ICC MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dubai, 15 April 2011
UAE wins Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 2
Craig Williams of Namibia named Player of the Tournament
UAE and Namibia go to 17th and 18th in world rankings
United Arab Emirates beat Namibia by five wickets in the final of Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (WCL Div. 2) at the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium in Dubai today (Friday).
Having been set a target by Namibia of 201, the hosts claimed victory after a stand-out performance from Saqib Ali who set the side up for victory before captain Khurram Khan and Amjad Javed finished proceedings. By virtue of reaching the final UAE and Namibia have now claimed 17th and 18th position in the world rankings.
Elsewhere, Papua New Guinea defeated Hong Kong by 127 runs in the third-fourth play-off at ICC Global Cricket Academy Oval 1 while Uganda beat Bermuda to claim fifth place. PNG and Hong Kong stay in Division 2 while Uganda and Bermuda were relegated to Division 3.
By virtue of finishing in the top four of the event, UAE, Namibia, PNG and Hong Kong will each receive dedicated ICC High Performance grants while two out of the four will play in the ICC Intercontinental Cup which commences later this year. The two teams that will compete in the I-Cup will be chosen by the ICC Development Committee at its next meeting.
The UAE had been undefeated in the group stages of the event and the hosts went into to the final against Namibia keen to continue the winning streak it had set itself and claim the title of Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 2 champions. Namibia won the toss and elected to bat opening with Ewald Steenkamp who began the innings with 25 before Shadeep Silva's spin bowling skills sent Steenkamp's stumps flying.
Fellow Namibian Andries Burger was another victim of Silva?s bowling leaving the crease for duck, skipper Craig Williams notched up another good performance with the bat to steady things for the Africans, he added 58 runs for the team while Sarel Burger contributed 42.
The UAE's 24-year-old Nazir Aziz took three wickets but his team-mate Saqib Ali proved the most economical with the ball today claiming 3-13. Meanwhile, Amjad Ali continued his good form from yesterday by dispensing of Sarel Burger via a stumping and dismissing both Louis van der Westhuizen and Louis Klazinga by catching them out behind.
As the skies darkened, UAE took to the field in an attempt to chase down the target that would declare it champions of the tournament. The early departure of opener Amjad Ali along with top order batsman Naeem Aslam meant it was up to Arshad Ali and Saqib to come to the hosts rescue, and that they did.
Man of the match Saqib's hard-fought 73 off 116 balls became the cornerstone of the innings after the departure of Arshad and then Shaiman Anwar for a duck. Saqib?s partnership with captain Khurram helped the side to within sight of victory before Saqib was dismissed leg-before at the hands of Klazinga.
It was then up to Khurram to guide the team to glory alongside Amjad Javed and allow the hosts to claim the title of Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 2 champions on its home ground.
Despite losing today, once again Namibia?s captain led from the front with Williams adding another half century to bring his tally of runs for the tournament to 335 and thus earning him the Player of the Tournament title. The honour was somewhat bittersweet for the 27-year-old who having lost the final appreciated the importance of his contribution to the side.
"I've worked really hard particularly since my appointment to captaincy, and I try to set an example. We are lucky to have such a well balanced side, and the long batting line up really does take the pressure off me. As captain I hope the boys get that that they see how hard I work for them," said Williams.
Williams added on the defeat: "I think we lost wickets at crucial moments within the game and we're going to work on it. UAE bowled 40 something overs of spin alone, so we really need to work on our response to such bowlers. In South Africa we play against quick bowlers all the time so it's something we need to work on.
"We are very happy to have finished up in the top two and ensured that we have a High Performance grant. It's the end of our season and I think we played some good cricket. There's obviously lots of room for improvement, and we have lots of youngsters coming up to the team who we need to set a good foundation for and the grant will help us to fulfill those plans."
UAE captain Khurram was proud of the achievement of his side against Namibia, a side he rates as good competitors. "Namibia are a very good competition, they started very well today and we were worried they'd run up a total of 250 or more, which would be very hard to chase particularly on this turf. But then Saqib Ali came and bowled exceptionally with his 3-13 and I think that really turned the game around.
"There is a lot of pressure on Saqib as we know he is always going to do well and he has performed consistently throughout the tournament. He is also a good batsman and I think we had a very good partnership. Throughout the tournament our key bowlers have always been spinners and we know that they are very good. In this one-day format we must ensure we restrict the batsmen from scoring and that's what our spin bowling attack is there for.
"We still need to improve, within our first innings we were very far behind. We'll be working very hard over the next few months, and we have a lot to take from these games and consider what we did well and what we did not so well," commented the 39-year-old.
