Nigeria finishes third in WCL Division 7
Sat, Jun 13, 2009 12:22 PM
Nigeria finishes third in WCL Division 7
A five-wicket haul and a brilliantly paced half-century by Qamer Saeed helped Bahrain defeat Guernsey by three wickets in the final of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 7 on Saturday.
Saeed's outstanding display with the bat and the ball allowed Bahrain to finish the tournament unbeaten. Despite the loss, Guernsey also qualified for the Division 6 tournament by virtue of qualifying for today's final. The Division 6 tournament will be staged in Singapore from 29 August to 5 September.
"It is an amazing feeling. When we came here I didn't think that we would perform as well as we have as we weren't sure how well the team would gel together. However, the team has become one unit and that is a great thing," said winning captain Yaser Sadeq, who saw his side recover from a middle-order collapse to reach its target with 3.5 overs to spare.
"Our team has excellent character and we are capable of amazing comebacks. This was the first time we had a chance to show our character in this tournament and it was good to show that we can win by batting second, like we did today.
"I have no doubt that we will be successful in Division 6 and once we are in Division 5 we will see how we go from there."
After losing both openers relatively early on, Guernsey looked to Jeremy Frith and Stuart Le Prevost, who have both been in outstanding form all week, to rebuild the innings.
But after a stand of 34, Le Prevost and Frith fell in the space of eight balls, to reduce Guernsey to 78-4, which quickly became 81-5 when Ross Kneller fell three balls later.
Lee Ferbrache then led Guernsey's recovery with an excellent 51 and received good support from Kris Moherndl (35) which helped Guernsey to 204-9. Qamar Saeed was the pick of the Bahrain bowlers taking 5-44 while Yaser Sadeq also taking two wickets.
In reply, after Ashraf Mughal fell early on, Bahrain's top-order, which had experienced mixed fortunes all week, finally found some form as Shazhad Ahmed (46) and Imran Sajjad (33) put on 81 for the second wicket.
But once again Bahrain suffered a dramatic collapse, struggling to come to terms with the spin attack of Gary Rich and Jeremy Frith on a turning wicket, as it slumped from 81-1 to 119-6.
While some had questioned Bahrain's qualities to chase a total under pressure, it demonstrated that it possessed them in abundance as a 72-run partnership between Qamar Saeed (55 not out) and Azeem ul Haq (25) guided it close to the victory target. Although Azeem was dismissed with 14 required for victory, Bahrain was able to achieve victory without too many further worries.
"It has been a great week for us, but Bahrain again proved today that it is a great side and it has won every game that it has played this week," Guernsey captain Stuart Le Prevost said.
"They batted really well late-on and all credit to them for winning this tournament. I was disappointed with our performance today and I thought the guys were a little bit unlucky with the way they got out but that's the way it goes."
One consolation for Guernsey was Jeremy Frith, who struck two centuries while amassing 381 runs this week also took 15 wickets during the event, was named player of the tournament.
In other matches, Nigeria achieved third place after an excellent win by 68 runs over Japan.
Nigeria reached 221-9 with Akabogu Okwudili (68) and Olajide Bejide (41 not out off just 42 balls) the key batsmen before four wickets by Olalekan Awolowo (4-34) helped dismiss for Japan for 138 all out.
The 5th/6th place play-off match between Suriname and Gibraltar turned out to be a thriller with the side from the Americas edging it by just eight runs.
A spectacular innings from Troy Dudnath, who smashed 130 off 90 balls, helped Suriname to 300-9 and although Gibraltar had excellent half-centuries from Chris Rocca (51) and Iain Latin (33) it could only reach 292-9 off 50 overs.
Gibraltar and Suriname were relegated to Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 8 that will be played in 2010 while Japan and Nigeria will stay in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 7 event to be staged in 2011.