Sides prepare for vital I Cup clashes

Tue, Aug 10, 2010 7:38 PM

Sides prepare for vital I Cup clashes
Four sides will be hoping to take a step closer to the final of the ICC Intercontinental Cup this week with two important games in Ayr and Dublin respectively beginning on Wednesday.

Scotland and Afghanistan go into their match knowing that victory will help it take a step closer to a spot in the finals to be played in November 2010 in UAE.

Current table topper, Scotland, has had a good tournament so far, beating Canada by 29 runs, Kenya by eight wickets, Netherlands by four wickets and a drawn match against Ireland to lead the table with 69 points.

Scotland coach, Peter Steindl, said on the Cricket Scotland website: "We've performed well in our two previous matches this year away from home [against Kenya in January and the Netherlands in June]. And we are approaching this game with confidence and determination."

Meanwhile Afghanistan is currently placed third in the ICC Intercontinental Cup points table with 57 points from four games. It has previously beaten Netherlands by one wicket, Ireland by seven wickets and Canada by six wickets, and a drawn match against Zimbabwe XI.

The squad, led by coach Kabir Khan and assisted by newly-appointed batting coach, Rashid Latif, arrived in Scotland last week to get used to the local conditions ahead of the game.

In the other game this week, Ireland will meet the Netherlands in Dublin, also from 11-14 August. The defending champions are placed in a disappointing sixth in the I Cup table with 12 points, losing to Afghanistan by seven wickets, and having two drawn matches against Kenya and Scotland.

The side will be led by Trent Johnston, after William Porterfield declared himself unavailable due to county commitments. Ireland is also without opening bowler Boyd Rankin and the injured Niall O’Brien, who has been replaced by Gary Wilson.

The Dutch side, led by Peter Borren, is placed fourth on the table with 15 points from five games - losing to Zimbabwe XI by 137 runs, Afghanistan by one wicket, Kenya by five wickets and Scotland by four wickets, and a drawn match against Canada.

After the four-day matches, Ireland will face the Netherlands for two ODIs on Monday, 16 August and Wednesday, 18August at Castle Avenue (Clontarf) while Scotland plays Afghanistan in two ODIs at Ayr on Monday and Tuesday next week.

The full squads are as given below:

Afghanistan: Nawroz Mangal (captian), Karim Sadeq (vice captian), Mohammad Nabi Eisakhel, Hamid Hassan, Mohammad Asghar Salamkhail, Mohammad Shazad Mohammadi, Noor Ali Zadran, Shahpoor Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf, Samiullah Shinwari, Khaliq dad Noori, Jawed Ahmadi, Abdullah Mazari, Noorulhaq Malakzai

Ireland: Trent Johnston (captain), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, James Hall, Nigel Jones (ODIs only), John Mooney, Kevin O’Brien, Paul Stirling, Albert van der Merwe, Andrew White, Gary Wilson, Craig Young.

Netherlands: Peter Borren (captain), Eric Szwarczynski, Steven de Bruin, Nick Statham, Wesley Barresi, Wilfred Diepeveen, Tom Heggelman, Mark Jonkman, Adeel Raja, Pieter Seelaar, Muhammad Kashif, Maurits Jonkman, Bernard Loots.

Scotland: Gordon Drummond (captain), Richie Berrington, Ewan Chalmers, Ryan Flannigan, Gordon Goudie, Majid Haq, Moneeb Iqbal, Ross Lyons, Dewald Nel, Matthew Parker, Qasim Sheikh, Simon Smith and Fraser Watts.

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