- World Cup 2015
Collingwood's Scotland lose opening World Cup qualifier
Scotland's 2015 World Cup hopes took an early blow as they fell to a 17-run defeat to Hong Kong in their opening qualifer in Queenstown, bringing a losing start for temporary coach Paul Collingwood, who has taken charge for a month following the departure of Peter Steindl.
Scotland won the toss and put Hong Kong in, which seemed an inspired move when Mark Wright was run out during the third over. This brought the captain, Jamie Atkinson to the crease, and he proceeded to add 61 for the second wicket with opener Irfan Ahmed.
Contributions from Mark Chapman, Babar Hayat and Tanwir Afzal ensured Hong Kong reached a competitive 263 for 7. Iain Wardlaw was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 57.
Scotland kept pace with the required rate for the most part, with Matt Machan beginning the charge with his run-a-ball 34. Preston Mommsen went on to guide the innings at No.4, reaching a maiden List A ton in the process. Mommsen continued to inhabit one end as wickets fell regularly for Scotland.
Rob Taylor's 28 was the next best effort down the order as Scotland allowed the required rate to go astray, eventually succumbing to Hong Kong's duo of Haseeb Amjad and Nadeem Ahmed, who took seven wickets between them.
UAE were put in to bat, and despite losing opener Amjad Ali with just 1 on the board, the rest of the batting line-up took up the slack.
It was the match-defining partnership between Shaiman and Swapnil Patil that turned the match in UAE's favour, as the duo put on 145 runs for the fourth wicket. Shaiman's effort eventually came to an end on 109, but Patil stuck around to score 74 off 78 balls, as UAE racked up 297 for 8.
Nepal's reply began rather abjectly as they struggled their way to 53 for 5 in 18 overs. A 49-run stand between Sharad Vesawkar and Binod Bhandari helped arrest the slide somewhat, but it was all too fleeting. Despite Shakti Gauchan's unbeaten 37 at No.9, Nepal had too much to do, and were eventually rolled for 195. Vesawkar top-scored with 54, while Kamran Shazad was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 46.
Kenya batted first and proceeded to lose both their openers with just 36 on the board. Collins Obuya entered at No.4, and played a sparkling knock, hitting 106 off 120 balls to guide Kenya to a competitive 249 for 9. PNG's Raymond Haoda was the most troublesome of the bowlers, taking 4 for 50. Thomas Odoyo entered the fray at No. 8, and hit 42 off 34 balls to add much-needed impetus to the score.
PNG didn't start well at all, losing opener Tony Ura, who was quite prolific during the World Twenty20 qualifiers late last year, for a two-ball duck. This brought the No.3, Vala, to the crease, and he added 154 runs with Siaka to set PNG on their way to a resounding win.
Siaka fell in the 24th over, soon after completing a century on his List A debut, while Vala found company in the No.4, captain Chris Amini, with the duo pressing on to knock off the remaining 96 runs with more than seven overs to spare. Vala finished unbeaten on 105 off 109 balls, his first century in this format.
"That was the most important and best innings I've played for my country," Vala said. "This win sets us up well for the tournament and gives us some real momentum."
Fifties from Wesley Barresi and Peter Borren ensured Netherlands began their World Cup 2015 qualifiers campaign with a victory, as they downed Uganda by seven wickets at Mount Maunganui. Uganda won the toss and elected to bat first, with the openers putting on a healthy stand of 76.
However, things began to come undone once Roger Mukasa fell for 44, and Uganda went on to lose all ten wickets for the addition of just 76 runs. Left-arm chinaman bowler Michael Rippon was the wrecker-in-chief, taking 4 for 15 in his quota of ten overs. Uganda were dismissed for 152 inside 47 overs.
"The conditions were perfect for me," Rippon said. "The pitch was quite stoppy and took a bit of spin. I had a perfect breeze and the skipper brought me on at a perfect time to bowl."
Netherlands were not really challenged in their chase, and while the openers put on just 27, the batsmen continued to develop meaningful partnerships. Barresi anchored the innings, while captain Borren scored a handy 50 off 56 balls. The pair put on 85 to effectively take the game away from Uganda, as they chased the target down with almost 20 overs to spare.