Canada secured a place in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup after an exciting 23-run victory over Vanuatu in Toronto on Thursday.

With just one qualifying spot remaining, Netherlands, Uganda, Hong King and Vanuatu still mathematically have a chance of qualification, despite the fact Netherlands and Uganda also lost to Afghanistan and Ireland respectively.

And in arguably the game of the tournament so far, Papua New Guinea beat USA by just one wicket, with two balls to spare, to keep its hopes of winning the tournament on track.

Canada's Usman Limbada made a brilliant innings of 126 from 101 balls to help his side to 303-8 against Vanuatu, with Hiral Patel making 49. Simpson Obed's brilliant 108 wasn't enough to take Vanuatu to victory, as it was dismissed for 280 all out, with Hiral Patel taking 3-61.

'When I came into bat, I had a really good feeling and wanted to try and get a big score. I always like trying to bat positively,' said Usman Limbada, who revealed that he believes Canada will do well at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2010.

'For most of us it will be the first time we will be playing in a World Cup. It can really change our lives by playing high-level cricket against some good teams and I really think that we can be competitive at that event as we have a really good team.'

The Netherlands' hopes of qualification suffered a blow when it endured a crushing 183-run defeat to Afghanistan. Batting first, Ayoub Ahmadzai (105) and Iqbal Maliki (52) added an excellent opening stand of 128, which provided a platform for Afghanistan to reach 272 all out. Other batting highlights included a brilliant 47 from Aimal Wafa, made from just 32 balls, with four fours and three sixes. Tim Gruijters, the Dutch captain, was the pick of the Netherlands attack, taking 5-49.

Opening bowlers Izatullah Dawlatzai (6-30) and Ayoub Khan (2-26) then put in a stunning bowling performance, dismissing both Dutch openers without scoring, as the Netherlands crumbled to 89 all out in just 21.2 overs.

'It was a very good game and I am glad that we performed very well. It was good to do well against a team like the Netherlands,' said Izatullah Dawlatzai after the match.

'I hope we will be able to win the remaining matches in this tournament as the players have been working hard and now we have qualified we all want to win this event.'

Ireland maintained its place at the top of the table with a comfortable victory over Uganda by 67 runs. Stuart Thompson (67) and Ben Ackland (50) both scored half-centuries as Ireland reached 252-7 against Uganda, with opening bowler Ahmad Sangau taking 5-44.

In reply, Uganda fought bravely with important contributions from Hamu Bagenda (42), Hamu Bagenda (37) and Ahmad Sangau (31) but could only manage 185 all out, with Irish opening bowler Craig Young taking 3-26.

In the final match of the day, between two sides that have already qualified for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, Papua New Guinea defeated USA by one wicket.

In arguably the match of the tournament to date, seven wickets from John Reva (7-34) helped dismiss USA for 179 all out, for whom Regis Burton made 52, before Papua New Guinea reached its target with just two balls after Charles Amini dramatically struck the winning runs.

'It was very surprising to get seven wickets. I have been trying to get five wickets all tournament, but I never expected to take five wickets,' said Reva. 'The last over was very nerve-wracking for us. We were nine wickets down and I was very nervous. I just hoped our batsman could do well.

'I want the team to win this tournament. We have already qualified, but we want to finish on a high note and win our last two games.'

There are some very important matches on Friday, as Hong Kong plays Vanuatu, Uganda takes on Netherlands, PNG faces Afghanistan and Canada meets USA.