World Cup Qualifiers

WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS – DAY 2 MATCHES – FANTASY PREVIEW

The ICC’s event to finalize last two spots in the upcoming World Cup 2019, World Cup Qualifiers kick started with lot of actions in Zimbabwe. UAE, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Scotland have won their respective matches on day of the tournament. Former two times world champions West Indies begins their campaign with the match against UAE on Tuesday. In other matches, Papua New Guinea takes on Ireland, home team Zimbabwe faces Afghanistan and Scotland meets Hong Kong. All four matches are schedule to start at 9:30 AM Local (Zimbabwe) | 1 PM IST on Tuesday, 6th March. We gives you short preview for all four matches, here.

 

MATCH 5 – PNG vs IRELAND :

Papua New Guinea (PNG) side looking for their maiden birth in Cricket World Cup but they start the campaign the way that they wanted. Assad Vala led-side lost their first game to UAE by 56 runs (DLS method). None of the batsman had scored 30 or more runs in that game, even skipper Vala, Siaka and Mahuru Dai also failed with a bat. Bowler Norman Vanua was the only performer for PNG in that game. First he claimed four wicket haul and also involved in two run outs followed by 20 runs off 22 balls with the bat. As PNG faces much stronger Ireland in this game, they need to regroup quickly and apply all their plans smartly. Lega Siaka who dismissed for duck other day, expected to come with much better knock this time. All rounder Mahuru Dai, Assad Vala, Sese Bau and Chad Soper are some important players in PNG squad.

The team which known for big upsets in the World Cup, Ireland started their Qualifiers tournament with an impressive 93 runs victory over Netherlands. Top five in the batting order came with a significant scores and helped the team to post a competitive total of 268 runs in 50 overs. The consistent batsman skipper William Porterfield gave a good start once again with 47 runs. Rest others followed his footsteps and scored runs. Andy Balbirnie was the top scorer with 68 runs and Niall O’Brien contributed with quick-fire 49 runs. Fast bowlers and medium pace bowlers did a job for the team in the first game. Tim Murtagh led the attack with 3 runs while McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien and Boyd Rankin shared two wickets each. Paul Stirling didn’t fire at top order, hopefully the big-hitting all rounder would come back to form with some big knocks in this game. Kevin O’Brien also has a chance to join the party with big hitting. Gary Wilson’s duck out dismissal will be the only concern, otherwise they will go with a same team.

KEY PLAYERS :

PNG :

  • Assad Vala
  • Lega Siaka
  • Mahuru Dai
  • Chales Amini
  • Chad Soper
  • Alei Nao
  • Norman Vanua

IRELAND :

  • William Porterfield
  • Andy Balbirnie
  • Paul Stirling
  • Ed Joyce
  • Kevin O’Brien
  • Barry McCarthy
  • Tim Murtagh

 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS :

PNG :

1. Lega Siaka, 2. Vani Morea, 3. Tony Ura / Sese Bau, 4. Assad Vala, 5. Mahuru Dai, 6. Charles Amini, 7. Jason Kila / Kiplin Doriga, 8. Jack Vare, 9. Chad Soper, 10. Norman Vanua, 11. Alei Nao.

IRELAND :

1. William Porterfield, 2. Paul Stirling, 3. Ed Joyce, 4. Andy Balbirnie, 5. Kevin O’Brien, 6. Niall O’Brien, 7. Gary Wilson / Simi Singh, 8. George Dockrell, 9. Barry McCarthy, 10. Tim Murtagh, 11. Boyd Rankin.

 

MATCH 6 – WEST INDIES vs UAE :

The World Cup champions of 1975 and 1979, West Indies forced to play Qualifiers for the first time due to their poor rankings in the ODI format. They are set to start the campaign and they are under pressure to assure their place in the next year world cup. Windies struggled a lot with bat during warmups and they were bowled out for 110 and 115 runs respectively. The most experienced team in the competition in an urgency to bring their A-game to stay top among others. The team relying on the Universe Boss Chris Gayle in a huge way and we expect him to come with big score at right time. Evin Lewis, Marlon Samuels, Shai Hope and Rovman Powell are other notable batsmen in the squad. Skipper Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite are awaiting to offer all-round works while Bishoo, Nurse, Cottrell and Roach are all set to dismantle the opposition with their bowling skills.

