United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bermuda and Namibia all secured victories on day two of Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (WCL Div. 2) here in Dubai today. The hosts defeated Papua New Guinea by 114 runs, while Hong Kong fell at the hands of Bermuda and Namibia compensated for yesterday’s defeat to the UAE by defeating Uganda by 205 runs.
All three games saw centuries from players, with Namibia’s Craig Williams, UAE’s Shaiman Anwar and Bermuda’s Jason Anderson all reaching triple figures, while Namibia bowler Kola Burger shone with the ball for the African side claiming 5-25 on the second day of the event being hosted in the UAE.
At Dubai Sports City Stadium, Uganda won the toss and put Namibia into bat hoping for a repeat of yesterday’s batting collapse by the Africans and it seemed like the Namibians bad luck remained to begin with, as Ewald Steenkamp departed for 15 runs and his replacement at the crease, Sarel Burger, dismissed for a duck.
It was up to skipper Craig Williams to turn the game around, which is exactly what he did making the side’s first century of this tournament, before being immediately bowled by Uganda’s Deusdedit Muhumza. Following on from Williams’ century, the team added another 47 runs, with a notable performance from Gerrie Snyman who hit 85 runs in his innings that featured five boundaries and four sixes.
Uganda’s bowlers failed to sparkle with the ball today, despite some good fielding, with Muhumza being the pick of the bowling attack with 3-51.
Where Uganda’s bowling had failed, Namibia’s excelled in the afternoon heat of the stadium, with Kola Burger ripping his way through the Uganda batting line-up with his medium-pacers tempting the Uganda batsmen to smash the ball into the safe hands of Namibia’s fielders.
It was an abysmal batting display by Namibia’s African neighbours with Benjamin Musoke making 28 and the next best performance coming from Lawrence Sematimba with just 15 runs. Christi Viljoen proved useful with the ball today with the 23-year-old claiming a couple of wickets to help skittle the Uganda team for a measly 67 runs.
Man of the match, Williams said: “ I’m really pleased with the way we turned things around today. Our game plan really paid off, which for this match was to make sure we batted out the 50 overs and make sure the top five in the batting line-up fired for the team, which we all did. I came in to bat today in the same situation as yesterday, at about 30-3 and it was up to me along with Gerrie Snyman to put the runs on the board.
“I realized I had the extra responsibility to make the runs for the side as captain and with someone of Gerrie’s experience with me it helped me make my century today. I was pleased with the way Kola Burger bowled – he’s a big guy and Uganda tried to go hard at every ball he put at them which backfired for them as it meant the balls went straight to our fielders.
“We’ve played Uganda before and know they’re a strong bowling and fielding side, so the main thing for us today was to bat first as we knew their batting line-up wouldn’t hold up against our bowling attack.”
After a disappointing loss to PNG yesterday, Bermuda opted to bat against Hong Kong in the hopes of posting a decent total for the Division 3 winners to chase. It was down to captain David Hemp and his team to turn the side’s fortunes around after yesterday’s loss and Hemp began the side’s innings well, making 36 runs while his opening partner Dion Stovell managed only eight runs after falling at the hands of Nadeem Ahmed.
Jason Anderson broke through the ranks for the Americas side, scoring the team’s first century of the tournament. The 32-year-old arrived at the crease in the second over and remained until the end of the innings to finish 106 not out before lunch.
Anderson was ably assisted in adding to the side’s total by veteran batsman Lionel Cann who smashed a half-century in 35 balls, hitting four boundaries and two sixes in the process.
Hong Kong’s Hussain Butt secured the two run-outs of the day – of Hemp and Irving Romaine, but Hong Kong’s bowlers failed to repeat it’s economical bowling figures of the day before, with Nizkat Khan’s bowling proving to be expensive with 1-41 in comparison to his 4-14 yesterday.
In reply, Hong Kong’s Roy Lansam made amends for yesterday’s performance with the bat, with the 30-year-old smashing seven boundaries on his way to 40 runs. However, the right-handed batsman was not assisted in the run chase by his fellow top-order batsmen with only captain Najeeb Amar adding runs of note.
Bermuda’s bowlers – Damali Bell and Rodney Trott walked away with the prize wickets of Courtney Kruger, Nizakat and Waqar Barkat to name but a few while Delyone Borden walked away with the wicket of schoolboy Mark Chapman whom he clean bowled for just five runs.
The target proved too great for the promoted Hong Kong side to chase down coupled with the Asian team losing its last four wickets in just 20 minutes and some economical bowling by the Bermudians helped secure the side its first win of the tournament.
