After day four of WCL Division 2, Oman and the USA had secured ODI status, Namibia were almost certain to gain it, and Papua New Guinea were looking well out of it, needing a huge turn around in net run rate if they were to pass Hong Kong. Namibia did indeed secure ODI status, and remarkably Papua New Guinea ended day five having secured the remarkable turn around they needed to return to the ODI club.
At Affies Park, Namibia made things very difficult for Hong Kong. A 243 run partnership for the second wicket between Stephan Baard and JP Kotze helped them post a huge 396-3 from their 50 overs, the second highest List A score by an associate side. Baard contributed 122, whilst Kotze top scored with 148 from 86 balls. A quick fire 61 from 26 balls by JJ Smit went a long way to getting the home team close to 400.
At the United Club Ground, Papua New Guinea recovered from 32-5 thanks to 65 from Kiplin Doriga and 80 from Sese Bau. Despite the huge total by Namibia at Affies, PNG would have been feeling that their 221-8 was unlikely to be enough against an Omani team that had been unbeaten up until that point.
However, reminiscent of their 24 all out against Scotland back in February, Oman had an extraordinary collapse to 23-6 as Nosaina Pokana sliced through their top order taking five of those six wickets. Oman were bowled out for 76, losing by 145 runs and giving Papua New Guinea hope of regaining ODI status.
Back at Affies, Hong Kong's reply against Namibia was initially going well with Anshy Rath and Kinchit Shah putting on 132 for the second wicket. But after Shah fell for 56 and Rath fell shortly afterwards for 76, any hope they had vanished and they were bowled out for 245, losing by 151 runs.
At this point Papua New Guinea's attention shifted to Wanderers where the USA were batting against Canada who had earlier scored 255-4 thanks to an unbeaten 121 by Navneet Dhaliwal. Canada needed to restrict the Americans to under 212 to secure ODI status for themselves and deny PNG.
And the Canadians got oh so close against their old rivals. They had them on the back foot on 198-9, but in scenes reminiscent of the last day of round-robin play at the same ground last year, they were unable to take the last wicket. USA crawled over the line and reached 215-9 to deny the Canadians and secure ODI status for Papua New Guinea.
Tomorrow will see the last ever matches in the World Cricket League. Whilst it's often an anticlimactic finish, the day will see Oman play their first ODI when they take on hosts Namibia in the final, themselves playing their first ODI since the 2003 World Cup. USA's first ODI since the 2004 Champions Trophy will be in the 3rd place play-off against Papua New Guinea, who last played just over a year ago against Hong Kong in the 4000th ODI. Canada and Hong Kong will play in the 5th place play-off.
Namibia beat Hong Kong by 151 runs
Affies Park, Windhoek, 26 April
Namibia 396-3 (50 overs, JP Kotze 148, S Baard 122, JJ Smit 61*)
Hong Kong 245 (43.2 overs, A Rath 76, K Shah 56)
Papua New Guinea beat Oman by 145 runs
United Club Ground, Windhoek, 26 April
Papua New Guinea 221-8 (50 overs, S Bau 80, K Doriga 65, Fayyaz Butt 4-46, Mohammad Nadeem 4-47)
Oman 76 (28.2 overs, N Pokana 5-14, C Soper 3-15)
Canada beat USA by 40 runs
Wanderers Cricket Ground, Windhoek, 26 April
Canada 255-4 (50 overs, N Dhaliwal 121*, N Kumar 58, D Jacobs 57, Ali Khan 3-65)
USA 215-9 (50 overs, J Malhotra 50, S Taylor 44, R Eranga 4-47)