Denmark and Afghanistan Script Nepal’s Third Place Finish

Afghanistan defeated Kenya today to book a place in the ICC T20 World Cup 2013 ending first on Group. Denmark on the other hand faced a humiliating loss at hands of Scotland and finished 8th on the table. Although  teams from exactly opposite end of the table, Afghanistan and Denmark’s performances today ensured Nepal a third place finish in Group B which means Nepal get two chances to qualify as the top 6 non test playing nations for the 2014 T20 World Cup.

The first of those two chances is on November 27th when Nepal takes on Hong Kong. If Nepal win Nepal will go through to the first round of ICC T20 World Cup 2014 in Bangladesh.

Heading into the day, Nepal needed Afghanistan to defeat Kenya and needed Denmark to put a decent enough show so that the Scot’s run rate would be better than Nepal. And at the end of the day that’s exactly the way day ended.

Batting first Scotland posted mammoth 205 runs thanks to 90 runs inning from Mat Machan. Machan with his performance today is the leading run scorer in the tournament.  Denmark had to put up 130 to deny Scots the third place.

With such inspired performance from the Scots Nepal chances looked slim. Denmark had only once gone past the score of 130 in Twenty20 Cricket. And, they started horribly scoring the first runs only in the 11th ball, with a  wicket down-that too of the leading run scorer Yasir Iqbal.

Carsten Pedersen was one of the heroes for Nepal who steadied the innings for Denmark scoring 43 of 48 balls. 130 looked like a easy target for Danes when he was around-with 3 overs to go Danes had only 24 runs to score. With his departure the runs dried out and only 8 came of the next two overs.

Hamid Shah smacked Mat Machan for two sixes in the first two balls. Shah scored 25 of 18 balls as was out on the very last ball. Danes however had reached 130 just the previous ball.

With the inspired innigs from Hamid, Scots fell 0.0001 short of Nepal’s NRR and finished 4th on the points table.

Afghanistan on the other hand won a see-saw match against Kenya. Batting first Afghanistan posted 148/8 in 20 overs. Afghanistan had scored 60 runs from the powerplays but lost their way in the middle overs. Noor Ali top scored for Afghanistan with 50 off 48 balls.

Chasing 149 Kenya stormed with 31 runs from first two overs, but Man of the Match Samiullah Shenwari put the brakes on the third getting two wickets. Hamza Hotak bowled Tikolo in the next over! Collin Obuya and Rakep Patel tired to rebuild the innings adding 42 for the 4th wicket; but it was Shenwari once again we got the break getting Obuya. Kenya were eventually folded for 114 runs in 14.2 overs. Rakep Patel was the top scorer for Kenya with 52 off 38 balls.

Shenwari ended the match with rare figures of 4-0-13-5!

With the loss, Kenya finished 6th on the group with 6 points from 3 matches. PNG beating Bermuda finished fifth with 7 points. If Kenya had defeated Afghanistan they would have ended up third on the points table with better NRR.

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