Sat, 09 Dec 2023

Windhoek [Namibia], March 28 (ANI): United Arab Emirates and Canada overcame resilient performances from Papua New Guinea and Jersey respectively to gain their first points in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-off here in Windhoek on Monday.

PNG won the toss and chose to field. An inspired Chad Soper (4/43) gave his side the dream start, extracting the maximum value with the new ball and picking four wickets in his opening spell.

UAE skipper Muhammad Waseem played the lone soldier for the first 20 overs as no other batter was able to get in. But, the confident presence of 17-year-old Aayan Khan liberated Waseem, and the batter increased the stakes once he reached fifty. He hit three sixes in Charles Amini's fifth over, which was taken for 21 runs.

However, the batter fell four short of his hundred to give Semo Kamea (2/38) his second success. This didn't stop Aayan though, who took the initiative from Waseem and went hammer and tongs toward the end of the innings. Courtesy of his run-a-ball 94, UAE ended at 260/7.

PNG got off to a fast start thanks to Kiplin Doriga and Tony Ura, who combined 145 runs in the opening 20 overs. Doriga went for the attack in the first overs, while Ura joined the festivities after settling in.

Ura's dismissal against the run of play in the 21st over brought UAE back into the game. Leg-spinner Karthik Meiyappan (4/44) went on to pick four wickets in no time as PNG slipped from 146/0 to 162/5.

The PNG hitters could afford to take their time and settle in given the blazing start. They attempted to accomplish the same while making progress towards the goal.

However, UAE bowlers proved to be relentless and provided wickets at regular intervals. Zahoor Khan (3/49), Aayan (1/33) and Junaid Siddique (1/23) cleaned up the lower order to hand UAE a win.

Meanwhile, Canada defeated Jersey by 31 runs. Canada's top order lacked more in application than intent, as the loss of four batters for 56 in the first 10 overs showed. The North American squad was unable to capitalise on the unpredictable performance of ODI debutants Jersey during that time, who let up 16 extra runs. As a result, they were forced to begin the rebuilding process.

Luckily for them, keeper Srimantha Wijeyeratne (63) and Harsh Thaker (27) provided stability with their 62-run partnership for the fifth wicket. After Thaker's loss in the 24th over, Wijeyratne was joined by the experienced Nikhil Dutta (56). The duo joined hands for a crucial 70-run stand. The lack of wickets in hand and disciplined bowling from Jersey meant that Canada could add only 54 runs in the final 10 overs.

Chasing a target of 239, Jersey got off to a solid start. After putting on 36 runs for the first wicket with Harrison Carlyon, Nick Greenwood (59) added 81 for the second with Josh Lawrenson.

The batting momentum was shaken by Greenwood's defeat, but Josh Lawrenson did his best to keep the innings together and aid Jersey in getting closer to the goal.

However, Canada gained a foothold in the match when Lawrenson was removed for 66 by Dutta (2/31) in the 40th over. It was still anyone's game with Canada leading by 61 runs and two new batters at the wicket.

And skipper Saad Bin Zafar (3/51) put the bowling side ahead with a double-wicket 43rd over. Jersey were eventually bowled out in the 48th over. (ANI)

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