Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 19th 2014 Contents A39
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If the way Zimbabwe crushed Afghanistan in
their second practice match after the shocking
loss to Hong Kong in the first warm-up is any-
thing to go by, Netherlands better be wary of
what is coming their way.
Ireland are ranked above Zimbabwe in the ICC
T20 rankings, but a Test nation does not go down
every day to an Associate in any format. Peter
Borren, the Netherlands captain, knows Brendan
Taylor s side will be smarting after the last-ball
defeat to the Irish and is expecting a backlash
from Zimbabwe today.
"It s going to be a tough game against a team
we haven t played very often," Borren said. "Having
seen them play a warm-up game and now this
match (against Ireland), we can say that they have
a varied attack, they have got a lot of variations
in their attack and they have got a very dangerous
batting line-up. They will be disappointed (with
the Ireland game) and they will come hard at us."
It will be another afternoon game for Zimbabwe
and while they will have got a measure of the con-
ditions against Ireland, Netherlands will have to
alter their approach, having played United Arab
Emirates (UAE) under lights in their first match.
Taylor said the toss was important against Ire-
land, as the ball came on better in the second
innings with dew starting to appear. Having said
that, he also added that his fast bowlers had found
some swing, which hadn t been the case when
the Irish bowled. Borren admitted conditions were
going to be different for Netherlands tomorrow,
and that it would take some adjusting.
"Definitely, conditions will change a little bit.
There was a bit of dew out there, I think the ball
came on to the bat pretty well (against UAE). In
the earlier match, perhaps the ball held up a little
bit more during the day. In saying that, it was
obviously a very good wicket for batting as well,
a fantastic game, Zimbabwe-Ireland. We saw both
batting teams prosper. It is going to be pretty
similar but maybe a little bit more hard work with
the ball not coming on quite as much during the
Borren will be expecting his batsmen can come
up with the necessary adjustments. They certainly
came back superbly against UAE after two woeful
showings in the warm-ups had drawn Borren s
The captain was pleased with the emphatic
manner in which his batsmen had hunted down
the target of 152, and hoped the lessons from the
warm-ups been learnt. "Obviously in the end a
pretty comfortable victory. We have talked about
those run chases not going so well, so hopefully
we have put that to bed now. We have done this
comfortably, so hopefully we have a blueprint
In today s other match, Ireland meets the UAE.
Hong Kong coach Charlie
Afghanistan s outlook perfect-
ly: "They remained calm. They
showed how good a side they
are." So composed was the 154-
run chase that even the frivolity
of Mohammad Shahzad was
well controlled as Afghanistan
finally registered their first
World T20 win in their third
appearance in the competition.
The soft-spoken Afghanistan
captain Mohammad Nabi
praised Shahzad, having been
disappointed by the chaotic
opener for falling off the first
ball in the Bangladesh game.
"The main role of Shahzad is
to play for the first six to eight
overs," Nabi said. "He s that kind
of batsman, a strokeplayer and
he got a score on the board."
The seven-wicket win came
mostly on the back of Shahzad s
bat, as he made his fifth Twen-
ty20 international fifty and
emerged from a rut of low
scores. Although Shahzad has
tried to go after the bowlers from
very early, here he had to save
his aggressive streak for later in
He did hit five boundaries
within the Powerplay overs, and
although they were the usual
forcing shots down the ground
and through the covers, he was
batting on a respectably steady
24 off 19 balls. He slowed down
further and was on 29 off 30
balls in the tenth over.
Afghanistan too looked a little
off the pace at that stage.
Shahzad immediately blasted
Nizakhat Khan for two sixes in
the tenth over itself, and just
after reaching his fifty treated
the half-filled Chittagong crowd
to a helicopter shot over mid-
wicket. That shot announced
Afghanistan s change of course,
and they finished the game in
the next 20-odd minutes.
Burke later said that dropped
catches cost Hong Kong dearly,
particularly when Aizaz Khan
dropped a sitter in the sixth over.
"You drop someone that goes
on and makes a good score it
really hurts you and they chased
really well," Burke said.
