Two of the four semi-final spots in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier B have been sealed after Zimbabwe and USA made it two wins from two on Tuesday.
Hosts Zimbabwe overcame Jersey by 23 runs, Sean Williams top-scoring with 57 off 39 deliveries to take the Chevrons to a total of 146 for eight, which proved too much for a determined Jersey side.
Elsewhere in Group A, USA overcame Singapore, while Netherlands and Papua New Guinea enjoyed wins in Group B to leave the Dutch in pole position for one of the two remaining semi-final berths.
Netravalkar five-for gives USA second win
Saurabh Netravalkar claimed a stunning five-wicket haul as USA strolled to a 132-run victory against Singapore.
The left-arm quick tore through the Singapore top order, taking each of the first four wickets in a dazzling display which also included a maiden and saw him finish with five for 12.
In-form Steven Taylor led the way once again with the bat, following up his century on Monday with 58 from 31 here as they raced to 201 for six.
Taylor and opening partner Monank Patel (39) put on 76 for the first wicket and Jaskaran Malhotra soon joined the party, adding 58 off just 33 balls with four bruising maximums.
In reply, Singapore had no answer to Netravalkar, who removed both Aman Desai and Manpreet Singh for nought before claiming skipper Amjad Mahboob with his final ball.
Only Anantha Krishna (22) was able to curb the efforts of the destructive Netravalkar and the tricky leg-spin of Nisarg Patel (2/12) as Singapore were bowled out for 69.
USA return to action on Thursday against Zimbabwe where one unbeaten record must fall, while Singapore will be looking for their first win of the campaign against Jersey.
Williams steers Zimbabwe past resolute Jersey
Having racked up 235 against Singapore on Monday, Zimbabwe found runs harder to come by against a disciplined Jersey attack.
And they largely had their bowlers to thank for a second straight win in Group A, with leg-spinner Ryan Burl (3/14) and slow left-armer Williams, who conceded just 15 from his four overs, in complete control during the middle overs.
Jersey had earlier elected to put Zimbabwe into bat and that decision was quickly vindicated when captain Craig Ervine was dismissed by Ben Stevens (1/15) inside the first over.
Williams steadied the ship and was well supported by Sikandar Raza (18) and Luke Jongwe, who plundered a valuable 29 off just 13 balls.
Jersey’s innings began in far more convincing fashion as Harrison Carlyon (45) and Nick Greenwood (10) established a strong opening partnership.
But Carlyon could only manage three boundaries from 56 deliveries and Jersey ultimately ran out of time, despite a late flurry from Benjamin Ward, who hit an unbeaten 35 from 20 balls, as they finished 23 runs short on 123 for five.
Netherlands make quick work of Hong Kong
It took just 13.2 overs for Netherlands to chase down Hong Kong’s total of 116, as Max O’Dowd (45) and Bas de Leede (36 not out) impressed with the bat.
Hong Kong captain Nizakat Khan opted to bat but only he was able to hold firm against a talented Dutch attack, making 60 off 55 deliveries before falling to Logan van Beek (4/27).
His performance was the highlight in an otherwise flat display which saw just two other batters reach double figures, paceman Fred Klaassen taking 2/16 before van Beek’s superb spell as Hong Kong left 11 balls unused.
O’Dowd and de Leede carried their team to the brink of victory after the early dismissal of Stephan Myburgh (11), with Tom Cooper (20) also chipping in as Netherlands got home with 6.4 overs to spare.
Papua New Guinea up and running after mesmerising run chase
A stunning 93 not out from Assad Vala helped Papua New Guinea to an eight-wicket victory over Uganda and took them past the Cricket Cranes on net run rate in Group B.
Uganda’s Simon Ssesazi had earlier starred with the bat for Uganda, striking 78 off just 48 deliveries with support from Riazat Ali Shah (48) as they posted a respectable 160 for four.
Vala and Bau took to the crease with their side in a difficult position, as both Lega Siaka and Charles Amini fell to Frank Nsubuga (2/16) in the fourth over.
But the pair quickly settled and put on 132 off just 76 balls to carry their team to what became a comfortable victory with 3.2 overs to spare, captain Vala hitting seven fours and six sixes during his destructive 47-ball knock.
Papua New Guinea and Uganda are now level on points in second and third in Group B, with Vala’s side taking on Hong Kong in Thursday’s final group game while Uganda face Netherlands on what is set to be a tense morning of action.