2 May 2011

World Cricket League Div. 7 - Murky Monday

Match Day 2
[scorecards] [points table]
[cricinfo bulletin] [ICC day 2 report]

Germany v Nigeria
[gallery not up yet] [André Leslie blog match day 1/2] [great emotional report by Cricket Germany]

Dammit. Nigeria opted to field first and it was a good decision for them. Only Milan Fernando's fabulous 82 sticks out on the German scorecard. The middle order collapsed spectacularly, before the tailenders added another handful of runs to take the total to 166, coincidentally exactly the same target that Norway had set the day before and could not defend against the Nigerians either. After our opening bowlers took three wickets and had me hope for a typical German scenario -make only just enough runs for our excellent attack to defend- the ball got older and for the first time we were facing the expected problems on these wickets, they suit the pacers and our spinners (the experienced Shakeel Hassan came in for Ashwin Prakash) couldn't take any wickets. When Nigeria only still needed 70-odd runs, André Leslie came on and removed skipper Ofem first ball. But the drought continued from there, Ehsan Latif upon his return took another quick wicket, but the main man Sean Philips had dug himself into his crease, and Nigeria chased the target down rather comfortably.

It lies in the obscure why Rishi Pillai didn't get the ball thrown at him and Rajeev Vohra came on so late that his wicket didn't effect the outcome of the match anymore; and why Iqbal, who has taken nine wickets in two matches now, wasn't brought back earlier. I will have to look into the match reports to find out about that. I'm pretty sure of what Endurance Ofem will be thinking now... "I had expected more of the Germans" ha ha! Well it was a slip and we need to correct the mistake in the next matches. The table is still open, and our bowlers worked hard as usual, but it's not getting easier from here and our batsmen, especially the middle order, will need to contribute more.

Kuwait skipper Hisham Mirza takes no prisoners,
brings up his 50 against Norway
Kuwait v Norway

Surprise, surprise. Norway, who lost against Nigeria on day one, made 246 against Kuwait's strong attack. Alas, they failed to take wickets, and the Kuwaiti batsmen, obviously avid readers of this blog, started to show their strength again, losing only three wickets during the chase. The fine knocks from Ehetsham ul-Haq (69) and Muhammad Shahbaz Butt (72*) as well as a mindboggling 48(!!!) Kuwaiti extras enabled the Norwegians to put a score on the board they should have been able to defend more easily than the day before, but Kuwait know better which way to hold a bat. Irfan Bhatti (64), a household name to my readers, keeper Sibtain Raza (77*) and skipper Hisham Mirza (64*) shared the duties amongst themselves almost equally and made the chase a walk in the park. What an amazing team the Kuwaitis are. Well done. The desert warriors are firmly and deservedly sitting on the throne at the top of the table. I expect them not to drop the trophy anymore from here, this second big victory will sow fear and terror in any future opponent. PS. Mo Murad 6-39.

Botswana v Japan

The shocker of the day. Japan got bowled out for 86, and that included 15 extras. Botswana strolled to victory with 121 balls to spare. Just look at the scorecard for the details, I'm not discussing this any further.


A day off is scheduled for tomorrow and on Wednesday Germany will continue with a must-win game against the hosts Botswana, while Japan will face Norway and Kuwait lock horns with the the No. 2 in the table, Nigeria, a match that makes me want to grab some popcorn and just enjoy the show hehe.


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