It was a low scoring day in most matches on the first day of the ICC U19 World Cup Qualifying tournament. Of the eight teams in action, Ireland were the only side to make more than 200 runs, as the bowlers took advantage of good conditions for them.
In the highest profile match of the day, Ireland took on the Netherlands at King City. Netherlands won the toss and sent in Ireland to bat first, but after claiming the first wicket for just 11 runs, the rest of the day belonged to the men in green. Paul Stirling led the way, making the first century of this tournament, scoring 102 off 117 deliveries and pacing his side to a final total of 254 for 5 from their 50 overs. James Shannon chipped in 50 runs from 41 deliveries to keep the innings moving in the bottom order, and ensured the target set would be a winning one.
Netherlands never had a chance in the chase as they lost their first four wickets for just 14 runs, and only four of their batsmen managed to reach double digits. Philp van den Brandeler made a strong showing, posting 85 runs, and Lucas Brouwers was defiant in the number 9 position, making 39. However, the Netherlands only managed to make 179 for 9 in their innings, meaning a 75 run win for Ireland. Shane Getkate was the best bowler for Ireland, taking 3 wickets for 29 runs in a ten over spell.
The United States were threatened by Vanuatu before battling back to earn a 47 run victory. The Americans chose to bat and were surprised by some early movement in the pitch, as Vanuatu bowled tight lines and took wickets at regular intervals. Ryan Corns was the leading scorer, but he managed only 45 runs off 90 balls, and Simpson Obed's 4 wickets for 29 runs led the way in bowling the USA out for 168.
Vanuatu came out hitting hard and for some time looked like they may have a chance to be the shock of the opening day. However, Lazaro Carlot's 50 off 90 balls was not enough as his teammates failed to support him and Vanuatu were all out for 121. Corns took 3 wickets for 7 runs, which, coupled with his batting, earned him the man of the match.
Papua New Guinea also started their tournament with a win, beating Hong Kong by 4 wickets. They put their opponents in to bat first, and bowled threateningly throughout the innings. Irfan Ahmed's 88 was the only score of note for Hong Kong who were all out for 160 in the last over of their 50. Raymond Haoda took 5 wickets for 24 runs in 9.4 overs, and was unlucky to not be given the man of the match honours.
The chase was always going to be an easy one, but was made even easier by an astonishing 42 extras from the Hong Kong attack. Tony Ura added 65 - the only batsman to top that extras total - and led his side to an easy victory, as well as claiming the man of the match award.
The home side survived a shock in their match with Uganda, which was the only match played at Malton CC. Canada were bowled out for a paltry 106 runs, lasting just 42.5 overs in their innings. However, the bowlers bailed out their batsmen, and skittled Uganda for 62 runs, enough for a 44 run victory.
So the first day ends with 4 sides on 2 points and 5 sides on nought. Ireland will be the happiest side, as they beat one of their main rivals in the Netherlands, but there are many overs left to be bowled in this tournament, and any number of twists and turns to come.