"To miss that run-out that
we should have easily got and
two dropped catches, really hurts
"We haven t done the basics
well under pressure. It got to us
and that showed with our field-
ing tonight. We performed a lot
better than we did the other
night but we ve still got plenty
to work on, there are plenty of
positives to take out of it as well
but we haven t performed any-
where near where we pride our-
Nabi meanwhile was just
happy Afghanistan remained at
par with Bangladesh and Nepal.
He said the win gave the team
a timely lift.
"Every match is important to
win," said Nabi. "Bangladesh
was an important game, we lost.
We ll try and win both games.
It was good win for confidence."
Bangladesh seamer Al-Amin Hossain
hasn t played too many evening matches
in his young career, so the dew on the out-
field of the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Sta-
dium surprised him. Ultimately, it was a
matter of controlling the ball when deliv-
ering it. Bangladesh did that right against
Nepal, restricting them to an under-par
126 and setting up their eight-wicket win.
It was a challenge from the start for Al-
Amin, who had to contend with a wet seam
early in his first over. Despite a difficult first
over, in which he bowled three wides and
conceded a boundary, he ended up with an
impressive 2 for 17 from four overs.
"The dew made it hard to control from
the first over," Al-Amin said. "I was thinking
afterwards that I had to make amends in
the next three overs. The wicket had grass,
and I had to make it count.
"It is my first (T20) World Cup, and just
my third T20 match at this level. I thought
my bowling in the first match wasn t too
bad but I had to improve on it. I was trying
to make a comeback in this game and it
went pretty well."
He removed Sagar Pun off a catch to cover
and two balls later, he had Gyanendra Malla
with an excellent delivery that cut back in
to the right-hander from a length, trapping
him leg-before. Al-Amin has been training
to bowl cross-seam deliveries to counter
any trouble when bowling with a straight
"I bowled a few wides but I must say, I
have never faced such dew in my life. I saw
the seam was wet when I looked at it before
bowling the second ball. I bowled cross-
seam for a while and then I used the seam
when it was better," he said.
If the spinners had picked up wickets like
they did against Afghanistan, Bangladesh
would have finished off the game quicker.
Al-Amin added that Nepal s eventual score
wasn t good enough.
"They batted defensively, and I think they
wanted to bat 20 overs. They didn t take
too many chances. I think 126 is a normal
score, not a large one. There was no chance
"This is a do-or-die match. We tried to
play good cricket. We took a few early wick-
ets but if Shakib bhai [Al Hasan] and Raj
bhai [Abdur Razzak] could have got us a
few more in the middle overs, we could
have wrapped them up for a smaller total,"
he said. (ESPNcricinfo)
Al-Amin: Never seen
such dew in my life
Bangladesh 132--2 in 15.3 overs (Anamul
Haque 42, Shakib Al Hasan 37 not out;
Basant Regmi 1--14) vs Nepal 126--5
(Paras Khadka 41, Sharad Vesawkar 40;
Al-Amin Hossain 2--17). Bangladesh won
by eight wickets.
MIAMI---The State Department says
it is teaming with the Miami Heat and
coach Erik Spoelstra this week to host
16 players and two coaches from the
Philippines, which is still dealing with
the aftereffects of the typhoon that
struck last fall.
Spoelstra's mother is from the
Philippines. He was actively involved in
fund-raising efforts after that storm,
which killed thousands and simply
destroyed part of the country.
Plans call for Spoelstra to provide the
group with basketball clinics, facility
tours and pre-game interaction with
current Heat players before hosting the
Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.
Activities that promote volunteerism,
teamwork, community building, and
youth development are also planned.
Spoelstra served as a State Department
Sports Envoy to the Philippines in 2009.
The group plans to visit Washington after
leaving Miami. (AP)
Heat, Spoelstra to host players from Philippines
Burke: Dropped catches cost us
Afghanistan 154--3 in 18
overs (Mohammad Shahzad
68, Shafiqullah 51 not out;
Tanwir Afzal 1--19) vs Hong
Kong 153--8 in 20 (Mark
Chapman 38, Waqas Barkat
32; Mohammad Nabi 2--27,
Shapoor Zadran 2--27).
Afghanistan won by seven
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