The much-awaited ICC World Cup Qualifiers finally kicked off in Zimbabwe. Ten teams compete for two places in World Cup of England next year in 2019.

Group A consists of five teams, namely, Ireland, Netherlands, favourites West Indies, PNG and UAE. Whereas, Group B boasted the likes of Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Nepal, Scotland and Hong Kong.

The first day of group stage saw Afghanistan and Scotland face-off at Athletic Club, Bulawayo. Nepal and Zimbabwe fought it out at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

Harare Sports Club saw PNG and UAE clash against each other while the Old Hararian Club saw two heavyweights – Ireland and Netherland face off.

Scotland celebrates a wicket. Credits: Cricbuzz

In the PNG-UAE match, the Middle Eastern team went on to register a 56 runs win powered by a spirited Rohan Mustafa who scored a dogged 95. Mohammad Naveed backed up his captain with his five-wicket haul in the match.

Seasoned veterans Andrew Balbirnie and Tim Murtagh helped Ireland cruise towards victory against the Netherlands. All round performance from Timm van der Gugten could not avoid the thumping 93 runs loss for Holland against the Irish.

Meanwhile, the game in Bulawayo saw a high-scoring affair between host Zimbabwe and Nepal. Sikander Raza had a field day at the office as he smashed a 66-ball 123 and claimed three wickets to take his side towards victory by a margin of 116 runs.

The Dutch celebrate a wicket. Credits: Cricbuzz

Calum MacLeod’s 157* was the highlight of Day 1 of ICC World Cup Qualifiers which powered Scotland towards victory over favourites Afghanistan by seven wickets. Wheal and Berrington clinched three wickets each for a Scottish victory.

Brief Scores:

Papua New Guinea vs United Arab Emirates, 1st Match, Group A

United Arab Emirates won by 56 runs (DLS Method)

United Arab Emirates 221-10 (49.4); Rohan Mustafa 95 (136), Norman Vanua 4/39

Papua New Guinea 113-10 (25.5), Charles Amini 24 (31), Mohammad Naveed 5/28

Ireland vs Netherlands, 2nd Match, Group A

Ireland won by 93 runs (DLS Method)

Ireland 268-7 (50); Andrew Balbirnie 68 (75), Timm van der Gugten 3/59

Netherlands 149-10 (32.2); Timm van der Gugten 33 (25), Tim Murtagh 3/28

Zimbabwe vs Nepal, 3rd Match, Group B

Zimbabwe won by 116 runs

Zimbabwe 380-6 (50); Sikandar Raza 123 (66), Basant Regmi 2/69

Nepal 264-8 (50); Sharad Vesawkar 52 (48), Sikandar Raza 3/48

Afghanistan vs Scotland, 4th Match, Group B

Scotland won by 7 wickets

Scotland 256-3 (47.2); Calum MacLeod 157* (146), Mujeeb Zadran 2/47

Afghanistan 255-10 (49.4); Mohammad Nabi 92 (82), Bradley Wheal 3/36

Also Read:

Sri Lanka Cricket Board Announce eight men Commentary Panel

New Look Team India leaves for Sri Lanka for Nidahas Trophy 2018