Hosts Ireland, Namibia, Nepal, Scotland and USA registered wins on the fourth day of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Dublin, Ireland.

The star of the day obviously was USA’s new-ball bowler Mital Patel who picked up the tournament’s first hat-trick against Afghanistan at the Hills Cricket Club.

Mital Patel had figures of 6 for 35 which included a hat-trick. Photo courtesy of Rob O' Connor/ICC

Rain interrupted play in the game after 3.1 overs and when play resumed, the match was reduced to 46-overs-a-side.

Patel’s spell of 6-35 helped USA bowl out Afghanistan for 183 in 41.2 overs. Afghanistan was helped by a 96-run sixth wicket stand between Nasir Ahmadzai (47) and Najibullah Zadran’s 70 off 68 balls featuring 14 boundaries.

Patel then ran through the lower order claiming Yamin Ahmadzai first and then Aftab Alam and Nasir Ahmadzai off the first two balls of a fresh over to end with a hat-trick.

The USA chase began on a belligerent note with Steven Taylor (49) yet again getting the side off to a brisk start. USA lost a few wickets in the middle overs but Jodhbir Singh Sandu (20) held his nerves to put USA across the finishing line with three wickets to spare.

A jubilant Patel was named the Man of the Match award: ”To be honest I did not realise that I had taken the hat-trick because it happened over two overs. I have enjoyed myself while bowling here. Our coach Robin Singh has been fantastic as well. He has helped me with ideas on the line and length. He has also been teaching me different type of variations and has also fixed my run-up.”

Hosts Ireland continued to produce heart-stopping moments in their wins with yet another last over finish at the Leinster Cricket Club. Ireland asked Kenya to bat first and was quickly in command. But Duncan Allan?s hundred (123: 149b, 13×4, 2×6) held the innings together for Kenya. Graeme McCarter’s spell of 3-33 came in handy for the home team.

In the chase, Ireland lost early wickets to be placed at 88 for six in the 30th over. It then required a 81-run stand between Shane Getkate (63: 73b, 5×4, 1×6) and McCarter (51: 47b, 3×4, 2×6) to put Ireland back in command. Towards the end a few wickets fell, but the Ireland lower-order managed to pull off the win with two wickets and three balls to spare.

McCarter’s all-round effort fetched him the Man of the Match award. McCarter credited the win to self-belief in the lower-order: ”Our lower-order is very capable. We can build partnerships. That?s what Shane (Getkate) told me when I came to bat. We wanted to pick singles and play risk free cricket. We have had four last over finishes. Hopefully we can close out the games a lot earlier.”

Namibia won yet another close game of the day at the North County Cricket Club against Canada by three wickets. Canada?s Nikhil Dutta slammed 116 off 137 balls with 10 boundaries. In the chase, Namibia lost its top-order cheaply but Merwe Erasmus (61: 98b, 5×4) and Zhivago Groenewald (68: 61b, 5×4, 5×6) added 98 runs for the sixth wicket to revive the chase. Groenwald had to retire hurt following a ligament injury and that triggered a mini-collapse. In the end the tail wagged well for Namibia to earn the win.

A relieved Groenwald was named Man of the Match: ”It was not tough to bat. It was a pretty good batting pitch. My ligaments were hurt. We are going to the doctor now to check on my status. It was a par score, but we did well to chase it down. We want to qualify take the trophy home. That is the goal of the entire squad.”

The Oakhill Cricket Club produced yet another thriller for the day. This match featuring Papua New Guinea and Scotland was reduced to 33-overs-a-side. But it still had all the thrills. Papua New Guinea batted first and was bowled out for 155 in 32.5 overs with only skipper Christopher Kent (35) making any worthwhile contribution.

In the chase kept losing wickets at regular intervals but an unbeaten Henry Edwards (62 n.o.) helped the side win with two wickets to spare in the 32nd over. Edwards backed himself in a tough situation and earned his reward: ”We had lost a few wickets, but I backed my option to hit boundaries. In the end we got there with more than an over to spare. We are a close unit unit and back ourselves to win in tough situations. The wins over Ireland and Nepal has brought in tremendous confidence within the side.”

Perhaps the only side with the most dominant performance of the day was by Nepal as it beat Vanuatu by 159 runs at the YMCA Cricket Club. Nepal posted 250 after opting to bat first with handy knocks from Sagar Pun (51: 66b, 8×4) and Naresh Budayair (50: 87b, 4×4, 1×6). Nepal?s varied attack then shot out Vanuatu for a paltry 91 in 30.5 overs to earn a whopping win.

A thrilled Krishna Karki earned the Man of the Match award for his spell of 3-23: ”I was getting a lot of assistance off the pitch. I tried all the variations today. Thankfully it worked. Our bowling is our strong point and it came good yet again. We were able to experiment as well today and there was no pressure to control the runs.”

The Dublin leg of the tournament has now ended and the matches now move up to North-West from 3 August. In the second leg of the tournament, hosts Ireland takes on Vanuatu at Coleraine, Canada plays Nepal at Bready, Afghanistan and Namibia go head to head at Limavady, Kenya plays PNG at Strabane and Scotland takes on USA at Eglinton.

Score summaries (Day Four):
At The Hills Cricket Club:
Afghanistan U19 183 all out, 41.2 overs (Zadran 70, Ahmadzai 47; Patel 6-35)
USA U19 183 for seven, 45 overs (Taylor 49, Mirza 37; Ahmadi 3-36)
USA U19 won by three wickets (via Duckworth-Lewis Method)

At YMCA Cricket Club: Nepal U19 250 all out, 49.3 overs (Pun 51, Budayair 50; Sala 3-49)
Vanuatu U19 91 all out, 30.5 overs (Nipiko 36 n.o.; Krishna Karki 3-23, Vishvakarma 4-26)
Nepal U19 won by 159 runs

At North County Cricket Club: Canada U19 236 for eight, 50 overs (Dutta 116; SJ Baard 5-49)
Namibia U19 241 for seven, 48.5 overs (Erasmus 61, Groenwald 68; Aulakh 2-22, Kumar 2-44)
Namibia U19 won by three wickets

At Leinster Cricket Club: Kenya U19 222 for six, 50 overs (Allan 123, K Ochieng 32; McCarter 3-33)
Ireland U19 226 for eight, 49.3 overs (Getkate 63, McCarter 51; Ndandason 2-34, Savala 2-32)
Ireland won by two wickets

At the Oakhill Cricket Club: Vanuatu 155 all out, 32.5 overs (Kent 35, Siaka 24; Legget 3-16, McLean 2-24)
Scotland U19 157 for eight, 31.1 overs (Edwards 62 n.o.; Haoda 4-18)
Scotland U19 won by two wickets

Report courtesy of ICC.