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Namibia, PNG secure ODI status after wins over HK and Oman

Canada needed to restrict USA to 211 if they were to regain ODI status, but USA's last-wicket pair denied them with a boundary in the final over

JJ Smit and Zane Green walk off after their 103-run unbroken stand took Namibia to their highest ever List A score  •  Peter Della Penna

JJ Smit and Zane Green walk off after their 103-run unbroken stand took Namibia to their highest ever List A score  •  Peter Della Penna

Namibia 396 for 3 (Kotze 148, Baard 122, Smit 61*) beat Hong Kong 245 (Rath 76, Kinchit 56, Scholtz 2-37) by 151 runs
A record Namibian total propelled by twin centuries from Stephan Baard and JP Kotze took them to a historic win over Hong Kong at Affies Park to clinch ODI status for the tournament hosts, the first time they will be playing one-day internationals since the 2003 World Cup.
After sending Namibia in, Hong Kong's bowling unit did well to restrict Namibia early as Jean Bredenkamp focused on seeing off the new ball before falling in the 15th over for 19. Even after 20 overs, Namibia had only reached 78 for 1, but added 318 off the final 30 overs - and 128 in the last 10 - in an intelligent display of power hitting as Baard, Kotze, JJ Smit and Zane Green utilized the wind at their backs hitting towards the Pavilion End.
Baard had brought up his 50 off 78 balls in the 25th over, at which point Kotze was only on 36 after entering at No. 3. But Kotze commenced his onslaught in the 27th off Kinchit Shah's offspin, smashing him for a four and two sixes. More carnage came against teenage legspinner Jhatavedh Subramanyan in the 32nd as Kotze slammed a brace of fours and sixes off the first four balls to move into the 90s before bringing up a 62-ball ton in the 35th over.
Baard took nearly twice the time, bringing up his century off 121 balls in the 41st over, by which stage Kotze was on 148, putting fellow Namibian Gerrie Snyman's WCL record of 196 made in 2007 at neighboring Wanderers in the crosshairs. But Kotze and Baard fell in the space of four balls across the next two overs, ending a 243-run stand. However, the carnage was far from over as Smit and Green continued to slog away adding an unbroken 103-run stand over the last 46 balls as Namibia finished 16 runs short of the all-time WCL record made by UAE when they scored 412 against Argentina next door at Wanderers in 2007.
Hong Kong were actually in far better position than Namibia had been at the 20-over mark as Anshuman Rath made yet another half-century leading Hong Kong in reply with a 132-run second wicket stand with Kinchit Shah. But both fell in the space of 10 balls in the 23rd and 25th over and from there Hong Kong's chase fizzled.
Papua New Guinea 221 for 8 (Bau 80, Doriga 65, Fayyaz 4-46, Nadeem 4-47) beat Oman 76 (Khawar 29, Pokana 5-14, Soper 3-15) by 145 runs
An hour into the day, PNG's dreams of ODI status appeared to be going up in smoke at 32 for 5. But a miraculous recovery effort from Sese Bau and Kiplin Doriga revived their innings to post a competitive total before a stunning new-ball spell from left-arm seamer Nosaina Pokana rocked Oman as PNG reclaimed the ODI status that they lost at the 2018 World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe with a shock win over Oman.
Doriga was named Man of the Match for his 65 made from No. 6 before completing five dismissals behind the stumps and a runout in a stunning collapse from Oman to break their 10-match WCL winning streak. PNG benefitted greatly from the injury-enforced absence of Oman captain Zeeshan Maqsood while fast bowler Kaleemullah was also rested after Oman had secured a place in the final prior to entering the last day of round-robin play. Doriga and Bau constructed a 129-run sixth-wicket stand that brought the match back to life and set the stage for an incredible turnaround.
Set 222 to win, Pokana was on a hat-trick after dismissing Jatinder Singh and Aqib Ilyas on the first two deliveries of the chase. By the end of the ninth over, he had claimed his maiden five-for as Oman fell to 23 for 6, reminiscent of their 24 all out performance against Scotland without Maqsood in February.
Stand-in captain Khawar Ali was one of just two batsmen to reach double-figures, having watched helplessly at the non-striker's end from the start of the chase. Chad Soper followed Pokana's new-ball spell to wipe out the Oman tail for just 76 to move PNG above Canada on net run rate.
Canada 255 for 4 (Dhaliwal 121*, Kumar 58, Jacobs 57, Khan 3-65) beat United States of America 215 for 9 (Malhotra 50, Eranga 4-47) by 40 runs
In cricket's oldest rivalry, Canada won the battle but lost the war as a 40-run win over USA was soured by a final-over boundary struck by USA No. 11 Nosthush Kenjige that moved Canada below PNG on net run rate.
USA's chase of Canada's 255 lost its way after the runout of Steven Taylor in the 29th over when he wound up at the same end as Jaskaran Malhotra after Malhotra changed his mind for a possible run pushed into the covers. Malhotra could not carry USA across the line to atone for the runout, driving Nikhil Dutta to extra cover for 50 to make it 159 for 4 in the 38th.
After both set batsmen were gone, left-arm seamer Romesh Eranga capitalized to take three quick wickets to make it 191 for 7. By this stage, the calculation was known at Wanderers following the PNG result that Canada needed to hold USA to 211 or less in order to claim the final ODI status slot.
Saad bin Zafar returned for a second spell of left-arm spin and had tailenders Saurabh Netravalkar and Ali Khan caught in back-to-back overs to make it 198 for 9. But just as it was against Nepal 14 months earlier on the same ground, Canada could not take the final wicket. Entering the last over, they had two runs left to protect. After Karima Gore took a single off the third ball, Zafar tried to slip in a quicker ball to Kenjige but landed it too short, allowing Kenjige to cut behind point for a boundary. After Kenjige blocked out the last two balls, Zafar kicked the last delivery away in disgust knowing they had missed ODI status in spite of the win.
The result took the shine off Navneet Dhaliwal's century as the opener carried his bat all 50 overs to make 121. But Canada only scored one boundary during a crucial phase from the 41st through the 47th over as Dhaliwal pushed 10 singles off 12 balls in that stretch to go from 90 to 100 despite Canada having seven wickets in hand. Canada added 29 off the last three overs, but the lack of intent in the prior sequence cost them dearly in the end.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna