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July 4, 2005
Ireland will have to wait until Thursday to secure a place in the 2007 World Cup after all three ICC Trophy Ireland 2005 Group A matches were washed out. No play was possible between Ireland and USA at Waringstown so Ireland need one more point from their final game against Denmark at Bangor to be certain of qualification. It will, though, take a major upset for Ireland to miss out on either first or second place in Group A. They go into the final round of games with a two point advantage over both Denmark and Bermuda and a significantly superior net run rate. Denmark and Bermuda both have five points while Uganda and United Arab Emirates remain in contention on three points ahead of the decisive matches. But for the USA, the washout means that they cannot qualify for the World Cup and face an ignominious exit from an event they should have been playing a major part in.
Three teams will be contesting the top two places in Group B on Thursday after Canada sealed a dramatic two-wicket victory over Holland. Canada's win leaves them level with Holland on six points while Scotland lead the group with eight points. In the final round of matches Holland will play Scotland at Stormont while Canada faces Papua New Guinea at Downpatrick.
Canada's third tight win of the tournament came with one ball to spare. They were chasing a revised target of 160 in 30 overs after Holland amassed 187 in 35 rain-affected overs. With Canada captain John Davison the first of Billy Stelling's five victims it was left to opening partner Desmond Chumney to lead the chase. Chumney's valuable contribution kept his side in touch with the run rate but when he was dismissed for 64 the momentum swung in Holland's favour. Three more wickets fell for only 14 runs but valuable lower-order runs from Don Maxwell and George Codrington helped Canada edge to an essential victory. If Holland had won, it would have guaranteed its place in the semi-finals along with Scotland, who beat Namibia. Instead both Holland and Scotland sides go into their final match with everything to play for.
Scotland beat Namibia by 27 runs in a match that was reduced to 33 overs-a-side. Ryan Watson was instrumental to the victory, taking advantage of the short boundaries to hit 87 of Scotland's 236 runs. Namibia were always in contention during the reply but to keep up with the run-rate their batsmen were forced to take chances. Nine of the ten wickets fell to catches as they were all out with 11 balls remaining.
Papua New Guinea claimed their first victory of the tournament, bowling out Oman for 41 to win by 93 runs in a match that was reduced to 24 overs.
The final round of six group games takes place on Thursday.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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