Rohan Mustafa who led United Arab Emirates to win the title in the World Cricket League – Division two last month, led the team well once again in the opening match of the World Cup Qualifiers too. Skipper Mustafa had scored 95 runs and led the team as an example in the first game. His opening partner Ashfaq Ahmed also performed well with 50 runs. But as others failed to score big runs UAE bundled out for 221 runs against PNG. They were lost last 5 wickets in the span of 13 runs. Bowlers did a great job and assured a victory for their team. The most experienced bowler in the side, Mohammad Naveed picked a five wicket haul in his 6 overs spell while wicket keeper Imran Haider picked two. Rest of the bowlers also bowled an economical overs in that game. But, the whole team has a tough job ahead as they are facing strong West Indies team in their next game on Tuesday. Captain Rohan Mustafa is the backbone of UAE. Ashfaq Ahmed, Rameez Shahzad, Muhammad Usman, Shaiman Anwar and Mohammad Naveed are other notable players in UAE.

KEY PLAYERS :

WEST INDIES :

  • Evin Lewis
  • Chris Gayle
  • Marlon Samuels
  • Shai Hope
  • Carlos Brathwaite
  • Ashley Nurse
  • Kemar Roach

UAE :

  • Rohan Mustafa
  • Shaiman Anwar
  • Ashfaq Ahmed
  • Rameez Shahzad
  • Muhammad Usman
  • Imran Haider
  • Mohammad Naveed

 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS :

WEST INDIES :

1. Evin Lewis, 2. Chris Gayle, 3. Marlon Samuels, 4. Shai Hope, 5. Jason Mohammed, 6. Rovman Powell, 7. Carlos Brathwaite, 8. Jason Holder, 9. Ashley Nurse / Devendra Bishoo, 10. Sheldon Cottrell, 11. Kemar Roach.

UAE :

1. Rohan Mustafa, 2. Ashfaq Ahmed, 3. Ghulam Shabber, 4. Shaiman Anwar, 5. Rameez Shahzad, 6. Mohammad Usman, 7. Adnan Mufti / Mohammad Boota, 8. Ahmed Raza, 9. Mohammad Naveed, 10. Imran Haider, 11. Amir Hayat / Zahoor Khan.

 

MATCH 7 – ZIMBABWE vs AFGHANISTAN :

The biggest match of the day will be played at Queen Sports Club in Bulawayo between the hosts Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. Zimbabwe had utilized the home advantage to the core when they thrashed Nepal in their opening clash. The team which lost to Afghanistan by 4-1 in the recent ODI series, had smashed 380 runs for the loss of 6 wickets in 50 overs. Thanks to all-rounder Sikandar Raza’s 66-balls 123 runs and Brendan Taylor’s knock of 100 off 91 balls. After posted that mammoth total, Zimbabwe bowlers had shown an ordinary performance later on the day. It was Sikandar Raza’s day who claimed 3 for 48 runs after that blistering hundred earlier in the day. The same bowling were struggled against Afghanistan when they met each other last time, so Zimbabwe bowlers has a huge job to do in this game. Also batsmen should play with lot of positiveness to score runs against Afghanistan. Once again Raza is the must pick player from Zimbabwe. Hamilton Masakadza, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Tendai Chatara and captain Graeme Cremer are other important players in the lineup. All-rounder Sean Williams who didn’t play the first game, may get his opportunity in this game.

The tournament favorites Afghanistan started their campaign with the disappointing defeat against Scotland other day. Poor bowling performances led the team down on the opening day of the competition. Scotland shocked the world with an emphatic 7 wickets win against the strong Afghanistan side. After lost early wickets, Afghanistan came back to good position with the partnership between Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran who were added 149 runs for fifth wicket. Afghanistan were bowled out for the competitive total of 255 runs. Except for an off-spinner Mujeeb Zadran, none other bowlers had bowled well which caused the game for Afghanistan. Especially, the captian Rashid Khan led the team down in a huge manner as he conceded 68 runs in his 9 overs spell. It is time for Afghanistan to come back stronger but that wouldn’t be easy as they are facing the home team Zimbabwe in this big clash. As only 3 more matches to be play in this group stage, Afghanistan should approach every game as a must win one. Rashid Khan who had a rare poor day on Sunday, expect to come with strong bowling display on Tuesday. Mohammad Shahzad, Rahmat Shah and Najibullah Zadran are top batsmen of Afghanistan while all-rounder Mohammad Nabi will continue to score more runs and keeps his form going. Mujeeb Zadran, Dawlat Zadran and Gulbadin Naib should bring their A-game to assure the win for their team.

