Scotland, UAE on track to qualify in Super Six
Scotland and the United Arab Emirates took a giant step towards booking a place in next year's Cricket World Cup with Super Six stage victories today.
With only one round remaining, the two teams sit on top of the standings on six points, two points clear of their nearest rivals, Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong.
If Scotland and the UAE can win their final Super Six game on Thursday, they would seal their ticket to next year's one-day international World Cup and meet in Saturday's final of the qualifying tournament.
Scotland ran out 52-run winners over tournament surprise package Papua New Guinea at Lincoln. They amassed an imposing 288-9 from their 50 overs, which was built around a handful of strong partnerships.
Openers Matty Cross and Calum MacLeod got them off to a positive beginning, putting on 62 runs for the first wicket. Scottish skipper Preston Mommsen was the thorn in the PNG side, hitting an excellent 94 from 105 balls.
Freddie Coleman was looking in ominous touch for the Scots too, before he was run out for 48.
PNG opening batsman Vani Morea was aggressive in his side's runchase hitting an entertaining 57, before he was bowled by Majid Haq for 57.
PNG lost too many wickets in the middle stages of their innings as they tried to lift their runrate. Mahuru Dai provided plenty of resistance for PNG, notching a whirlwind 50 from 29 balls. Rob Taylor and Haq did the majority of the damage for Scotland with the ball, with both bowlers capturing three wickets.
The UAE were in early trouble against Kenya at 13-3, but skipper Khurram Khan was again able to get them out of a precarious position.
The run-scoring machine anchored the UAE innings, scoring a patient 85 from 125 deliveries. A magnificent 63 off just 31 balls from Amjad Javed helped the UAE get up to 246 from their 50 overs.
In reply, Kenya lost wickets at regular intervals, but some lower order big hitting ensured a nervous finish for the UAE bowling unit.
They were able to hold on for a 13-run win, with the Kenyan wickets shared around among UAE's accurate attack.
Hong Kong remain on track for a top four finish after they overcame Namibia by 76 runs. They appeared in trouble batting first at 37-3, but Mark Chapman and Nizakat Khan helped steady their innings, combining for a 155-run fourth wicket stand.
Chasing a whopping 289, Namibia never really looked likely, falling to 94-5 in the 21st over. They were eventually rolled for 207 with batsman Craig Williams the shining light with 59 runs.Hasseb Amjad continued his outstanding tournament with the ball taking 4-33, while Tanwir Afzal chipped in with three wickets.
In bottom four section games in Mt Maunganui, the Netherlands were eight wicket winners over Canada, with Canterbury's Peter Borren scoring 61 not out in the win. Nepal gained their first victory of the tournament, routing winless Uganda by 160 runs.
Scotland 288 for nine in 50 overs (P Mommsen 94, M Cross 49, F Coleman 48; R Haoda 2-48, M Dai 2-52, W Gavera 2-54) beat Papua New Guinea 236 all out in 46 overs (V Morea 57, M Dai 50; R Taylor 3-45, M Haq 3-52) by52 runs
United Arab Emirates 246 for eight in 50 overs (K Khan 85, A Javed 63, S Patil 36; N Odhiambo 4-54, D Allan 2-62) beat Kenya 233 all out in 50 overs (M Ouma 42, C Obuya 41, I Karim 38; M Naveed 3-40, A Javed 2-29, M Guruge 2-48) by 13 runs
Hong Kong 283 for nine in 50 overs (N Khan 85, M Chapman 82; L Klazinga 4-65, J Smit 2-49) beat Namibia 207 all out in 44 overs (C Williams 59, C Viljoen 40; H Amjad 4-33, T Afzal 3-41, N Ahmed 2-43) by 76 runs
Super Six points: UAE 6, Scotland 6, Hong Kong 4, PNG 4, Kenya 2, Namibia 2.
- Fairfax Media
Should the NZ selectors pick Jesse Ryder if he's available?