"On a personal note I am very proud of my team and I don't know how much longer I'll be playing for the UAE now I'm 39. I hope to play in the I-Cup should the Development Committee select us as I'd like to see my boys through that. It will be time for me to step down soon, but who knows," added Khurram.
In a repeat of Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 3 finals, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea faced each other once more, this time for the rankings play-off for third/fourth in the event. Following yesterday's win against Uganda the PNG side were brimming with confidence as it won the toss and once again elected to bat as it had done yesterday.
Opening the batting, Tony Ura's day did not start well with the 21-year-old being judged leg-before off the bowling the young Max Tucker. Ura's early dismissal did not dishearten the Papua New Guineans with team-mates Christopher Kent and Asad Vala making 38 and 55 respectively. It was Vari Morea's knock of 74 not out that catapulted PNG's total to 225 at the conclusion of the innings. Nizakat Khan once again took wickets for the Asian side removing both Kent and Mahuru Dai to slow PNG?s scoring but Morea's performance made sure the side set a tough target for Hong Kong.'
Going into the second innings, Hong Kong had the task of chasing down the good total that the Papua New Guineans had posted. Hong Kong began in earnest with Waqas Barkat initiating the point scoring for Hong Kong with 25 runs. But the day was for PNG's bowlers, fast bowler Raymond Haoda ended any thoughts by Hong Kong of an easy win, ensuring Barkat left after his 25 and Courtney Kruger after only one run.
The Asian side didn't manage to break free for the grip of PNG's superior fielding and bowling and with PNG's Andrew McIntosh taking 3-14 for the side, and fellow bowler Dai claiming 2-14 it was not looking good for the Hong Kong team, especially with the departure of Hussain Butt, Mark Chapman, and Nizakat for low totals.
PNG's relentless bowling attack ensured the Hong Kong side were dismissed for 98 runs in just 25.3 overs, the lowest total the side has made or been dismissed for this tournament the result finalised the world rankings for the two teams with PNG now occupying 19th while Hong Kong in 20th.
With both Uganda and Bermuda assured of relegation out of the division, the match at GCA 2 was for pride and also finalizing the world rankings of 21 and 22. Bermuda won the toss and elected to bat at the ICC Global Cricket Academy but the side failing to make a huge total and finished up setting Uganda a target of 194.
Captain David Hemp was the only batsman to get into his stride making 44 before being caught by Uganda's Charles Waiswa. The 40-year-old wasn't the only Bermudian to fall prey to Uganda's agile fielders, five of Hemp's team-mates were caught by the Africans, including opening batsman Dion Stovell who only managed to make 33 today before being caught by Frank Nsubuga.
Uganda's bowling attack shared the spoils with two-a-piece but 25-year-old Danniel Ruyange proved the most economical with 2-35. However, it was Uganda's batsmen's day to shine with Arthur Kyobe, Benjamin Musoke and Nsubuga all putting on fine displays today.
The African side set about chasing the total with efficiency, but Bermuda attempted to quash the Ugandan run-chase by sending Roger Mukasa packing for a duck after being caught by Jason Anderson. But a determined Uganda forged ahead with Kyobe hitting seven boundaries as he made his way to 65. Nsubuga contributed 38 not out alongside Benjamin Musoke's 62 to bring Uganda home with 194 runs with five wickets in hand.
A struggling Bermuda tried its best to cap Uganda's swift totaling of runs removing Hamza Saleh from the crease after he was caught by Lionel Cann while Lawrence Sematimba was removed at the hands of Stefan Kelly. Bermuda's bowling attack diligently attempted to bring the side back on top but its four wickets were notar enough to halt Uganda's cruise to victory with 5.8 overs to spare.
Score summaries (Final day):
At DSC: Namibia 200 all out, 49.3 overs (Williams 58, Sarel Burger 42; Saqib Ali 3-13)
UAE 201-5, 45.3 overs (Saqib Ali 73, Khan 60 not out, Kola Burger 2-38)
UAE won by five wickets
At GCA 1: Papua New Guinea 225-6, 50 overs (V Morea 74; Nizakhat Khan 2-37)
Hong Kong 98 all out, 25.3 overs (Barkat 25; McIntosh 3-14)
PNG won by 127 runs
At GCA 2: Bermuda 193 all out, 48 overs (Hemp 44; Ruyange 2-35)
Uganda 194-4 46.2 overs ( Kyobe 65, Musoke 62 ; Hodsoll 2-49)
Uganda won by six wickets