The United Arab Emirates were crowned the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 champions in Windhoek, Namibia, on February 15 as they beat Nepal by seven runs.
The UAE will now join the Windies, Ireland, the Netherlands and PNG in group A at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, whilst Nepal will take the remaining spot in group B alongside Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Scotland and Zimbabwe.
Canada secured third place in Division 2 beating Namibia by 49 runs, Namibia took fourth place and Oman finished fifth after a five-wicket win over sixth-placed Kenya.
UAE v Nepal
The UAE won the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 by defeating Nepal by seven runs in an exciting end to a thrilling tournament in Windhoek.
The UAE batting order all played their part, but Ashfaq Ahmed’s century (114, 123b, 10×4, 3×6) was the best performance. Captain Rohan Mustafa (51), Rameez Shahzad (41 not out) and Shaiman Anwar (40) all chipped in with important runs. Sandeep Lamichhane (1-39) was once again the best bowler for Nepal. The UAE finished their innings on 270 for eight after their 50 overs.
In reply Nepal had their own century maker, captain Paras Khadka (112*, 103b, 3×4, 8×6), who almost led Nepal over the line again in another close match. His heroics – which earned him the title of most runs in the tournament at 241 runs – supported by Dipendra Airee (35) and Sharad Vesawkar (30) were not quite enough as they fell eight runs short from victory.
The UAE’s Amir Hayat took four wickets for 53 runs. Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane for his 17 wickets for 176 runs in the tournament was awarded the Player of the Tournament.
Canada v Namibia
Canada secured third place by defeating Namibia by 49 runs at WAP. Canada, who batted first, can thank the 140-run partnership – the highest of the tournament – between Nicholas Kirton (73, 111b, 4×4, 1×6) and Navneet Dhaliwal (78, 84b, 4×4, 2×6) for getting to 247 for four in 50 overs.
Nitish Kumar (33), Srimantha Wijeratne (28) and Hamza Tariq (23) also chipped in with important runs. Namibia’s Petrus Burger took two wickets for 28 runs.
Namibia’s batsmen all got starts with only LP van der Westhuizen (53, 54b, 5×4, 2×6) going on to get a half century. Gerhard Erasmus’ innings of 42 runs and Stephan Baard’s 29 were not enough to chase down Canada’s target. Canada’s Saad Bin Zafar (3 wickets for 40 runs) did the damage as the North American side won by 49 runs and secured third place.
Oman v Kenya
Kenya, who lost every match in the tournament, batted first and posted 253 runs in 49.5 overs. Dhiren Gondaria (68, 49b, 3×4, 5×6) and Shem Ngoche (66, 68b, 5×4, 3×6) put in good performances. Nelson Odhiambo also contributed 42 runs, but it was Oman’s Bilal Khan’s five for 40 which helped Oman secure fifth place.
Oman’s reply centred on Khawar Ali’s 112 not out (142b, 11×4). VS Wategaonkar 67 and Zeeshan Maqsood (33) chipped in with runs as Dhiren Gondaria was the pick of the Kenyan bowlers with two wickets for 17 runs.
Scores in brief
UAE beat Nepal by 7 runs at Wanderers
UAE 277-4, 50 overs (Ashfaq Ahmed 114, Rohan Mustafa 51; Sandeep Lamichhane 1-39)
Nepal 270-8, 50 overs (Paras Khadka 112 not out, Dipendra Airee 35; Amir Hayat 4-53)
Canada beat Namibia by 49 runs at WAP
Canada 247-4. 50 overs (Navneet Dhaliwal 78 not out, Nicholas Kirton 73 not out; Petrus Burger 2-28)
Namibia 198 all out, 47.5 overs (LP Van der Westhuizen, Gerhard Erasmus 42; Saad Bin Zafar 3-40)
Oman beat Kenya by 5 wickets at Trustco UNITED
Kenya 253 all out, 49.5 overs (D Gondaria 68, S Ngoche 66; Bilal Khan 5-40)
Oman 257-5, 47 overs (Khawar Ali 112 not out, V Wategaonkar 67; Dhiren Gondaria 2-17)
Final standings at ICC World Cricket League Division 2
Winner – UAE
Runner-up – Nepal
3rd – Canada
4th – Namibia
5th – Oman
Player of the Tournament
Sandeep Lamicchane – Nepal