Namibia claim Division 2 title with maiden ODI victory

PNG beat USA in third-place playoff, while Canada put it across Hong Kong

Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus holds the WCL Division Two trophy aloft during champagne celebrations  •  Peter Della Penna

Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus holds the WCL Division Two trophy aloft during champagne celebrations  •  Peter Della Penna

Namibia 226 for 7 (Birkenstock 61, Fayyaz 2-28) beat Oman 81 (Suraj 27, Frylinck 5-13, Smit 3-21) by 145 runs
In a tournament where home-field advantage has often played a huge role in gaining promotion, Namibia was one of the few nations with a relatively modest record playing at home in the World Cricket League. But they corrected that in their final opportunity, walking away with the WCL Division Two title on Saturday afternoon with a thumping win over Oman at Wanderers Sports Club.
In the process, Namibia also created history by winning an ODI for the first time, having gone 0 for 6 at the 2003 World Cup. Another historic achievement on the day was made by Australian Claire Polosak, who became the first female umpire to stand in a men's ODI for the tournament final.
Karl Birkenstock, who had batted as low as No. 9 earlier in the tournament, was sent in to open the batting and proved his worth by top-scoring with 61 off 108 balls. Oman took wickets at regular intervals though, as Birkenstock struggled to find a partner before he fell to Zeeshan Maqsood at the end of the 35th over.
After adding an unbroken 103-run stand on Friday against Hong Kong, the duo of JJ Smit and Zane Green produced Namibia's biggest partnership of the day, adding 57 for the sixth wicket at a time when the match was evenly balanced to help boost Namibia toward 200.
Jan Frylinck decimated Oman with his left-arm medium pace early in the chase, claiming three wickets in the Powerplay as Oman sunk to 26 for 4 by the end of the eighth over. Christi Viljoen then struck twice in the space of three balls in the 16th over to break into the Oman tail, sending them on their way to a double-digit total for the second match in a row, after having dominated the first four days of action.
Frylinck returned to claim Suraj Kumar for a top score of 27 before Fayyaz Butt was caught behind to complete his maiden List A five-wicket haul. After having claimed opening batsman Jatinder Singh for a second-ball duck with the new ball, JJ Smit wiped out the rest of the tail to finish with three wickets. It helped Smit cement Man of the Tournament honours as he finished the week tied for fourth overall with 13 wickets at 14.53, while also ending up third overall with 221 runs at 55.25.
Papua New Guinea 165 for 5 (Siaka 62, Timil 2-34) beat USA 164 (Timil 50, Vanua 4-37, Pokana 3-28) by five wickets
After being steamrolled by USA in a 10-wicket mauling during the round-robin stage, Papua New Guinea showed they truly earned back their ODI status with a thrilling last day win over Oman by exacting revenge on the Americans in a resounding five-wicket victory at Affies Park in the third place match.
Sending USA in at the toss, PNG's medium pace attack exploited variable bounce throughout the morning. Nosaina Pokana and Norman Vanua wrecked USA's top order with four wickets inside the first eight overs. Man of the Match Vanua was on a hat-trick after claiming Aaron Jones caught behind for 2 followed by Jaskaran Malhotra dragging onto his stumps for a golden duck on ODI debut.
Hayden Walsh Jr worked hard to revive the innings for USA, making 27 in a 43-run stand with Monank Patel, but USA's innings began to flounder once more after Walsh chipped a catch to midwicket off Assad Vala to make it 78 for 5. Monank had grafted hard for his 39 after opening the batting, but walked too far across his stumps to legspinner Charles Amini and was given lbw. Karima Gore was then suckered into an attempt to clear mid-on hitting against the spin, resulting in a top-edge taken by Chad Soper to leave USA struggling at 105 for 7.
Timil Patel fought valiantly to prop up USA's tail, eventually ending up with USA's maiden ODI fifty. But Vanua returned to help wipe out the tail with Pokana as USA were bowled out for 164 in just 43.4 overs.
USA looked to be in with a chance of rallying to their first ODI win after Saurabh Netravalkar had Tony Ura caught behind in the sixth over, before Ali Khan bowled Vala shouldering arms to an inswinger in the following over to make it 25 for 2. Amini was caught behind edging a back of a length ball off Jessy Singh as PNG continued to teeter before Lega Siaka steadied the chase with his first 50-plus score in ODIs since making a century in his second ODI all the way back in November 2014 against Hong Kong.
Siaka was especially strong on the sweep, punishing Timil's legspin for a series of boundaries. Vanua than completed his Man of the Match performance by slugging three sixes straight down the ground off Karima Gore in the 33rd over as part of a 23-run frame that ended the match with 17 overs to spare.
Canada 114 for 5 (Hiral 50, Ravinderpal 41*, Ehsan 2-16) beat Hong Kong 113 (Babar 32, Saad 4-30) by five wickets
Canada bounced back from the heartbreak of narrowly missing out on ODI status by four runs on net run rate, to end with their third win of the tournament, dispatching Hong Kong with ease at United Cricket Club.
Cecil Pervez claimed the big scalps of Anshy Rath and Kinchit Shah in the Powerplay before the Canadian ploy to open with spin at the other end paid off in the 11th over as Hiral Patel nabbed Jamie Atkinson and Ahsan Abbasi on consecutive balls. Babar Hayat added 53 with Scott McKechnie for the fifth wicket, but left-arm spinner Saad bin Zafar had Babar stumped for 32 to spark a rapid slide as Hong Kong lost their last six wickets for 30 runs, with four of them going to Saad.
Hiral wrapped up Man of the Match honours by following his two wickets with a half-century at the start of Canada's chase. Ravinderpal Singh took over the bulk of the scoring after Hiral fell in the 13th, smashing three sixes in a 23-ball 41 that took Canada over the line in just 16.5 overs.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna