Tanzania celebrate

Tanzania and Kuwait promoted to Challenge League spots after opening Super Six victories

Mohammad Aslam’s Kuwait and emerging African power Tanzania have secured their Cricket World Cup Challenge League privileges thanks to wins over Vanuatu and Bermuda respectively at the Play-off in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

By Daniel Beswick in Kuala Lumpur

Having carried over four points into the Super Six stage and topping their respective groups, the pair were emphatic against the third-place finishers of the other group, both securing big victories early in the afternoon.

Watch the Cricket World Cup Challenge League Play-off live and free on ICC.tv.

Over at the Selangor Turf Club, Kuwait thundered with bat in hand, first through Ravija Sandaruwan (55 from 33 balls) and Meet Bhavsar, who strolled to a second consecutive hundred at the tournament (132 off 139). There was no respite for the Ni-Vanuatu men, as the men from the gulf bludgeoned 360/4, with Aslam finishing with 82* (53) at the back end. Any idea of a miracle chase on tricky Selangor Turf Club surface was thwarted by early wickets, as Shahrukh Quddus (3/11) and Sayed Monib (3/12) led the Kuwaitis to the promised land of Challenge League cricket.

Vanuatu v Kuwait | Match Highlights | CWC Challenge League Play-off

Vanuatu v Kuwait Match Highlights

The beleaguered Vanuatu side are not eliminated from contention with the defeat, though need to win both matches and hope other results fall in their favour.

Bermuda too remain alive, though would need a similar scenario after their defeat to Abhik Patwa’s Tanzania.

Tanzania v Bermuda | Match Highlights | CWC Challenge League Play-off

Match Highlights of Tanzania v Bermuda

Despite one or two passages of play where Bermuda threatened, Tanzania wrestled control in their bowling effort, as the Bermudians fell from 74/0 to 112 all out.

Tanzanian young gun Laksh Bakrania claimed 4/30 with his left-arm orthodox, with Kassim Nassoro cleaning up the tail to finish with astonishing figures of 4/7 (7.3).

The match with the most intrigue across the day included Bahrain and Italy, with the pair level on two carry-over points coming into the Bangi morning.

Bahrain v Italy | Match Highlights | CWC Challenge League Play-off

Bahrain’s opening bowling pair of Rizwan Butt and Ali Dawood gave little away in the Powerplay overs, leaking just 17 runs. A rebuild of sorts came from Italy’s middle order, but a collapse of 3/12 proved a blow tough to overcome in spite of captain/coach Gareth Berg’s fighting 47. The Azzuri were bowled out for 218 with 17 balls left in the innings, with Rizwan finishing with figures of 4/20 (9).

Outside of one or two moments, Bahrain were assertive in their chase. Prashant Kurup registered his first score of note at the tournament (61), with the engine room of Haider Ali Butt and Ahmer Bin Nasir then controlling proceedings. Bin Nasir finished the chase on 41*, and while Haider posted a fourth consecutive half-century, he once again fell agonisingly short of three figures, caught in close on the leg-side for 99.

A win for Bahrain in either of their remaining matches would see them guarantee a top four spot, though their four points would be enough if neither Bermuda or Vanuatu end the tournament with two wins.

Italy despite the defeat still have destiny in their own hands. Wins against Tanzania and Vanuatu would guarantee their Challenge League spot, though one win and other results may be enough to hold on to a top four finish.

Action continues on Friday (March 1), with Vanuatu taking on Bermuda, Bahrain meeting Kuwait and Tanzania facing the Italians.

All matches at the Cricket World Cup Challenge League Play-off are live and free on ICC.tv (in select regions).

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