Bahrain put themselves in commanding position
Bahrain, boosted by a century from Ashraf Yaqoob and a fine response from their bowlers, sealed their third straight win, beating Guernsey by 25 runs in Castel in a showdown between the competition's two remaining unbeaten teams. Yaqoob (101) added 178 for the fourth wicket with wicketkeeper Adil Hanif (69) to help Bahrain recover from a shaky position at 25 for 3 to a competitive 257.
Guernsey, in their chase, lost wickets at frequent intervals. Qamar Saeed and Tahir Dar shared six wickets between them, and despite important contributions from Jeremy Firth (65) - he shone in an allround display, also taking 4 for 67 in the Bahrain innings - and Stuart Le Prevost (47), Bahrain never ceded the advantage.
Yaqoob was named Man of the Match for his 101. "It was not easy at first, but once I got into my innings I felt good," he said. "I always felt that 180 would be enough for us as I think we are strong in our bowling and fielding. Our middle-order is extremely strong and we have put together some good partnerships. I am hopeful we can now go and win this tournament."
Japan won their first game of the competition, downing Suriname by eight wickets at Port Soif. The success was largely a result of a dream spell by fast bowler Patrick Giles-Jones, who finished with outstanding figures of 7 for 9. Giles-Jones, who is originally from Australia but moved to Japan, had reduced Suriname to a hopeless 7 for 8 at one stage. However, Arun Gokoel (31) staged a relative recovery, pushing the score up to 66 before the innings ended. Japan pursued their target at a slow pace, taking 29.4 overs to do so, and are up against table-toppers Bahrain on Thursday.
"I have never been involved in a game like it," Giles-Jones said. "The conditions were fine. It was just one of those days where everything I executed managed to come off. Our aim was to try and bowl them out for single figures, but one of their players really stuck at it and helped them recover. I think we are going to give it a really good go against Bahrain tomorrow. We are at the same ground and we know what conditions are like. We are confident that if we can produce a strong bowling performance then we can cause an upset."
Nigeria registered their second victory, winning comfortably against Gibraltar by 88 runs in St Peter Port. Gibraltar bowled well, Kabir Mirpuri taking 6 for 61, but a crucial, unbeaten 70 from Akabogu Okwudili helped Nigeria post a respectable 217 for 8.
The score proved more than adequate as Gibraltar were skittled out for 129 to slip to their third consecutive loss, which puts them in danger of being relegated to Division 8.
"It was a much better performance today and we played to our potential," Adewale Adeoye, the Nigeria captain, said. "As I have always said, we have come here to prove a point that we are good enough to get promotion."
Bahrain take on a revived Japan on Thursday. In the other matches, Gibraltar play Suriname and Nigera face Guersney.