Argentina and Papua New Guinea (PNG) completed the semi-final line up of the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 after recording impressive victories on the last day of the group matches in Darwin, Australia, on Wednesday.
The Group A sides join Uganda and the Cayman Islands, the qualifiers from Group B, in the last four, with two places available in November's ICC World Cricket League Division 2 in Namibia for the finalists.
The Argentinean pace trio of Esteban Nino, Gary Savage and Diego Lord claimed all 10 Fiji wickets between them as the South American side bowled out its opponents for 44 in 21.2 overs and then took just 30 balls to achieve the victory target without losing a wicket.
Nino bowled like the wind to pick up 4-16 while Savage and Lord shared the remaining six wickets between them conceding five and 16 runs respectively.
PNG defeated Italy by eight wickets to qualify for the semi-final ahead of the European side on net run-rate after both the teams were tied following two wins each.
PNG, which suffered a shock five-wicket defeat against Argentina on Tuesday, had to beat Italy by a convincing margin to earn a berth in the last four and it did exactly that when it dismissed the European side for 134 and then achieved the target in 33.1 overs. Arua Uda was PNG's batting star, making 58 from 92 balls with three boundaries.
In a match to decide who topped Group B, Uganda defeated the Cayman Islands by 26 runs. Both teams had already qualified for the last four on Tuesday after recording their second successive wins.
After Michael Wright took 4-30 to dismiss Uganda for 153 in 48.3 overs, the Cayman Islands batting collapsed thanks to some poor stroke selection and crashed out for 127 in 46.2 overs, with Charles Waiswa picking up 2-21.
Tanzania tasted its first win of the tournament when it overpowered Hong Kong by five wickets, in a match to decide which sides finished third and fourth in Group B.
Hong Kong, batting first, scored 161 in 47.2 overs with Rahul Sharma (43), Ilyas Gull (28) and Nadeem Ahmed (18) reaching double figures. Bhavesh Govind was the most successful bowler for Tanzania with 3-31 while Hamisi Abdallah, Athumani Kakonzi and Benson Mwita claimed two wickets each.
In turn, Abhik Patwa (44) and Rishen Patel (33) laid the foundation of a comfortable win for Tanzania after putting on 77 runs for the first wicket.
In the semi-finals on Thursday, Argentina will take on the Cayman Islands and PNG will meet Uganda. Italy, Hong Kong, Tanzania and Fiji will be involved in play-off matches to help determine the minor places.
Scores in brief: Group A
At Marrara 2, Argentina beat Fiji by 10 wickets
Fiji 44 in 21.2 overs (Esteban Nino 4-16, Gary Savage 3-5, Diego Lord 3-16)
Argentina 46-0 in 5 overs
At Nightcliff, PNG beat Italy by eight wickets
Italy 134-9 in 50 overs (Joe Scuderi 30, Jamie Brazier 3-18)
PNG 135-2 in 33.1 overs (Arua Uda 58)
At Marrarra 1, Uganda beat Cayman Islands by 26 runs
Uganda 153 in 48.3 overs (Arthur Kyobe 37, Junior Kwebiha 30, Michael Wright 4-30, R Ryan Bovell 2-20)
Cayman Islands 127 in 46.2 overs (Steve Gordon 32, Charles Waiswa 2-21)
At Tracy Village, Tanzania beat Hong Kong by five wickets
Hong Kong 161 (Rahul Sharma 43, Bhavesh Govind 3-31)
Tanzania 165-5 in 47 overs
Fixtures for Thursday 31 May
Semi-finals: Argentina vs Cayman Islands at Gardens Oval; Uganda vs PNG at Tracy Village Plate (semi-finals): Italy vs Hong Kong at Marrara 2; Tanzania vs Fiji at Marrara 1
About ICC WCL Division 3
This tournament is the latest step on the road to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 for the eight sides taking part. The top two sides in each of the two groups will go forward to the semi-finals and the finalists will earn a place in the ICC WCL Div. 2 in Windhoek, Namibia, in November.
A top-four finish there would mean a berth at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier (formerly the ICC Trophy) in the United Arab Emirates in 2009 and with it the chance to secure a spot in the next ICC Cricket World Cup, on the Asian sub-continent.