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The Netherlands, Kenya and Namibia favourites to qualify for the Super Six stage

Tue, Jan 7, 2014 12:53 PM


The Netherlands, Kenya and Namibia favourites to qualify for the Super Six stage
Second seed the Netherlands, fourth seed Kenya and fifth seed Namibia are the front-runners to qualify for the Super Six stage from Group B of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier New Zealand 2014 (ICC CWCQ), which will be staged from 13 January to 1 February.

Apart from these three sides, seventh seed Papua New Guinea (PNG) and 10th seed Uganda are the other two sides in the group, whose matches will be played in Mount Maunganui, New Plymouth and Lincoln.

The Netherlands finished fourth in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Championship 2011-13 (ICC WCLC), behind winner Ireland, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ireland and Afghanistan qualified automatically for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, while the UAE has been top seeded for the ICC CWCQ after being the highest ranked side from the ICC WCLC.

The Netherlands is vastly experienced having previously played in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1996, 2003, 2007 and 2011. It also has a proud record at the ICC CWCQ, previously known as the ICC Trophy, when it was the runner-up in 1986 and 1990, finished third in 1994, won the event in 2001 and was third in 2009 when the tournament was staged in South Africa.

Peter Borren, Mudassar Bukhari, Daan van Bunge, Pieter Seelaar and Eric Szwarczynski are the survivors from the 2009 campaign. Borren, who also represented New Zealand in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2002, was one of the two batsmen to show form in the recently concluded ICC WCLC when he finished with 280 runs at an average of 35.

Speaking about his team?s chances in Group B, Borren said: ?We have a very good chance of qualifying. I think we have a very well-drilled side that has a great balance of talent and experience.?

Kenya, which finished sixth in the ICC WCLC, is looking for a change in fortunes under new player-cum-coach Steve Tikolo and new captain Rakep Patel. Kenya has many campaigners in its squad from the ICC CWCQ 2009. Only Ragheb Aga, Duncan Allan, Irfan Karim, Shem Ngoche and Nelson Odhiambo didn?t feature for the side in South Africa.

Kenya is the only team in the tournament to have played in five successive ICC Cricket World Cups ? 1996 to 2011. It also has a good record in the ICC CWCQ, having reached the semi-finals in 1990 and finished as the runner-up in 1994 and 1997. It managed a fourth-place finish at the last edition of the ICC CWCQ.

The Netherlands? and Kenya match in Lincoln on 23 January will be the only match in Group B that will be classified as an ODI. On a head-to-head, the Netherlands and Kenya have played nine times with the Dutch winning seven matches, including victories in the last four ODIs.

Fifth seed Namibia finished seventh in the ICC WCLC, winning two matches out of 12. The African side is looking to qualify for its second ICC CWC, after having played the 2003 tournament which was staged in South Africa. For Namibia, captain Sarel Burger, JB Burger, Louis Klazinga, Bernard Scholtz, Nicolaas Scholtz, LP van der Westhuizen and Craig Williams were all members of the squad for South Africa four years ago.

Namibia finished eighth in the last edition of the ICC CWCQ in 2009. Its chances in this edition will hinge largely on the bowling form of Christi Viljoen, who took 23 wickets in the ICC WCLC, and Raymond van Schoor, who scored 360 runs at an average of 30 in the same competition.

Assessing his opponents in Group B, Namibia captain Sarel Burger said: ?I think you can?t single out any team as the biggest threat or as the one to watch out for. Each one is a quality side, and we need to take them all on with full drive and accord them their due respect.?

Papua New Guinea, which is seeded seventh in New Zealand, had finished third in the 1982 edition, but didn?t go beyond the first round in 2001, finished 11th in 2005 and did not qualify for the 2009 edition.

PNG has earned the right to play in this event by finishing third in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 2011, while Uganda has qualified for the event after finishing second in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 3 2013. Uganda has previously played three times in this tournament, having finished 10th in 2001, 12th in 2005 and 10th in 2009.

The top three teams from each group of the ICC CWCQ NZ 2014 will progress to the Super Six stage. The top two sides at the end of that stage will not only reach the final but also qualify for the ICC CWC 2015 and complete the 14-team tally for that event, which will be staged in Australia and New Zealand from 14 February to 29 March.

Squads:

Kenya ? Rakep Patel (captain), Ragheb Aga, Duncan Allan, Irfan Karim, Shem Ngoche, Alex Obanda, Collins Obuya, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Nelson Odhiambo, Thomas Odoyo, Lameck Onyango, Elijah Otieno, Morris Ouma, Steve Tikolo, Hiren Varaiya

Namibia ? Sarel Burger (captain), Stephan Baard, Jason Davidson, Gerhard Erasmus, Shalako Groenewald, Louis Klazinga, JP Kotze, Xander Pitchers, Bernard Scholtz, Nicolaas Scholtz, JJ Smit, Gerrie Snyman, Christi Viljoen, LP van der Westhuizen, Craig Williams

Netherlands ? Peter Borren (captain), Wesley Barresi, Mudassar Bukhari, Daan van Bunge, Atse Buurman, Ben Cooper, Tim Gruijters, Vivian Kingma, Ahsan Malik, Paul van Meekeren, Stephan Myburgh, Michael Rippon, Pieter Seelaar, Michael Swart, Eric Szwarczynski

Papua New Guinea ? Chris Amini (captain), Charles Amini, Mahuru Dai, Willie Gavera, Raymond Haoda, Geraint Jones, Chris Kent, Vani Vagi Morea, Kila Pala, Pipi Raho, Lega Siaka, Tony Ura, Assad Vala, Norman Vanua, Jack Vare

Uganda ? Davis Arinaitwe Karashani (captain), Brian Masaba, Deusdedit Muhumuza, Roger Mukasa, Phillemon Selowa Mukobe, Benjamin Musoke, Abram Ndhlovu Mutyagaba, Frank Nsubuga, Patrick Ochan, Faruk Ochimi, Richard Gideon Okia, Raymond Otim, Almuzahim Hamza Saleh, Laurence Sematimba, Charles Waiswa



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