Netherlands and Canada saw their unbeaten runs at the 2020 T20 World Cup qualifier come to an end on Thursday as they were beaten by Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong respectively.
PNG stunned the Dutch with a five-wicket victory thanks to some excellent work in the field and sharp running between the wickets.
A half-century from Kinchit Shah (59 not out) and a three-wicket haul by Nasrulla Rana helped Hong Kong to a 32-run victory over Canada.
Elsewhere, UAE beat Nigeria by five wickets thanks to an excellent bowling performance.
In the final game of the day, Scotland put on 204/4 against Bermuda who in reply fell 46 runs short as they finished on 158/8.
PNG stun Netherlands
Papua New Guinea beat the Netherlands by five wickets to move top of Group A.
The Netherlands struggled to put enough runs on the board thanks to some sharp fielding from PNG with Timm van der Gugten (40 not out) top scoring as in a total of 126/7.
But Papua New Guinea chased that score down with an over to spare thanks to good running between the wickets with captain Assad Vala (37) top scoring as they finished with 127/5.
Papua New Guinea captain Assad Vala said: “We pride ourselves on our fielding and we try to make sure we out-field every team we play. We played very well and our fielding was up to scratch. Our bowling set the tone early on to restrict them to 126 and then the batters got the job done.”
Netherlands captain Pieter Seelaar said: “I would say we were put under pressure by their running and, on a low-scoring pitch, fielding is going to make the difference when every run counts and we did not make it count.
“It was one of those days where it did not click for us in the field. PNG bowled very well and they stuck to their plan very well.”
UAE back to winning ways
UAE returned to the winners’ circle when they rode on an excellent bowling performance to beat Nigeria by five wickets.
Nigeria were put into bat by the UAE and found runs hard to come by as they finished on 111/3.
In reply UAE opener Zawar Farid’s (55) quick half-century helped them on their way to chasing down the score and finished on 112/5.
UAE Head Coach Dougie Brown said: “We came here knowing that we had to win and affect the run rate semi-positively. We started off really well, we did go away from our plans in the last ten overs, but Nigeria batted very well.
“It was good to get across the line, we lost a few wickets towards the end, but we got across the line.”
Nigeria captain Ademola Onikoyi said: “We have a lot of talent in the team and we need to keep backing ourselves.
“We need to go home and learn more about T20 cricket, to be positive and then step up. We will be positive in our next game and try and do the right things and come out and enjoy ourselves.”
Canada’s winning run ended
Hong Kong stunned Canada to beat them by 32 runs thanks to a half-century from Kinchit Shah (59 not out) and a three-wicket haul by Nasrulla Rana.
It was Canada’s first defeat at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifer.
The North Americans got off to a good start as they reduced Hong Kong to 24/3. But they fought back to finish on 150/7 and in reply Canada finished on 118/9.
Hong Kong captain Aizaz Khan captain said: “I think it was a great team effort, we needed this win and we have one more game to go against Nigeria and we still have a chance.
“We have to go hard in our next game and try and win by a big margin and we will give it our best.”
Canada player Jeremy Gordon said: “It is a minor hiccup. We knew that anything over 140 would be tough so we tried to restrict them, and unfortunately that did not happen.
“We need to pick ourselves up and play tough cricket and smart cricket against Oman.”
Scots go past 200
Calum MacLeod (74) top scored for Scotland as they put on more than 200 runs in their win over Bermuda.
Scotland made 204/4 after their 20 overs and despite a valiant effort from the Bermudian batters, they fell 46 runs short of that target.
Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer said: “This win for us was vitally important, we needed to get some momentum going into the final game against the Netherlands
“The gap in quality across international cricket is closing and we keep turning up and playing against sides that are improving at a rapid rate, as are we, so it makes for exciting cricket.”
Bermuda captain Rodney Trott said: “Scotland played extremely well tonight, I thought they took the game away from us, so hats off to them.
“We will take a lot away from this tournament but at the end of the day we have enjoyed it. We will give it our all in the final game against the Netherlands.”
Scores in brief:
Papua New Guinea beat Netherlands by five wickets, Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi
Papua New Guinea 127-5, 19 overs (Assad Vala 37, Sese Bau 34 not out; Roelof van der Merwe 2-27)
Netherlands 126-7, 20 overs (Timm van der Gugten 40 not out, Pieter Seelaar 21 not out, Charles Amini 2-34)
Hong Kong beat Canada by 32 runs, Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi
Hong Kong 150-7, 20 overs (Kinchit Shah 59 not out, Waqas Barkat 27; Nitish Kumar 1-18)
Canada 118-9, 20 overs (Rizwan Cheema 20; Nasrulla Rana 3-25, Kyle Christie 2-23)
UAE beat Nigeria by five wickets, ICC Academy Ground No 2, Dubai
UAE 112-5, 12.3 overs (Zawar Farid 55, Muhammad Usman 20 not out; Sylvester Okpe 2-22)
Nigeria 111-3, 20 overs (Sesan Adedeji 51 not out, Chimezie Onwuzulike 46 not out; Ahmed Raza 1-15)
Scotland beat Bermuda by 46 runs, Dubai International Cricket Stadium
Scotland 204-4, 20 overs (Calum MacLeod 74, George Munsey 51; Kamau Leverock 2-39)
Bermuda 158-8, 20 overs (Delray Rawlins 46, Kamau Leverock 43 not out; Mark Watt 2-18)