Bahrain sealed their place in the World Cricket League Division 6 in Singapore after a comfortable 196-run over Japan in Port Soif. Recovering from yet another top-order collapse at 24 for 4, when Patrick Giles-Jones picked up another five-for after the seven he took the previous day, half-centuries from Qamar Saeed (75 not out), Adil Hanif (73) and Ashraf Yaqoob (51) lifted them to 260. In reply, Japan couldn't face up to the Bahrain attack, capitulating to 64, as Naeem Amin, Qamar and Yaser Sadeq remarkably finished with the same bowling figures of 3 for 15.
Mohsin Kamal, the Bahrain coach, was delighted with the achievement. "Everybody is delighted as we have achieved the main target that we set ourselves before we had come here," Kamal said. "Our other target is to try and win the final on Sunday. We have qualified for Division 6 and everybody hopes we can continue to progress to the top."
A century from Jeremy Frith inspired Guernsey to an eight-wicket victory over Nigeria leaving them a win away, in their final group game on Saturday, from securing the second promotion spot to Division 6.
Nigeria, choosing to bat first, should arguably have reached a higher total than 217 after some disappointing Guernsey bowling. Endurance Ofem led the way with an unbeaten 78 but failed to inspire the rest of the batsmen. In reply, Guernsey had learned their lessons from the previous day's poor run-chase against Bahrain and played more positively with some attractive strokeplay supported by aggressive running between the wickets. The 147-run partnership between Frith and skipper Stuart Le Prevost (59 not out) guided the hosts home with three overs to spare.
Frith, who has now scored at least 50 in his last three matches, said the team were a little relieved with the result. "There was some big pressure on us to make sure we got a result," Frith said. "I was really pleased to take the responsibility for getting the runs and take us over the line. There is a rest day tomorrow and we know we have to play well again on Saturday."
In the other match of the day, six wickets from legspinner Iain Latin helped Gibraltar beat Suriname by 39 runs. Batting first, a half-century from skipper Christian Rocca helped Gibraltar to 218, before Latin's 6 for 23 ensured Suriname were bowled out for 179.
Friday is a rest day in the tournament while in Saturday's final group matches, Suriname play Guernsey, Bahrain take on Nigeria and Gibraltar play Japan.
Stuart Le Prevost
ICC World Cricket League Division Seven