Namibia, Kenya, Ireland make it two in two
Kenya Under-19s outlasted Canada Under-19s by 15 runs in a hard-fought encounter at The Hills Cricket Club ground in Dublin. Kenya's decision to bat first seemed to have backfired when they were reduced to 47 for 4, but Duncan Allan and Joseph Ochieng turned the innings around. Allan made a century while Ochieng contributed 73. Their 136-run stand gave substance to the innings, as Kenya moved to 215 for 7. Canada's chase got off to a much better start, with opener Akash Shah and No. 3 Nikhil Dutta making half-centuries. Their 98-run stand set up the platform for a win, but middle-order slumped against some tight bowling led by Emmanuel Ringera. Canada were eventually bowled out for 200 in the final over.
Ireland Under-19s sneaked home by four runs against Afghanistan Under-19s to register their second win in as many games. Ireland got off to a false start, losing a wicket off their first ball, and they never really recovered as wickets fell at regular intervals. Andrew McBrine's half-century rescued them from a precarious 86 for 6, but it was down to No. 9 Barry McCarthy's adventurous 47 to haul them past 200. Chasing 213, Afghanistan also endured a stop-start innings, but eventually paid for the inability of set batsmen to kick on. Hashmatullah Shaidi, Rahmatullah Shahaq and Nasir Ahmadzai all perished in the 40s, leaving too much for the tail to accomplish. It all boiled down to a six to win off the last ball, but Najibul Zadran who had hustled to 28 off 20 balls, was yorked by Joshua Hall to give Ireland victory.
Namibia Under-19s propelled themselves to the top of the table with a six-wicket victory against Vanuatu Under-19s at the YMCA Cricket Club, their second in two games. Vanuatu's batsmen could not withstand the persistent pressure applied by the Namibian bowlers, led by Christopher Coombe and Wian van Vuuren, both of whom finished with miserly three-wicket hauls. Chasing a paltry 126, Namibia cantered home in the 26th over, scarcely slowed down by Jaxies Samuel who picked up three wickets.
Scotland Under-19s eased to a 57-run win against Nepal Under-19s at the Merrion Cricket Club in Dublin. The win was set up by a hard-working 81 from No. 3 Freddie Coleman that lifted Scotland to a moderate score of 214. Run-making wasn't easy, thanks to an incisive spell from Bhuvan Karki that earned him figures of 5 for 41. Nepal's chase was in doldrums early as Patrick Sadler reduced them to 0 for 2 with his first three balls, and they never managed to recover. Captain Prithu Baskota fought hard for 62, before he became Sadler's fourth wicket and the ninth of the innings. Nepal eventually folded for 157 in the 46th over, giving Scotland their first win.
Papua New Guinea Under-19 overcame a stupendous 140 by Steven Taylor to defend their score of 262 by six runs against USA Under-19 at Observatory Lane. The top order boosted PNG to a challenging score, opener Lega Siaka top-scoring with 73 and adding 135 for the first wicket with Charles Amini. Captain Christoper Kent stepped up the scoring with 60 and the collective batting display undermined Mital Patel's four-wicket haul.
There was a lack of support for Taylor in the chase. He struck 19 fours and three sixes and was the eighth wicket to fall, but despite a couple of half-century stands, his partners were unable to push on. However, the tail, mainly Hammad Shahid and Mital patched up a spirited partnership for the final wicket, adding 47 when it seemed there was no hope. With six needed off five deliveries, the game was wide open, but Norman Vanua dismissed Shahid to clinch a tight win for PNG.