In a dramatic day’s cricket, the Netherlands fell agonisingly short of topping Group B despite easily beating Kenya in Myreside. Having dismissed the east Africans for just 97, the Dutch knew they needed to knock off the runs inside eight overs in order to move ahead of Scotland on net run-rate and thus qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 2016.
When it came down to the eighth over, Netherlands still needed 18 to win. Ben Cooper proceeded to hit a six, a four and another six off the first three balls only to be stumped off the fourth ball. The fifth ball saw Max O’Dowd depart the same way and only a single came from the sixth so, while Peter Borren and his men eventually won the game, their chance of topping the group was gone.
So after all the Group B matches have been played, Scotland is the first confirmed qualifier for India next year. The Netherlands finishes second in the group and will proceed to the quarter-finals. Afghanistan also finished the group stage on eight points but behind the Dutch in third place on net run-rate. One point adrift, Oman finishes fourth only ahead on run-rate of the unlucky Kenyans, indicating just how competitive the competition for places has been (only one point separates first from fifth). UAE and Canada are the other teams to miss out.
Scotland coach Grant Bradburn said his team experienced the nerve-jangling conclusion to the Netherlands v Kenya game via live scoring on the internet, which proved to be a “horrid way to watch” but ultimately ended in celebrations as they booked their passage to India.
“I am very proud of our team. Everyone is absolutely ecstatic and there are great scenes in the team hotel. Having lost to Afghanistan and the Netherlands earlier in the tournament I am proud at how we stayed positive, we kept playing aggressive cricket and we got our tournament back on course. I’m delighted.
“It has been such a close tournament. There are teams and individual players who can take matches away from you very quickly so to get through our group on top is very pleasing. Our goal coming into this tournament was to win it and that remains our goal. Obviously, gaining qualification is great but we know that we haven’t put together a complete performance yet in the competition so I feel the best is yet to come from us.”
And earlier in the day, the Scots showed why they are still a force to be reckoned with, beating the dangerous Oman by 23 runs at Heriot’s in Edinburgh. Kyle Coetzer smashed 63 off 38 balls in a knock that included nine fours and one six and, with helpful contributions from Preston Mommsen (32 not out), Richie Berrington (26), Matthew Cross (20) and Calum MacLeod (20), Scotland posted 173-5 in 20 overs.
Oman has been impressive throughout this tournament, having already beaten Afghanistan, Netherlands and Canada, but 174 to win was too many on this occasion as Scotland never let a partnership develop, taking wickets at regular intervals through the innings. A half-century from Aamir Kaleem was the highlight for Oman but it never threatened to be enough.
Meanwhile, the match at Stirling between Afghanistan and Canada was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to a wet ground. The teams received a point each for the no-result.
Group A, which concludes, is set to be just as exciting with four teams – Namibia, PNG, Ireland and Hong Kong – still theoretically in with a chance of topping the group and thus qualifying for India without having to worry about the quarter-finals. In addition, two further teams, USA and Jersey, will believe that they can make the knock-out stages and keep that qualification dream alive.
Jersey retain that belief thanks to its second win of the tournament – a seven-wicket victory over Nepal at Malahide.
Three wickets from spinner Nat Watkins spearheaded the Jersey attack with Anthony Kay (2-18), Charles Perchard (1-22) and Cornelis Bodenstein (1-11) also playing their part as Nepal managed just 105-8. In response, Peter Gough and the exciting teenager, Jonty Jenner, broke the back of the run-chase with a second-wicket partnership of 55 before Bodenstein (27 not out) and Ben Stevens (13 not out) finished the job.
Man of the match Watkins said: “Very happy to get the win and the boys are delighted. We have a good team spirit here. It was shown in the field today and in everything that we do.
“It’s very nice – things really worked out well today. In Twenty20 it go your way one day and not another. Today it just went my way so it’s great when your plans come off. My plan was to change my pace and my line and length as much as possible – the odd quicker one, the odd slower one. The idea was that it would draw them into making a mistake, essentially. And thankfully that’s what happened.”
Also in Group A, PNG suffered its first defeat on the tournament, losing by 49 runs to Namibia. A wonderful 87 off 54 balls from Stephen Baard was the highlight of the match as the Namibians posted an imposing 181 having been asked to bat first in Malahide.
And in Clontarf, USA beat Hong Kong by seven wickets making sure that Group A will go down to the wire. What a day’s cricket we have in store.
At Malahide: Nepal 105-8, 20 overs (Siddhant Lohani 27; Nat Watkins 3-20, Anthony Kay 2-18)
Jersey 107-3, 16.1 overs (Jonty Jenner 30, Cornelis Bodenstein 27 not out)
Jersey won by seven wickets
At Goldenacre: Scotland 173-5, 20 overs (Kyle Coetzer 63, Preston Mommsen 32 not out; Zeeshan Maqsood 3-29)
Oman 150-7, 20 overs (Aamir Kaleem 59; Safyaan Sharif 3-27, Alasdair Evans 2-19)
Scotland won by 23 runs
At Stirling: Afghanistan v Canada
Match abandoned. No result – one point each.
At Malahide: Namibia 181-5, 20 overs (Stephen Baard 87, Sarel Burger 38; Willie Gavera 2-33)
PNG 132 all out, 19.2 overs (Tony Ura 34; Bernard Scholtz 4-11, Gerrie Snyman 3-18)
Namibia won by 49 runs
At Castle Avenue: Hong Kong 125-9, 20 overs (Jamie Atkinson 34, Irfan Ahmed 26; Japen Patel 3-28)
USA 128-3, 18.1 overs (Alex Amsterdam 43 not out, Nicholas Standford 40 not out)
USA won by seven wickets
At Myreside: Kenya 97 all out, 20 overs (Collins Obuya 33; Timm van der Gugten 3-13, Michael Swart 2-22, Michael Rippon 2-22)
Netherlands 98-6, 8.3 overs (Ben Cooper 59, Wesley Barresi 28; Shem Ngoche 3-19, Rakep Patel 2-17)
Netherlands won by four wickets