Netherlands and Namibia secure play-off spots
The Netherlands and Namibia have secured their place in the play-offs at this qualifier for the T20 World Cup after beating Bermuda and Singapore respectively today in Dubai.
The Netherlands batted first after winning the toss, with openers Max O'Dowd and Ben Cooper racing to a 123 run partnership before O'Dowd was out for 58 in the 13th over. Cooper was out - also for 58 - in the next over, but Ryan ten Doeschate and Colin Achermann ensured that the runs kept coming.
The pair put on 52 for the third wicket before ten Doeschate was out for 28 whilst Ackermann clubbed 43 from 18 balls to finish the innings unbeaten. The Dutch total was 206-3, a challenging one for a Bermuda side that has looked well out of their depth so far in this tournament.
And a brief cameo by Kamau Leverock which saw him score 31 from 15 balls apart, they were again out of their depth. Paul van Meekeren was the pick of the Dutch bowlers with 3-26 as Bermuda were restricted to 114-9 from their 20 overs, losing by 92 runs.
Later in the day, Singapore took on Namibia knowing that they needed a big win if they were to reach the play-offs. To this end, they put Namibia in after winning the toss, hoping to know exactly what they needed to score and how quickly. With Namibia at 56-3, things were looking good for Singapore, but JP Kotze and Gerhard Erasmus began to take the game away from Singapore.
The game turned in the 13th over of Namibia's innings when Erasmus smashed Sidhant Singh for four sixes to start the over, followed by a four and a single. Erasmus was eventually out in the final over, Namibia hitting out and losing three wickets, but still reached 191-8.
Singapore needed to score their runs in 12.3 overs to climb ahead of Namibia on net run rate. They tried to hit out from the start of their innings, and with two wickets down after the first over, were always on the back foot. There were a few drops by the Namibian fielders, but their bowlers kept plugging away and eventually bowled Singapore out for 104 in 17.1 overs. Jan Frylinck was the pick of the bowlers with 4-21, whilst Christi Viljoen took 3-14.
Namibia had won by 87 runs and given their net run rate a significant boost, taking them ahead of Scotland and into third place. They'll be playing close attention to Scotland's match against the Netherlands tomorrow afternoon. If the Netherlands win, or if Scotland win by a narrow enough margin, Namibia will have two attempts at reaching the T20 World Cup.
The Netherlands could still finish top depending on what happens in Papua New Guinea's game against Kenya, the latter of whom have an outside chance of a play-off spot if they can record a big enough win against PNG and Scotland lose by enough.
In Group B, the first match will see Hong Kong take on Nigeria, with the Hong Kong side needing a big win - and to rely on results elsewhere - if they are to make the play-offs. In the afternoon, Jersey will take on Oman, also needing a big win and needing results to go down their way, whilst the Omanis will secure their place in Australia with a win. The final game of the day will be between hosts UAE and Canada, both of whom could also finish top with a big enough win.
Whatever happens, we're in for an exciting finish to the group stage. Keep your eyes on CricketEurope for all the action!