Italy still in contention after winning the battle of the European teams
Wed, Oct 8, 2008 11:42 AM
Despite Afghanistan and Hong Kong maintaining their unbeaten records at the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 4 ahead of their big face-off at Anadil Burhani tomorrow, Italy remains in contention after defeating Jersey.
In a dramatic finish, Afghanistan overcame a young and talented Tanzania team by just eight runs (Duckworth-Lewis method), while Tabarak Dar's Hong Kong side enjoyed a comprehensive 129-run win over Fiji on a rain-interrupted day in Dar Es Salaam.
But Italy's victory over Jersey has set up a tantalising finish to the event, although they will probably need to record victories over Tanzania and Afghanistan and hope its net run-rate is good enough if they are progress to Division 3 in Argentina in January.
Afghanistan's batting once again underperformed against Tanzania, making just 143 all out, but inspired by brilliant performances from Mohammad Nabi (3-12), who was named player of the match, Hasti Gul (3-29) and Hamid Hassan (3-37), it fought back in dramatic fashion to seal an exciting victory.
With Tanzania on 112-5, chasing a revised target of 139 to win in 46 overs due to the rain, it looked like it was certain to spring the upset of the tournament, until a flurry of wickets dented its hopes.
"It was a very good match, it was a very exciting match but my team put in an excellent bowling performance," said Norooz Mangal, Afghanistan captain, whose side lost to Hong Kong in the semi-finals of the ACC Trophy Elite earlier this year.
"Tomorrow should be a very good match. Hong Kong is a very good side and it is a rematch for us as well."
Hong Kong made 233-7 against Fiji, with Roy Laslam top scoring with a quick fire 55 not out, before opening bowler Najeeb Amar (3-21) and slow left-armer Nadeem Ahmed (3-28) made sure of victory.
Tabarak Dar was proud of the efforts of his players and was looking forward to the challenge of taking on Afghanistan.
"We have the upper hand against them having beaten them the last time we played them," said Dar.
"It will be a tough game- they are a good all-round side like ourselves and it should be a good match."
Italy, who had lost twice to Jersey in 2007, boosted its hopes of qualification when it won the battle of the two European sides at Leaders Club.
Nick Northcote (38) top scored for Italy as it amassed 171 all out, with Ryan Driver's medium pacers causing havoc as he took 4-16.
And despite some brave resistance from Jersey in another rain-affected match- particularly from skipper Mat Hague (53 not out)- it eventually was reduced to 121 all out, meaning that its dream of qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is now over.
"Today was vital that we won our match, especially against Jersey who beat us when we played a while ago," said Joe Scuderi, captain and coach of Italy.
"We've just got to keep winning in this tournament- that's the bottom line."
As well as Afghanistan playing Hong Kong, Italy take on Tanzania and Jersey face Fiji in tomorrow's fixtures.
For scorecards, photos and post-match reaction from the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 4 please go to www.pepsiiccworldcricketleague.com
Hong Kong beat Fiji by 129 runs at University
Hong Kong 233-7, 50 overs (Roy Laslam 55 not out, Butt Hussain 48, Zain Abbas 47; Waikato Tukana 3-34)
Fiji 104 all out, 30.1 overs (Najeeb Amar 3-21, Nadeem Ahmed 3-28)
Italy beat Jersey by 29 runs (D-L method) at Leaders Club
Italy 171 all out, 46.5 overs (Nick Northcote 38, Ryan Driver 4-16, Peter Gough 3-35)
Jersey 121 all out, 33.3 overs
Afghanistan beat Tanzania by 8 runs (D-L method) at Anadil Burhani
Afghanistan 143 all out, 46.3 overs (Kassim Nassoro 3-24)
Tanzania 130 all out, 44.2 overs (Mohammad Nabi 3-12, Hasti Gul 3-29, Hamid Hassan 3-37)