Four teams reached the semi-finals of the ICC World Cricket League Division 5 (WCL Div. 5) in Jersey on Thursday but the quartet all know one thing: only two of them can go forward to Division 4 and the next stage of qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
The final four from the 12 teams that started the event are hosts Jersey, the USA, Nepal and Afghanistan with the semi-finals pairings matching up Jersey and the USA with Nepal facing off against Afghanistan.
The winners of Friday's matches will not only progress through to Saturday's final but will also join Hong Kong, Fiji, Tanzania and Italy in the six-team ICC WCL Div. 4 set for the Tanzanian capital of Dar Es Salaam from 4 to 11 October.
Out of the four matches rescheduled for Thursday, the games between Nepal and the USA and Mozambique and Vanuatu were abandoned due to persistent rain while in the other two matches, Singapore beat Japan by 52 runs while using the Duckworth-Lewis scoring method and Germany defeated Norway by six wickets.
Singapore, needing to beat Japan by a huge margin to leapfrog Afghanistan on net run-rate, was out of contention for a place in the semi-final after it was restricted to 201 all out in 35.4 overs after being put into bat.
A 52-run victory only earned it third place in Group B behind Jersey and Afghanistan.
Nepal topped Group A after its match against the USA was abandoned due to rain at the Farmers CC. Nepal, batting first, was restricted to 182 all out in 50 overs and before the USA could start its target chase, rain came down to force a no-result.
Nepal captain Binod Kumar Das said his team was confident ahead of its semi-final against Afghanistan. 'We are upbeat as we have been playing good cricket. As a team we are very confident of doing well in the semi-final.
'One thing we know about Afghanistan is it is inconsistent. It can be world beaters one day and inconsistent other days, so we hope we can have a good day against it.'
Das added: 'We are not very aware of these things right now as our focus is on the cricket but we heard yesterday that the country was declared a republic so we are proud of that. The people of Nepal wanted that to happen and if we win this tournament and come back home with the trophy we are going to dedicate the win to the people.'
Afghanistan captain Norooz Khan Mangal hoped his team would learn from its mistakes and put up an improved performance on Friday. 'We are not short of any confidence. The biggest motivation for us ahead of tomorrow's match is if we win it, we will take a big step forward in our quest to play in the World Cup.
'Every team needs time to adjust to new conditions and after playing four matches here, we know what we need to do tomorrow to swing the match in our favour. If experience is on Nepal's side, then talent and potential is on our side and tomorrow we just need to pull together a good team effort.'
The USA captain Steve Massiah said his team was looking ahead at Friday's semi-final against Jersey with great anticipation. 'It is something to look forward to as if we want to move forward from this tournament into the other league and get to the World Cup then we have look to tomorrow's game with great anticipation.
'It will be a tough test as Jersey was unbeaten in the preliminary rounds. As both the teams are in good form, I am sure we will have a good game of cricket.'
Massiah said he was pleased with the performance of his team so far but warned his side of complacency. 'It would be unfair to the guys not to be pleased after getting a perfect four from four.
'We do not fear any opposition and we just try to concentrate on our strengths and realise if we play to our full potential then we will be a hard team to beat. But we have to guard against complacency.'
Jersey captain Mathew Hague said: 'It should be a really good game as the USA has been in good form and so have we. There is a lot to play for and to get into the final and go to Tanzania would be something really special so we'll all look forward to it and it should be great.'
Hague acknowledged home advantage would be useful, but played down the fact that it would be a big advantage. 'I suppose it helps a little bit but all the teams have played over here for a few games now so they should know the conditions.