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Taylor named man of the match

Latest report from ICC T20 World Qualifiers

by Jordan Rowson

Leicestershire's Rob Taylor was named man of the match as his Scotland side breathed new life into their ICC T20 World Cup hopes with an impressive 84-run win against Papua New Guinea today.

After losing the toss, Scotland were sent into bat and made a brilliant start in what was a vital game in Dubai. Calum MacLeod had dominated the first half of the Scottish innings and found himself on 58* (39b) alongside fellow opener Richie Berrington 24* (22b) at the halfway stage.

MacLeod (58, 40b) went on to record a crucial half-century before being bowled by Charles Amini (4-0-33-2). Impressive knocks from Matt Machan (44, 25b) and Berrington (43, 33b) who fell seven runs short of his half-century ensured Scotland posted a score of 181-5 from their 20 overs. Taylor hit an unbeaten 5 from 4 deliveries.

In reply, Papua New Guinea were torn apart by some tremendous Scotland bowling, which Taylor was at the heart of. The Leicestershire all-rounder enjoyed a devastating spell, where he ripped through Papua New Guinea’s middle order to record remarkable figures of 3-0-16-3.

He dismissed Geraint Jones for 5 (10b) before having Christopher Kent (1,2b) and Amini (0, 4b) caught behind by Matthew Cross. Papua New Guinea limped to a final total of 97-9 after 20 overs as Scotland secured an emphatic victory.

Reports from day 6: Tuesday, November 21

The result moves Scotland on to four points in Group B. They return to Dubai tomorrow to play group leaders Netherlands. Elsewhere, Leicestershire’s Niall O’Brien did not feature today as Ireland’s qualifier against Italy in Abu Dhabi was abandoned without a ball bowled due to heavy rain.

Ireland stepped closer to ICC World T20 qualification with a 75-run thrashing of the United States of America in Abu Dhabi today.

After losing the toss and being sent in to bat, Ireland made a blistering start and were 111-1 at the halfway mark, losing only the wicket of Paul Stirling 25 (17b).

Will Porterfield had dominated an opening stand of 94 in 8.1 overs and the captain went on to hit a devastating 127 not out (69b) including 12 fours and five sixes during an 86-minute spell at the crease.

John Mooney (32*, 13b) helped add 65 in just 27 balls alongside Porterfield to help Ireland post a massive total of 216-3, the highest score of the tournament so far. Leicestershire’s Niall O’Brien was not required to bat.

In reply, Ireland’s bowling was equally impressive as their batting as they their opponents were bowled out for just 141 with three balls left to spare. Stirling (4-0-25-3) was the standout bowler but there were also excellent two wicket hauls for Mooney (3.3-0-18-2), George Dockrell (4-0-19-2), and Max Sorenson (3-0-24-2).

Reports from days 4 and 5: Monday, November 18 and Tuesday, November 19

Scotland face a stern challenge to salvage their ICC T20 World Cup Qualifying campaign after back-to-back qualifiers in the United Arab Emirates left them second bottom in Group B.

After losing their opening two games, fortunes looked to be turning around in Scotland's favour when they came up against in-form Nepal in Dubai on Monday.

Scotland won the toss and elected to field and restricted their opponents to a total of 137-7. There were three wicket hauls for Safyaan Sharif (4-0-19-3) and Gordon Goudie (4-0-29-3), while Leicestershire’s Rob Taylor returned excellent figures of 4-0-19-0.

Scotland looked confident in reply and lost only the wickets of Richie Berrington (5, 10b) and Matt Machan (28, 19b) with Calum Macleod hitting a stunning 82* (64b), including five fours and three sixes to help Scotland clinch a crucial 8-wicket victory. Kyle Coetzer also scored 20 from 23 deliveries with Taylor not required to bat.

However, it was a different story today as Scotland were back in Dubai to take on Kenya at the ICC Academy. Kenya won the toss and chose to bat first, racking up their highest total of the tournament so far with a huge 183-7.

Batting at 8, Ragheb Aga did much of the damage, hitting a blistering 52 (25b) which included eight boundaries. With some economical bowling, Majid Haq (4-0-21-2) was the pick of the Scottish attack, while Sharif (2-0-11-1) and Goudie (3-0-29-1) were also amongst the wickets, with Taylor featuring once more (3-0-37-0).

