Easy wins for PNG, Netherlands and Scotland
The T20 World Cup Qualifier continued today in the UAE with Papua New Guinea, the Netherlands and Scotland all recording relatively straightforward wins.
Papua New Guinea were in action first thing, looking to get back to winning ways after an eight match losing streak in the CWC League 2. Bermuda were their opponents, and when Asad Vala won the toss, he didn't hesitate in putting them into bat at the ICC Academy in Dubai.
And it was a shocking batting display by the Bermudans, playing in this tournament for the first time since 2013. In the third over, Norman Vanua took a hat-trick - just the second by an associate player in T20Is - to leave them reeling on 11-5. Delray Rawlins watched that hat-trick from the other end, and he was the top scorer with 25 in Bermuda's well below par total of 89.
Papua New Guinea had no trouble chasing down their target and knocked off the runs in just 10.2 overs without losing a wicket. Tony Ura scored 33 whilst Asad Vala scored 53 from 35 balls.
On the same ground in the afternoon, the Netherlands took on Namibia. After a shaky start which saw them on 66-4, Ryan ten Doeschate showed why he's one of the most experienced players in Twenty20 cricket - only five men have played more T20 games - by scoring 59 from 40 balls to enable his team to score 140-6 from their 20 overs.
Like their match against Kenya yesterday, it was the Dutch pace quartet that did the damage with the ball. Fred Klaassen took the first two, whilst Paul van Meekeren and Brandon Glover took three each. Craig Williams with 27 was the only Namibian batsman to offer any sort of resistance and they were bowled out for just 96 to lose by 44 runs.
Next door on the ICC Academy secondary ground, Scotland batted first after Kyle Coetzer won the toss. None of their batting line-up made a huge contribution, but they kept up a good run rate throughout their innings despite losing wickets. The top score came from number seven Tom Sole who hit 33 from just 18 balls to help his team reach 170-6 from their 20 overs.
In reply, Irfan Karim scored 51 opening the batting, but there was no other contribution of note. Scotland took wickets at crucial times, never allowing Kenya to get a decent run rate going. They scored 139-8 from their 20 overs, losing by 31 runs, but truth be told the margin flattered them as they were never really in with a chance.
The ICC Academy plays host to two more Group A games tomorrow, with Papua New Guinea taking on Namibia first thing followed by Bermuda against Singapore. Over in Abu Dhabi, Group B action will see Jersey play Canada and Hong Kong take on Oman.