As we approach the final few weeks of 2018 and look back at some of the best Associate moments of the year, the ones that particularly will be remembered the most as the best highlights of the year will be the performances by Associate nations in the 50-overs (ODI, List-A and unofficial).
Be it Nepal’s miraculous escape in ICC World Cricket League Division 2 against Canada, or Scotland’s victories in 2018 ICC World Cup Qualifiers or their biggest win over England, or Hong Kong’s surge in the 2018 Asia Cup Qualifiers and their inspired performance against India in the 2018 Asia Cup, or the regular tense moments in the ICC World Cricket League Divisions in Namibia and Malaysia, 2018 has seen some stupendous performances from players from various Associate member nations.
The quality of play displayed by Associate member nations and players have shown that the gap between the top Associates and the full members is definitely reducing, maybe not by the rate of knots but it is a slow and steady progress and the next 2-3 years might see it shorten even more as more Associate member players are now starting to get opportunities around the T20 circuit, which in turn is helping them improve on their stroke-play and achieving higher strike-rates when playing the 50-over format and definitely be more consistent in their performances.
What was encouraging from ICC’s point of view was to provide more matches to 28 Associate members along with 12 Full members with official status (ODI and List-A) in the new pathway program towards World Cup Qualification and such an initiative provides the Boards with time to plan their developments and invest towards building a program for their national squads in the 50-overs format, both in terms of Internationals and also the domestic structure at home.
In all, there were some memorable performances by batsman in the 50-overs format throughout 2018 and after analysing the impact of some of the best-played knocks around the globe, here’s the top 20 which we think had the biggest impact in the game:
Czarsportz Top 20 Innings in 50-overs format by Associate member players in 2018:
1) Calum MacLeod (157 n.o, Scotland vs Afghanistan in ICC World Cup Qualifiers on 04th Mar 2018)
2) Tony Ura (151, Papua New Guinea vs Ireland in ICC World Cup Qualifiers on 06th Mar 2018)
3) Calum MacLeod (140 n.o, Scotland vs England in a Bi-lateral ODI on 10th Jun 2018)
4) Monank Patel (109, USA vs Jamaica in Windies Regional Super50 on 22nd Oct 2018)
5) Lega Siaka (188 n.o, Papua New Guinea vs Hong Kong in a Bi-lateral 50-overs series on 09th Oct 2018)
6) Babar Hayat (107, Hong Kong vs UAE in 2018 Asia Cup Qualifiers on 01st Sep 2018)
7) Nizakat Khan (92, Hong Kong vs India in 2018 Asia Cup on 18th Sep 2018)
8) Hamid Shah (105 n.o, Denmark vs Kenya in 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division 3 on 18th Nov 2018)
9) Karan KC (42 n.o, Nepal vs Canada in 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division 2 on 14th Feb 2018)
10) Paras Khadka (112 n.o, Nepal vs UAE in 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division 2 on 15th Feb 2018)
11) Anshuman Rath (73, Hong Kong vs India in 2018 Asia Cup on 18th Sep 2018)
12) Khawar Ali (84 n.o, Oman vs Nepal in 2018 Asia Cup Qualifiers on 29th Aug 2018)
13) Freddie Klokker (108 n.o, Denmark vs Bermuda in 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division 4 on 29th Apr 2018)
14) Jonathon Dunn (86, Vanuatu vs Denmark in 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division 4 on 05th May 2018)
15) Aqib Ilyas (100, Oman vs USA in 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division 3 on 16th Nov 2018)
16) Aaron Jones (78, USA vs Denmark in 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division 3 on 15th Nov 2018)
17) Rameez Shahzad (112 n.o, UAE vs West Indies in 2018 ICC World Cup Qualifiers on 06th Mar 2018)
18) Chirag Suri (78 n.o, UAE vs Netherlands in 2018 ICC World Cup Qualifiers on 08th Mar 2018)
19) Shane Dietz (71, Vanuatu vs Bermuda in 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division 4 on 03rd May 2018)
20) Rohan Musrafa (95, UAE vs Papua New Guinea in 2018 ICC World Cup Qualifiers on 04th Mar 2018)