With a score of 184 to chase down for victory, Scotland never really got going in their reply and were 51-4 after just 5.2 overs, losing the vital wickets of Macleod (1, 9b) and Coetzer (15, 5b). Taylor (17, 13b) and David Murphy (20, 21b) helped steady the innings, but a lower order collapse saw the Scots falter to 91 all out after just 13.2 overs. Kenya therefore ran out winners by a colossal 92 runs, leaving their opponents' qualification hopes in the balance.

Report from Day 3: Sunday, November 17

Ireland were involved in a fantastic game against hosts United Arab Emirates in the third ICC World T20 qualifier in Abu Dhabi.

After captain Will Porterfield won the toss and elected to bat, Ireland posted 138-5 thanks to a 4th wicket stand worth 92 between Kevin O'Brien (47, 47b) and Gary Wilson 53* (44b). Unfortunately Leicestershire's Niall O'Brien was dismissed without scoring as Ireland were pegged back to 42-3 at one stage.

UAE were 64-3 at halfway so the game was in the balance but Ireland claimed a five-run victory after some extremely tight bowling from Max Sorensen (4-0-17-2), Paul Stirling (4-0-21-2) and Trent Johnston (2.5-0-13-1). George Dockrell also picked up two wickets (3-0-21-2) as UAE were bowled out for 133 with one ball to go.

The result keeps Ireland in pole position to win the group but Hong Kong also have a 100% record from their first two matches.

Report from Day 2: Saturday, November 16

Leicestershire's Niall O’Brien helped Ireland make it two wins from two ICC World T20 qualifiers in Abu Dhabi today as they secured a narrow 2-run win over Canada.

Batting first, O’Brien came in at 3 and hit an important 27 from 24 balls to help Ireland post 168-5, setting Canada a total of 169 to win. The wicket-keeper/batsmen then went on to take a vital catch off the bowling of Cusack to remove the dangerous Ruvindu Gunasekera who had moved to an impressive 65 off just 52 deliveries.

All-rounder Rob Taylor also featured today as his Scotland side came up against Afghanistan in Sharjah. Afghanistan batted first and posted a total of 171-6, with Taylor bowling two overs at a rate of 0-15.

But Scotland struggled in their reply, making 154-6 from their 20 overs, resulting in a 17-run victory for Afghanistan with Taylor scoring a run-a-ball 6 before being run out.

Ireland will look to continue their 100% record in Group A as they return to the Sheikh Zayed Stadium tomorrow for a top-of-the-table clash with hosts United Arab Emirates, who also enjoyed a second successive win. The UAE defeated Namibia by 5 wickets. Up next for Scotland is a trip to Dubai on Monday as they seek their first points of the tournament up against Nepal.

Elsewhere, the two other Group A fixtures saw Hong Kong secure another win; defeating Uganda by 4 wickets, while Italy enjoyed a 6-wicket victory over the United States of America.

Group B saw Bermuda enjoy success again with a 9-wicket demolition of Denmark. Papua New Guinea sit top though as they thumped the previously impressive Netherlands by 52 runs while Nepal picked up their second win with a 6-wicket triumph over Kenya.

Report from Day 1: Friday, November 15

Niall O'Brien and Rob Taylor played in the opening round of qualifying fixtures at the ICC World T20 tournament in the United Arab Emirates today.

Ireland took on Group A rivals Namibia at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, with Foxes wicket-keeper/batsmen O’Brien scoring 26 as Ireland posted a total of 166-5 from their 20 overs.

Namibia struggled in reply, finishing on 134-7 with O’Brien running out Gerhard Erasmus for 0 as Ireland went on to secure a comfortable 32-run victory in their first of seven group games.

Batting at 5, Taylor’s 26 from 19 balls was not enough to prevent Scotland suffering an 18-run defeat at the hands of Bermuda in their Group B opener in Sharjah. Batting first, Bermuda posted 149-7, setting the Scots a total of 150 to win. But they struggled with the run-rate and faltered to 131 all out with one ball left to face.

Both sides are in action again tomorrow at 10:00 GMT, with Scotland returning to Sharjah take on Afghanistan while Ireland are in Abu Dhabi again to face Canada.

Elsewhere in the tournament, hosts United Arab Emirates secured an emphatic eight-wicket defeat of Uganda; Hong Kong opened up with a 7-wicket win over Italy, with the other group A fixture between the USA and Canada resulting in a 5-wicket defeat for the Canadians.

Group B saw the Netherlands begin their campaign with a 7-wicket victory over Afghanistan, while Nepal won by 5 wickets against Denmark in Dubai and Papua New Guinea saw off Kenya with a 4-wicket win.


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