United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Canada overcame resilient performances from Papua New Guinea and Jersey respectively to gain their first points in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-off and maintained their chances of advancing to the next round.
UAE survived a big scare before overcoming a spirited Papua New Guinea (PNG) by 21 runs while Canada defeated Jersey by 31 runs on an enthralling second day of the competition.
An inspired Chad Soper (4-43) gave his side the dream start, extracting the maximum value with the new ball and picking four wickets in his opening spell. UAE skipper Muhammad Waseem played a lone hand for the first 20 overs as no other batter was able to get in.
The assured presence of 17-year-old Aayan Khan, however, freed up Waseem and the batter upped the ante after reaching his fifty. He hit three sixes in Charles Amini's fifth over, which was taken for 21 runs.
However, the batter fell four short of his hundred to give Semo Kamea (2/38) his second success. This didn't stop Aayan though, who took the initiative from Waseem and went hammer and tongs toward the end of the innings.
Courtesy of his run-a-ball 94, UAE ended at 260/7. Kiplin Doriga and Tony Ura helped PNG off to a flying start, the openers added 145 runs in the first 20 overs. Doriga went for the attack in the initial overs, while Ura joined the festivities after settling in.
Ura's dismissal against the run of play in the 21st over brought UAE back into the game. Leg-spinner Karthik Meiyappan (4-44) went on to pick four wickets in no time as PNG slipped from 146/0 to 162/5.
Given the explosive start, the PNG batters could afford to take their time and settle in. They tried to do the same, while also chipping away at the target. However, UAE bowlers proved to be relentless and provided wickets at regular intervals.
Zahoor Khan (3-49), Aayan (1-33) and Junaid Siddique (1-23) cleaned up the lower order to hand UAE a win. Canada's top order lacked more in application than intent, as the loss of four batters for 56 in the first 10 overs showed.
While ODI debutants Jersey were erratic in the same period, conceding 16 extras, the damaged wickets column meant that the North American team couldn't take advantage and were forced to enter a rebuilding phase.
Luckily for them, keeper Srimantha Wijeyeratne (63) and Harsh Thaker (27) provided stability with their 62-run partnership for the fifth wicket. After Thaker's loss in the 24th over, Wijeyratne was joined by the experienced Nikhil Dutta (56).
The duo joined hands for a crucial 70-run stand. The lack of wickets in hand and disciplined bowling from Jersey meant that Canada could add only 54 runs in the final 10 overs. Chasing a target of 239, Jersey got off to a solid start.
After putting on 36 runs for the first wicket with Harrison Carlyon, Nick Greenwood (59) added 81 for the second with Josh Lawrenson. Greenwood's loss unsettled the batting momentum, though Josh Lawrenson tried his best to hold the innings together while helping Jersey close in on the target.
However, Canada found an opening into the game after Dutta (2-30) dismissed Lawrenson for 66 in the 40th over. With Canada ahead by 61 runs and two fresh batters at the wicket, it was still anyone's game.
And skipper Saad Bin Zafar (3-51) put the bowling side ahead with a double-wicket 43rd over. Jersey were eventually bowled out in the 48th over.
UAE 260/7 in 50 overs (Muhammad Waseem 96, Aayan Khan 94 not out; Chad Soper 4-43) beat PNG 239 all out in 48.3 overs (Kiplin Doriga 73, Tony Ura 56; Karthik Meiyappan 4-45, Zahoor Khan 3-49) by 21 runs
Canada 238/8 in 50 overs (Srimantha Wijeyeratne 63, Nikhil Dutta 56; Charles Perchard 3-38, Benjamin Ward 2-35) beat Jersey 207 all out in 47.5 overs (Josh Lawrenson 68, Nick Greenwood 59; Jeremy Gordon 3-30, Saad Bin Zafar 3-51, Nikhil Dutta 2-30) by 31 runs.