ICC Media Release
Afghanistan, Ireland, Papua New Guinea and USA secured its places at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup after recording victories in Toronto on Tuesday.
This means that just two qualifying spots are now remaining for what is sure to be an exciting finish to the event.
Irish skipper Andrew Balbirnie admitted that his side was delighted to qualify for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup after a 93-run win over Hong Kong.
His 70, along with James Shannon's 68 not out, helped Ireland post a competitive target of 252-7 off 50 overs, before Hong Kong was dismissed for 159 all out. George Dockrell took 6-19 and Liam Nelson 4-30, as only Ashish Gadhia (58) put up any resistance with the bat.
"It's huge for us to qualify, particularly when we have got two games of our campaign still to go," said Balbirnie.
"Now the aim is to move on and win the tournament and I think we can go and do that as we have done really well here, apart from the loss to the USA."
Balbirnie believes that his side is capable of having an impact at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup and also paid tribute to senior coach Phil Simmons, who has been in Toronto during the tournament to watch matches.
"The aim of ours is to get a Test scalp at the World Cup. We know it will be a big task as we know how good those players are," said Balbirnie.
"It's been really good to have Phil here, as he is so experienced as a coach and a player. He has been talking to us one on one to help improve our games and it has been great for him to be here."
Afghanistan enjoyed a three-wicket victory over Uganda to secure a place in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, despite having arrived late at the event due to visa issues.
Zakiullah Zaki?s 3-22 helped reduce Uganda to 182 all out in 49.1 overs, before it reached its target with 7.2 overs to spare.
"I am very happy especially for the people back in Afghanistan," said skipper Shir Mohammad Shirzai. "It is a great achievement for the country."
"All the boys are really excited. It has been a dream to play in a World Cup against some of the big nations like India and Pakistan."
Papua New Guinea achieved a comfortable five-wicket win over Vanuatu to also secure its place on the plane to New Zealand next year.
Batting first, Vanuatu got off to a positive start, with Lazaro Carlot (40) and Walford Kalworai (38) adding 68 for the first wicket, although nobody went on to make a big contribution, with Charles Amini the chief destroyer with the ball taking 4-32.
In reply, Lega Tau (36), Sese Bau (36) and Vagi Oala (31 not out) steered PNG to victory, although it was the efforts of Charles Amini with the ball that secured him the Man of the Match Award.
"I didn't really expect to win the Man of the Match Award," admitted Charles Amini, who was part of the PNG squad at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup squad in 2008.
"We're still not satisfied with everything we have achieved here - we want to win all our games and finished first, second or third.
"I definitely want to have the chance to play at the World Cup again. I think we have the potential to do well as we have lots of stars in our team."
USA also secured a place in the 2010 event, after an exciting 33-run victory over the Netherlands. The USA had made 204 all out in 48.4 overs, before bowling out the opposition for 171 all out in 45.4 overs.
"People don't think that cricketing is growing that fast in the USA, but now we have qualified for the World Cup we can show just how fast it is growing," said Shiva Vashishat, the USA skipper.
"We are looking to come hard at the bigger teams at the World Cup and do well. It will be a very good experience as we all want to make it to the senior team."