USA and Afghanistan power on
It was again a day for the favourites as, in addition to Nepal, there were wins for Afghanistan, USA and Jersey.
Former West Indies batsman Clayton Lambert, coach of the USA team, hailed his side as they comprehensively beat Norway by 10 wickets but said that the players were not going to become over confident despite two comfortable wins. "We're not going to underestimate anybody. We're the ones who have played a higher level of cricket so everyone expects us to win so there is a lot of pressure on," said Lambert.
The USA bowling attack looked extremely threatening with the wickets shared around its pace attack. Khawaja Shuja, the 19-year-old right-arm fast medium bowler, was the pick with figures of 5 for 15, although Steve Pitter (2 for 24) and Imran Awan (2 for 36) were also looking dangerous with some aggressive short-pitched bowling.
"Some of the short balls were the right length for the wicket and the guys did a great job of putting the balls on a correct length," said Lambert. "Some balls bounced and Norway didn't seem to have played against the bouncing balls a whole lot so it worked in our favour." In reply, the USA coasted to their target in just 14.5 overs with Sushil Nadkarni (41*) and Orlando Baker (32*) looking in fine form.
Eighteen-year-old Gulbudeen Naib was the hero for Afghanistan as he took 5 for 7, including a hat-trick to close the innings, as Bahamas managed just 46 all out. And although they too suffered a batting collapse, Afghanistan secured victory by five wickets after 6.3 overs as they attempted to score quick runs to improve their run-rate, with Mario Ford claiming 3 for 5.
"I was very happy to receive my Man-of-the-Match award for Afghanistan and I would like to pay tribute to my captain, team and coach who have helped me achieve this," said Naib. "It was the first ever hat-trick for Afghanistan so I am very happy," he added. "I am sure my friends and family back at home will be very proud."
Matt Hague produced a captain's performance for Jersey in their eight-wicket win over Japan taking 4 for 26 with the ball and scoring 27 not out with the bat. He played his part in reducing Japan to 124 for 8 in 50 overs before helping Peter Gough, who made 59 not out, reach Jersey's target with 15.5 overs to spare. "It was a really good performance. After yesterday when we got off to such a good start batting we wanted to get in a game today and get a win on the board," said Hague.
In the other game of the day, Singapore registered their first victory of the event with an exciting win by three wickets over Botswana. Buddhika Oshanka made 79 as Singapore reached a target of 184 with 2.3 overs to spare.
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa