WCL Division 4 Team of the Tournament
Once again CricketEurope's team on the spot has selected a Team of the Tournament following the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 4 tournament, held in Dar es Salaam last week.
As might be expected, Afghan players figure prominently after a competition in which their side maintained an undefeated record. Five players from the tournament winners make our eleven, with three each from runners-up Hong Kong and two from third-placed Italy.
Tanzanian seamer Khalil Rehemtullah completes the side, with Jersey allrounder Ryan Driver as twelfth man.
Among the opening batsmen, Italy's Andy Northcote – the only player in the tournament to record a century – and lefthander Ahmad Shah of Afghanistan were outstandingly consistent, although other lefthanders in Thushara Kurukulasuriya (Italy) and Joe Rika (Fiji) also did well.
Player of the Tournament Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) was naturally an automatic choice, for his off spin as much as for his disciplined batting, the former making sure of the title for his side in the final while the latter helped get them there, not least in the thrilling victory over Hong Kong in the round robin phase.
Leading runscorer Butt Hussain, who made 267 runs at 44.50 and would have emulated Andy Northcote had he not been run out for 99 against Jersey, also staked a strong claim, as did his Hong Kong teammate Zain Abbas.
Northcote's brother, wicketkeeper-batsman Nick, and Afghanistan's Rais Ahmadzai, one of the most improved players in a rapidly-improving team, complete the middle order.
Hasti Gul Abid (Afghanistan) and Khalil Rehemtulla, with 10 and 13 wickets respectively, were among the most impressive of the new ball bowlers, although Italy's opening pair of AlaudDin and Vincenzo Pennazza might be considered a little unlucky to miss out.
The most formidable of the seamers in the competition, however, was Afghanistan's Hamid Hussain, the leading wicket-taker with 17 at 8.76. Normally bowling second change, Hamid took crucial wickets, and almost brought the tournament to a sensational conclusion when he clean bowled two Hong Kong batsmen with successive deliveries and then did the same to the last man with his next delivery – a no ball.
Hong Kong's slow left-armer Nadeem Ahmed was the most successful of the spinners apart from Nabi, taking 13 wickets at 13.23, and with Ahmad Shah and Andy Northcote also available, the side would have no shortage of spin to back up the quicker bowlers.
• Andy Northcote (Italy)
• Ahmad Shah (Afghanistan)
• Zain Abbas (Hong Kong)
• Butt Hussain (Hong Kong)
• Nick Northcote (Italy, wicketkeeper)
• Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)
• Rais Ahmadzai (Afghanistan)
• Nadeem Ahmed (Hong Kong)
• Hasti Gul (Afghanistan)
• Khalil Rehemtulla (Tanzania)
• Hamid Hassan (Afghanistan)
• Ryan Driver (Jersey, twelfth man)