Scotland 145 for 2 (MacLeod 56*, Coetzer 52) beat Kenya 140 (Obuya 26, Sharif 3-33, Sole 2-20)
Scotland claimed a place in the World Cup qualifier in March 2018 with an eight-wicket victory over Kenya in Dubai. Put in to bat, Kenya were bowled out for 140 and watched their opponents bash through to the target with 132 balls to spare.
Fast bowler Safyaan Sharif vindicated Scotland’s decision to field at the toss by picking up a wicket in the very first over. Opener Rushab Patel was the first of the procession as four of the top six batsmen were kept to single digits. Collins Obuya, the 36-year old who was part of the 2003 squad that made the World Cup semi-final, top-scored with 26 as Kenya lurched from 31 for 2 in the 10th over to 95 for 6 in the 32nd. The tail did its best to play out the full quota of overs, but they couldn’t handle Sharif (3 for 33) and Chris Sole (2 for 20) when they came back in the death overs. Left-arm spinner Mark Watt had a fine day as well, finishing with figures of 10-2-17-1.
United Arab Emirates 225 for 3 (Shabber 81*, Mustafa 62) beat Nepal 221 for 6 (Vesawkar 81*, Malla 54, Zahoor 2-48) by seven wickets
An unbeaten 81 from Ghulam Shabber, assisted by a fifty from the captain Rohan Mustafa helped UAE cruise to a comfortable win against Nepal in Abu Dhabi. UAE won by seven wickets, and with 25 balls to spare, to go one spot above last-placed Namibia.
That Nepal managed to score only 221 in the first innings, despite losing only five wickets, stems from the fact that their openers started slow. When the first Nepal wicket fell in the 15th over, they were only at 43. Ahmed Raza and Amir Hayat kept the brakes on the Nepal batsmen, together conceding only 41 runs in their combined 18 overs. Sharad Vesawkar, Nepal’s No. 3, also scored an unbeaten 81, but he found no assistance from the middle order.
The UAE openers Mustafa and Ashfaq Ahmed (17-ball 19) gave them a flying start to the 222 chase, before the partnership was broken for 42 in the seventh over. Shabber took over from Ashfaq, adding 81 for the second wicket with Mustafa in quick time. Mustafa fell in the 23rd over, but not before completing his fourth List A fifty, after while Shabber shepherded UAE till the end.
Hong Kong 230 for 8 (Hayat 77, Dai 2-34) beat Papua New Guinea 207 (Dai 60, Bau 59, Afzal 2-31, Nadeem 2-32) by 23 runs
Papua New Guinea’s 23-run loss to Hong Kong handed the WCL Championship to Netherlands. PNG failed to chase down 231, but did well to recover from a position of 29 for 4 in the ninth over. Babar Hayat set up the first innings, with 77 off 120 balls, to take Hong Kong to a respectable total.
Hayat was helped by Anshy Rath (37) the rest of Hong Kong’s middle order, as they went past 200 despite losing regular wickets. Four PNG bowlers took two wickets each, and they never allowed Hong Kong’s batsmen – except Hayat – to settle. A late surge from Tanwir Afzal (21-ball 26) helped Hong Kong set a 231 target.
PNG’s innings started poorly, with Afzal and Nadeem Ahmed running through their opponents’ top order. It took a 98-run fifth-wicket stand between Mahuru Dai (60) and Sese Bau (59) to give PNG some sort of hope, but the end of that partnership brought another collapse, with the team eventually folding for 207 in the 45th over.
With the top four slots decided, the final day of WCL games are set to be dead rubbers.