Hemp commented on today’s victory: “Today we played incredibly well – and you know you always hope that one of your top four batsmen will bat through, creating a platform for a high score. We played well and we stuck with it, Anderson laid a great foundation for us to keep pushing through whilst defending a target.”
Commenting on the difference between yesterday’s loss and today’s victory, Hemp added: “Yesterday we spent the whole day chasing a total - whereas today, thankfully, we didn’t have to deal with the pressure. Yesterday we let them bowl and squeeze us. It did happen at certain points today, however we managed to pull away in good time. Failing to bowl at the start yesterday allowed for PNG to set a good platform and squeeze us in the middle. Unfortunately yesterday we spent the whole time chasing a score, and thus failed to really succeed in our batting.
“Today we were far more consistent in our bowling: in terms of lines and lengths. We had a superb start, which gave us momentum for our bowling Power Play. This also ensured that some pressure was relieved off our bowlers – so they could focus on doing their job right. The great beginning meant we gave ourselves a chance to bowl well.”
Despite not batting its full 50-overs against PNG, United Arab Emirates continues to prove itself to be a force to be reckoned with in this tournament securing its second win of the event. Swapnil Patil and Arshad Ali set the pace for the team but PNG’s steady bowling provided little opportunity for the batsmen.
But the arrival of Shaiman Anwar at the crease proved worthwhile for the UAE when the 32-year-old smashed his way to 123 runs in an innings that featured 13 boundaries and five sixes. Despite a good day with the bat yesterday, UAE captain Khurram Khan departed for a duck and Amjad Ali toiled for his 41 runs before being caught Jack Vare.
Mahuru Dai continued to impress with the ball, with the 26-year-old medium pacer taking a respectable 4-56 but strong running between the wickets by the UAE side saw the PNG bowling attack struggle to contain the run-making locals.
In reply, PNG’s Chris Amini started the side off well after the departure of Tony Ura for just seven runs, but tight bowling by the UAE attack saw the side slip to 5-68 in the 20th over and despite a spirited fight-back from the PNG lower order duo Andrew McIntosh and Hitolo Areni, Rarura Dikana’s men just could reach the target.
UAE coach Kabir Khan said: “Yesterday we faced a top team in Namibia, a side who play well in every competition – however we didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was against them. Today it as PNG - who are newcomers. They did succeed in putting pressure on our team, however I think in this case it’s clear that experience prevailed.”
“Anwar is a very reliable batsman. When I joined as coach there were a few key players in my mind that I wanted in the side and he has always been one of them.
“My job is to reduce pressure on Khurram Khan and Saqib Ali, by surrounding them with quality batsmen. Yesterday I was very proud of the team - no one gave up or gave in and they fought to the very end. Both Khurram and Saqib are well known in this division and I know they always deliver – today they didn’t when they both departed for ducks – but Anwar pulled through.
“We want to be sure of our position in this division and have tried not to make too many bold moves. Soon though we shall have some good youngsters coming into the side – we hope they will make a good impression as we try to blend the players,” added Kabir.
Looking ahead to Monday’s fixture against Hong Kong, Kabir admitted the Hong Kong side were not to be taken lightly.
“We’ve played against them a few occasions prior to this tournament, and they are a very good side. They have lots of young players and they’ve taken a chance on them. They’ve displayed that they have quality and depth after beating Uganda yesterday.
“To beat them is essential- as we are the only team with two wins, however we take nothing for granted. They are a tough opposition, and have a good mix of both experienced and young players. They are here to prove that they are good enough to be in this division, and that’s the message they are trying to give us. But in 50-over cricket it’s all down to whoever performs better on the day,” said the UAE coach.
Today is a rest day with play resuming on Monday.
Score summaries (Day Two):
At DSC: Namibia 272-5, 50 overs (Williams 100, Snyman 85; Muhumza 3-51)
Uganda 67 all out, 26.3 overs (K Burger 5-25, Viljoen 2-5, Sarel Burger 2-18)
Namibia won by 205 runs
At GCA 1: Bermuda 242-7, 50 overs (Anderson 106 not out, Cann 50; Asif Khan 2-50)
Hong Kong 173 all out, 41.3 overs (Lamsam 40, Najeeb 49; Trott 3-22, Stovell 3-25)
Bermuda won by 69 runs
At GCA 2: UAE 284 all out, 49.2 overs (Anwar 123, Amjad 41; Dai 4-56)
Papua New Guinea 170-9, 50 overs (Amini 42, Morea 31; Arshad 3-37, Raza 2-30)
UAE won by 114 runs