Dubai: Singapore provided a stupendous start to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup qualifiers through a stunning two-run win over defending champions Scotland in the opening match at the Dubai’s ICC Academy ground.
In an interview to Gulf News before the start of the qualifiers, Singapore skipper Amjad Mahboob had remarked that they are here carrying the confidence of beating a Test playing nation Zimbabwe recently and will try to win this tournament.
The experienced Scotland team seemed to have ignored the threat that Singapore could post and elected to field after winning the toss.
Opener Surendran Chandramohan, who had also hit a half-century against Zimbabwe, top scored with 51 runs off 55 balls with three boundaries and two sixes.
Singapore had lost their first two wickets for seven runs before Chandramohan and Aritra Dutta (32) put on 44 runs for the third wicket.
Wicketkeeper Manpreet Singh scored a run-a-ball 26 while Janak Praksh hit a quick 20 runs off 11 balls.
Navin Param too scored an unbeaten 13 runs off seven balls ensuring Singapore reached a challenging total of 168-6 in 20 overs.
Chasing the target, Scotland got off to a great start with the openers putting on a 70-run partnership in 7.4 overs.
Sidhant Singh removed opener George Munsey for 46 while off-spinner Selladore Vijayakumar, who won the player of the match award, picked the first of his three wickets by removing opener and skipper Kyle Coetzer for 38.
The experienced Calum MacLeod scored a fine 44 and looked to be taking Scotland close to the target before it all fell apart.
In the last over, Scotland needed only eight runs but Mahboob ended MacLeod’s knock and also took the wicket of Safyaan Sharif.
Off the last ball Alasdair Evans got run out as Singapore celebrated their victory.
In the second match at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Ireland defeated Hong Kong by eight wickets.
Hong Kong posted 153-5 in 20 overs through Kinchit Shah’s knock of 79 runs from 54 balls with six boundaries and two sixes.
Ireland’s experienced opening batsman Paul Sterling cracked 62 off just 32 balls while one-drop batsman Andrew Balbirnie remained unbeaten on 70 off 53 balls with eight boundaries to ensure a victory with 16 balls to spare.
The third match of the day saw Netherlands down Kenya by 30 runs. Batting first, Netherlands posted 166-4 with opener Max O’Dowd top scoring with 53 runs. Kenya were restricted to 136 for 8 despite Collins Obuya’s 63 runs. Paul van Meekeren took three wickets for 27 runs.