, so was the 21-year-old Shimron Hetmyer. Hetmyer registered his first ODI hundred and finished with a 93-ball 127. Windies piled up 357 runs in their 50 overs and looked well set for a gigantic win.

But the UAE batsmen put a spirited show to hold the gates. They fought very hard till the end and Jason Holder’s bowlers got smashed to all parts. Rameez Shahzad’s 112 off 107 balls and a fifty from Shaiman Anwar helped them amass 297 runs, which reduced Windies’ win margin to 60 runs. Jason Holder returned with a five-fer for the Windies.

Hands down the best International game of 2018 thus far, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe pulled off an absolute cracker. Once again for the Zimbabweans, it was Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza who were amongst the runs. Despite their half-centuries, Zimbabwe collapsed badly towards the end and were reduced to 196 runs. Mujeeb Zadran and Rashid Khan picked up 3 wickets a piece.

The run chase going on relatively smoothly, with Rahmat Shah and Mohammad Nabi adding 98 runs for the 4th wicket. They looked well set at 156/3, but Blessing Muzarabani and Sikandar Raza ran riot and picked up 6 wickets in the next 47 balls. With 20 runs needed off 53 balls and just one wicket left, it looked like Zimbabwe would ease through. Dawlat and Shapoor Zadran fought very hard and reduced the equation to 4 needed off the last over. But Brian Vitori picked up a wicket and the Zimbabwean players were off celebrating one of their finest wins ever.

Papua New Guinea give Ireland a run for their money

Another wonderfully spirited performance came from the other Group A game on the day. Papua New Guinea, who got annihilated in the previous game, registered 235 runs in their 50 overs. It was a one-man show from Tony Ura, who stood tall and smashed a mind-boggling 151 off 142 balls, which included 10 fours and 6 sixes.

No one expected the PNG bowlers to bring this game so close especially after skipper William Porterfield registered a well-compiled hundred. Ed Joyce got a fifty as well for the Irish. But the PNG bowlers got the game to the last over and Ireland somehow squeezed a 4-wicket win. If Ireland can beat Windies, they’re on their way to England next year.

It was a day of some highly spirited performances and Hong Kong produced something similar. Scotland clearly entered the game as the favourites to win this game, after having smashed hot-favorites Afghanistan in their opening game. Their bowlers packed the Hong Kong batsmen for a paltry 91 runs in 38 overs and it seemed a one-sided affair.

But chasing this low total, they lost 6 wickets and Babar Hayat’s troops made the Scottish contingent work hard. Ehsan Khan registered impressive figures of 3/29 but that didn’t help their team’s cause. Scotland eventually chased the total in 23.3 overs.

Brief Scores

Windies vs UAE, Group A

Windies: 357/4 in 50 overs (Chris Gayle 123, Shimron Hetmyer 127)

UAE: 297/6 in 50 overs (Ramzeed Shahzad 112*; Jason Holder 5/53)

Player of the match: Shimron Hetmyer

PNG v Ireland, Group A

PNG: 235 all out in 50 overs (Tony Ura 151; Andy McBrine 3/38)

Ireland: 237/6 in 49.2 overs (William Porterfield 111, Ed Joyce 53; Assad Vala 2/39)

Player of the match: Tony Ura

Scotland vs Hong Kong, Group B

Hong Kong: 91 all out in 38.2 overs (Tom Sole 4/15, Alasdair Evans 3/19)

Scotland: 92/6 in 23.3 overs (Kyle Coetzer 41; Ehsan Khan 3/29)

Player of the match: Tom Sole

Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan, Group B

Zimbabwe: 196 all out in 43 overs (Brendan Taylor 89, Sikandar Raza 60; Mujeeb Zadran 3/49, Rashid Khan 3/38)

Afghanistan: 194 all out in 49.3 overs (Rahmat Shah 69, Mohammad Nabi 51; Sikandar Raza 3/40, Blessing Muzarabani 4/47)

Player of the match: Sikandar Raza