Uganda and Argentina have been promoted to Division Two of the World Cricket League following their march into the final of Division Three in Darwin. Division Two, in Namibia, gets underway in November.
Esteban MacDermott, the Argentina captain, produced a match-winning performance when he captured 4 for 20 to bowl out the Cayman Islands for 102 in the 40th over. Steve Gordon, who scored a century in the opening game against Tanzania, top-scored with 38 but only Saheed Mohamed (29) and Keniel Irving (19) reached double figures. Argentina's chase began poorly, stumbling to 58 for 4, but Alejandro Ferguson saw them through to the final with a composed 25.
"The boys could have easily lost focus or confidence after the one-wicket defeat against Italy," MacDermott said, "but they remained committed and stayed on track because they trusted their instincts. This is the reward for their dedication and continuous hard work.
"The credit for our promotion to Division 2 not only goes to the team but to the entire support staff and all those who backed us all the way. Our performance in the tournament shows how rapidly cricket is growing in our country where soccer remains the first-choice sport."
Uganda held its nerve to beat Papua New Guinea by one wicket with only four balls to spare at Tracy Village thanks to a brilliant 43 from Keneth Kamyuka, who added 15 for the last wicket with Charles Waiswa. Chasing 204, Roger Mukasa got Uganda off to a good start with a slick 43 from just 34 balls at the top of the order. But PNG hit back to cause a middle-order slump, Jamie Brazier bowling beautifully to pick up 4 for 17 from his 10 overs, but Kanyuka and Lawrence Sematimba combined to take them closer. And although wickets continued to tumble Kamyuka and Waiswa held their nerve to take Uganda into the final against Argentina.
"Obviously now we want to win the final and have immediately set our eyes at Argentina, but for the time being we want to enjoy this achievement because when we left our shores, the target was to qualify for the final and earn a place in Division 2," Joel Olweny, the Uganda captain, said. "It has been a very tense and pressurised match and the boys have more than one reason to celebrate. The boys really deserve it."
In the plate semi-finals, Hong Kong registered their first win of the series when they beat Italy by 39 runs. Hong Kong, batting first, scored 195 in 50 overs and then dismissed Italy for 146 in 45 overs with Ilyas Gull, the captain, picking up impressive figures of 3 for 37 and Zaheer Abbas and Najeeb Amar scooping two wickets each. In the plate final on Saturday, Hong Kong will face Tanzania who beat Fiji by three wickets.