KEY PLAYERS :

ZIMBABWE :

  • Hamilton Masakadza
  • Cephas Zhuwawo
  • Brendan Taylor
  • Sikandar Raza
  • Craig Ervine
  • Graeme Cremer
  • Tendai Chatara

AFGHANISTAN :

  • Mohammad Shahzad
  • Rahmat Shah
  • Mohammad Nabi
  • Najibullah Zadran
  • Rashid Khan
  • Mujeeb Zadran
  • Dawlat Zadran

 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS :

ZIMBABWE :

1. Cephas Zhuwawo, 2. Solomon Mire, 3. Hamilton Masakadza, 4. Brendan Taylor, 5. Craig Ervine, 6. Sikandar Raza, 7. Malcolm Waller / Sean Williams, 8. Graeme Cremer, 9. Kyle Jarvis / Blessin Muzarabani, 10. Tendai Chatara, 11. Brian Vitori.

AFGHANISTAN :

1. Mohammad Shahzad, 2. Ihsanullah / Javed Ahmadi, 3. Rahmat Shah, 4. Nasir Jamal / Samiullah Shenwari, 5. Mohammad Nabi, 6. Najibullah Zadran, 7. Sharafuddin Ashraf, 8. Rashid Khan, 9. Gulbadin Naib, 10. Dawlat Zadran, 11. Mujeeb Zadran.

 

MATCH 8 – SCOTLAND vs HONG KONG :

Scotland just started the tournament with a huge win over Afghanistan and raised many eyebrows. First, they were bowled out Afghan side for 255 runs then chased down the target successfully with 7 wickets in hand. Thanks to Callum MacLeod for the massive knock of an unbeaten 157 runs. The completely turn the match on his team’s favor with that stunning innings. Among their bowling performances, vice-captain Richie Berrington surprised many with 3 for 42 in his 9 overs spell. Bradley Wheal was the other one who picked 3 wickets in that innings. The wicket-taking bowler Safyaan Sharif had claimed 2 wickets on his part. Scotland made a brave decision and played without their front-line pacer Alasdair Evans in that first match but the end result was on their side. After that massive win, Scotland is expected to go with an unchanged XI. Skipper Kyle Coetzer was misfired other day, but he could play an amazing knock in this game. Vice-captain Richie Berrington shown his class with an all around performances, first claimed 3 wickets followed by crucial 67 runs with the bat. Matthew Cross, Coetzer, Berrington and MacLeod all are expect to come with much more impressive show in this game. The all-rounder Michael Leask is in the side to add quick runs with a bat and also capable of picking wickets with his left-arm spin. Bradley Wheal, Safyaan Sharif and Mark Watt will offer another good show with a ball.

This is Hong Kong’s seventh time participation in World Cup Qualifiers but they were never qualified to the biggest event in all six previous attempts. This will be a very big opportunity for Babar Hayat side to make history but they have to overcome lot of hurdles to succeed in their dream. Captain Babar Hayat is the back bone of Hong Kong batting order. The openers Nizakat Khan and Anshuman Rath are other good batsmen at top of the order of Hong Kong. All rounder Tanwir Afzaal and Aizaz Khan has a big role to play in the tournament. The inexperienced middle-order and bowling unit are a biggest worrying part for Hong Kong side. Nadeem Ahmed and Tanveer Ahmed has some of international experiences but rest of the bowling unit yet to play a role in the international arena.

 

KEY PLAYERS :

SCOTLAND :

  • Kyle Coetzer
  • Callum MacLeod
  • Richie Berrington
  • George Munsey
  • Michael Leask
  • Safyaan Sharif
  • Mark Watt
  • Bradley Wheal

HONG KONG :

  • Nizakat Khan
  • Babar Hayat
  • Tanwir Afzaal
  • Anshy Rath
  • Aizaz Khan
  • Nadeem Ahmed
  • Ehsan Nawaz

 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS :

SCOTLAND :

1. Kyle Coetzer, 2. Matthew Cross, 3. Callum MacLeod, 4. Richie Berrington, 5. George Munsey, 6. Craig Wallace, 7. Michael Leask, 8. Safyaan Sharif, 9. Tom Sole / Alasdair Evans, 10. Mark Watt, 11. Bradley Wheal

HONG KONG :

1. Anshy Rath, 2. Nizakat Khan, 3. Babar Hayat, 4. Scott McKenchie, 5. Tanwir Azfal, 6. Aizaz Khan, 7. Shahid Wasif / Christopher Carter, 8. Waqas Barkat, 9. Ehsan Nawaz, 10. Ehsan Khan / Tanveer Ahmed, 11. Nadeem Ahmed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anand Thiyagarajan

Cricket is what everyone loves. If you’re ready to play fantasy cricket but don’t know how to analyze players, consider his Articles as the foundation of your fantasy teams. Anand is a cricket blogger and fantasy cricket lover.

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