South Africa bowlers sink Sri Lanka
South Africa's bowlers, led by Corné Dry, put in a commanding performance to skittle Sri Lanka out for 150 and set up a comfortable win for their side in their Group D encounter at the Peter Burge Oval in Brisbane. South Africa suffered a few jitters in their chase before they overhauled the target in 33 overs.
South Africa captain Chad Bowes won the toss and elected to field and the decision paid immediate dividends as Dry struck with the first ball of the game to dismiss Sebastian Perera. Sri Lanka struggled to recover from the disastrous start and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. At 98 for 9, they looked in danger of being bowled out for less than 100. However a dogged last-wicket partnership of 52 between No. 9 Pulina Tharanga and No. 11 Amila Aponso helped take the score to 150 before Aponso was dismissed in the 38th over. Tharanga remained unbeaten on 50, the only Sri Lankan batsman to touch 50, in what was a dismal batting effort from them.
South Africa's chase started shakily as they lost Quinton de Kock and Shaylin Pillay to slip to 21 for 2. However, an 80-run stand for the third wicket between Chad Bowes - who top-scored with 46 - and Theunis de Bruyn (42) steadied the innings. Offspinner Tharindu Kaushal then struck as South Africa lost three quick wickets to stutter to 126 for 5 before Murray Coetzee (19 not out) held his nerve to carry his team home.
South Africa topped their group with three wins out of three to set up a quarter-final match with either Australia or England. Ray Jennings, South Africa coach, said that he was happy with the performance of the team. "The game against Sri Lanka was quite tough from our point of view but the guys have played some really good cricket. We've seen some really classy cricket of international standard. Moving into the next round of matches we're probably looking at England and Australia and it will be a good test to play quality non-sub-continent sides moving forward," he said.
A dramatic collapse from Scotland meant they succumbed to a 10-run defeat to Afghanistan in Buderim, and finished bottom of Group B with three losses in three games. Chasing 192, Scotland looked to be cruising at 120 for 2 in the 32nd over. Twelve overs, seven wickets and 38 runs later, Afghanistan were in charge.
Even after the slide had begun though, Scotland still looked favourites. They began the final ten overs of the chase needing just 43, with five wickets in hand. But Afghanistan struck four times in four overs from then on, squashing all lingering Scottish hope. At the start of the 49th, Scotland, nine down, needed 13 off 12. Medium pacer Yamin Ahmadzai responded by bowling five dot balls to No. 11 Gavin Main. The match eventually ended with four balls remaining, Main run out - the fourth such dismissal of the innings - by wicketkeeper Afsar Khan. While the Afghanistan bowlers and fielders shared the spoils, the only contribution of note with the bat for Scotland was from opener Ross McLean, who made 67.
The Afghanistan innings followed a similar path to Scotland's in that the major contribution came from the top of the order: opener Javed Ahmadi top scored with 71. The line-up struggled to get partnerships going, with only three pairs touching 30 - the biggest stand of the innings was 39, for the ninth wicket. Most of the damage was inflicted by new-ball bowler Ruaidhri Smith and fast bowler Main, with both taking four apiece. However, Afghanistan's batsmen managed to do just enough to set up the win.
George Dockrell (right) spun out Nepal's top order © ICC/Getty
Ireland gained some consolation following their early elimination from the tournament with a slogging victory over Nepal in the group match at Endeavour Park in Townsville.
The Irish captain George Dockrell, soon to play an equally pivotal role for the senior side in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, ensured the win by spinning out four Nepalese batsman to ensure they fell 14 runs short of Ireland's unspectacular 185 for 8. It allowed the Irish to return home with at least one win after defeats at the hands of England and the hosts Australia.
Ireland's innings never gained any great momentum, losing regular wickets throughout with the only partnership of note formed by Andy McBrine and Shane Getkate, who added 71 after the innings had wobbled to 35 for 3.
Rahul Vishvakarma's slow left-arm spin proved particularly difficult to attack, returning a parsimonious 2 for 31 from 10 overs, and Ireland were grateful for a late flurry from Tyrone Kane and Adam Coughlan to add 21 from the final 15 balls of the innings.
Nepal's reply followed a similar arc to Ireland's innings, the difference being that Dockrell's tweakers nipped out three of the first four wickets and no substantial partnerships developed. Nonetheless, the Nepalese crept close before Kane claimed the last man Saurav Khanal in the final over.