Xavier Marshall struck an exact 100 in USA win against Hong Kong.

Oman and USA both guaranteed ODI status after an eventful day in the ICC World Cricket League Division 2.

Oman stayed perfect in ICC World Cricket League Division 2 action after a dramatic four-wicket win over hosts Namibia.

Oman’s passage to ODI status and more competitive cricket had already been confirmed earlier in the day when Canada downed Papua New Guinea, but they finished the job in style anyway as Sandeep Goud’s unbeaten half-century saw off Namibia.

Defeat for the home nation in Windhoek means they must wait to secure their spot in the battle to qualify for ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2. USA have now confirmed their berth in League 2 after downing Hong Kong.

Both Oman and USA join Scotland, Nepal and the UAE in League 2, where they will play 36 ODIs each over a two-and-a-half year period on the road to Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

In a very competitive and exciting tournament, Canada kept their slim qualification hopes alive with their first win of the week over Papua New Guinea, with all four teams still fighting for the remaining two spots.

Namibia v Oman
Oman secured their ODI status with a narrow win over Namibia that owed much to the efforts of Sandeep Goud.

Having won the toss and elected to field, Oman looked right on top from the outset as Zeeshan Maqsood (2-27) and Khawar Ali (2-23) took early wickets.

At 98 for seven, Namibia’s chances looked all but over but Zane Green (46) and JJ Smit shared an impressive 103-run stand for the ninth wicket to lift the hosts to a competitive 213 for nine total.

Smit starred with 60 and in reply Oman’s perfect record looked under threat as Jan Frylinck (3-34) led the way for the Namibian bowlers. But Suraj Kumar’s half-century kept Oman on track before Goud (57 not out) and Fayyaz Butt got them over the line with four wickets and five balls to spare.

Oman captain Zeeshan Maqsood said: “It means a lot we have achieved ODI status and everyone is very happy. Everyone took responsibility and with the pressure of cricket they did their jobs, and that is the main reason we have won four out of four. Each team has come here looking for ODI status and place in League 2, and the players have managed to achieve this. So very thankful to the management and all of our supporters.”

Hong Kong v USA
Xavier Marshall has hit form at just the right time as his century confirmed USA’s ODI status and helped see off Hong Kong on Wednesday.

The former West Indies Test star hit exactly 100 and was ably supported by Steven Taylor’s 88 as the USA, having been put in by their opponents, amassed a total of 280 for eight from their 50 overs.

That always looked like being beyond Hong Kong, for whom Kinchit Shah impressed with both bat and ball in the losing effort.

Shah took a four-for in USA’s innings and then top scored with 45 in Hong Kong’s reply but the going was tough as Karima Gore (2-49) led a balanced bowling effort from the Americans.

Hong Kong were always behind the required rate and while Aizaz Khan (35 not out) and Ehsan Khan (31 not out) did their best, they ended up 84 runs short in Windhoek and might well need to beat Namibia in their final game if they are to secure a top-four finish.

USA Coach Pubudu Dassanayake said: “As a team we have worked really hard for the last two and half years and we have targeted this tournament. The boys are feeling great, it is a big achievement as the USA have never been to this level before and we are very happy to be in (ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup) League 2. Moving forward playing competitive ODI cricket for the next 2 and half years is another level, bringing the team to this will require more hard work. We are going to press hard in the next game, we want to win the tournament and be the best team leaving Namibia.”

Hong Kong captain Anshuman Rath said:” It is obviously not good to lose, the USA simply outplayed as today, we have to pick ourselves up and next game against Namibia is very crucial. Tomorrow we will reflect and recover. We were bailed out today by Canada beating PNG, makes the next round of games very very crucial for all four teams and hopefully we will not leave it to chance and beat Namibia.”

PNG v Canada
Canada claimed their first win of the tournament on Wednesday with a three-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea that keeps their qualification hopes alive. The win owed much to the efforts of skipper Davy Jacobs whose measured unbeaten half-century proved the backbone of the Canadian run chase.

Having won the toss and elected to bat, Papua New Guinea lost wickets early and often and were 33 for four inside the first 11 overs. The one bright spot in their innings was the effort of skipper Assad Vala who made 82 and was the last man out, having almost carried his bat throughout the innings.

Dillon Heyliger (4-41) did most of the damage with the ball for the Canadians, who were chasing 154, and while Nosaina Pokana (2-20) made early inroads, Jacobs and Bhavindu Adhihetty (22) anchored the chase.

Canada Player of the Match Dilon Heylinger said: “This feeling is a great feeling, after the last three games and to come back in this way. We are here for a reason and a purpose and to do this in this game makes me feel proud. Things haven’t gone our way but it isn’t over.”

Scores in brief
Canada won by three wickets at Wanderers Cricket Ground, Windhoek

Papua New Guinea 154 all out, 44.2 overs (Assad Vala 82; Dillon Heyliger 4-41, Romesh Eranga 2-23)
Canada 155-7, 34.2 overs (Davy Jacobs 52 not out, Bhavindu Adhihetty 22; Nosaina Pokana 2-20)

USA won by 84 runs at United Cricket Club Ground, Windhoek
USA 280-8, 50 overs (Xavier Marshall 100, Steven Taylor 88; Kinchit Shah 4-37)
Hong Kong 196-7, 50 overs (Kinchit Shah 45, Aizaz Khan 35 not out; Karima Gore 2-49)

Oman won by four wickets at Affies Park, Windhoek
Namibia 213-9, 50 overs (JJ Smit 60, Zane Green 46; Fayyaz Butt 3-52, Khawar Ali 2-23)
Oman 214-6, 49.1 overs (Sandeep Goud 57 not out; Suraj Kumar 51; Jan Frylinck 3-34)

Points table

Team Played Won Lost Points NNR
Oman 4 4 0 8 0.686
USA 4 3 1 6 1.105
Namibia 4 2 2 4 0.923
Hong Kong 4 1 3 2 -0.529
Canada 4 1 3 2 -0.74
PNG 4 1 3 2 -1.512

Thursday, 25 April – Rest/Reserve Day

Friday, 26 April – Canada v USA, Wanderers; Namibia v Hong Kong, WAP; PNG v Oman, Trustco UNITED

Saturday, 27 April – Final, Wanderers (ODI); 3rd v 4th Playoff (ODI), WAP; 5th v 6th Playoff, Trustco UNITED