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Sport
Kit Bag

5 breakout players from the World Twenty20 Qualifiers

The National staff   |  December 1, 2013

The long, winding World Twenty20 Qualifiers came to an end yesterday with Ireland claiming the top spot from the tournament and Nepal edging the UAE in the third-place match.

Throughout the weeks of qualifying, Asian sides like Nepal and Afghanistan showed themselves to be emerging forces while hosts UAE mounted a spirited run.

Ultimately it was a tournament that added a lot of life to the World Twenty20 process by matching up eager competitors in close, very often entertaining, ties. And in the end we saw Ireland, Afghanistan, UAE, Nepal, Netherlands and Hong Kong earn a trip to the first round of the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next year.

The whole affair proved a nice showcase for associate nation talent, and to put a wrap on things Paul Radley offers up his five breakout performances from the World Twenty20 Qualifiers.

 

1. Paras Khadka, Nepal

Batting linchpin, seam-bowler, off-spinner, captain and statesman, it was fitting that Khadka was at the crease when qualification for Bangladesh was secured. Deserves to be on a higher stage.

2. Tony Ura, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea confirmed their status as a force at this level by shocking the Netherlands in Dubai. Opener Ura blazed a century as part of his tournament-aggregate haul of 336 runs.

3. Gareth Berg, Italy

A South African who is qualified for England, he may have a tenuous link to Italy. However, he represented them well here, with 213 runs at a strike rate of 158, and valuable bowling, too.

4. Manjula Guruge

The Sri Lankan left-arm seamer does not always get into the UAE side, given their preference for spinners. He showed his worth here, though, as the national team booked tickets to the big show.

5. Munir Dar, Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s success here was not so much of a surprise for students of Asian cricket. Dar, 41 and a left-arm spinner, was their leading force with the ball, taking 17 wickets.