The fourth day of matches in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Europe Qualifier 2019 saw rivals Scotland and Ireland face off to determine who would maintain their undefeated record in the tournament and take the overall lead, while Netherlands and Jersey recorded wins over Denmark and France respectively.

On the fields of Voorburg Cricket Club, the stage was set for an engaging encounter between Scotland and Ireland. Scotland captain Angus Guy (18 runs) won the toss and chose to bat, setting a platform in the first ten overs with fellow opener Durness Mackay-Champion (47 runs). The wicket of Guy brought the in-form Tomas Mackintosh (107 runs) to the crease who anchored the innings for his side, combining with the Scotland middle order for consecutive partnerships of 40-50 runs. Scotland ended their innings on 246 for 6 after two quick wickets in the final over. Nathan McGuire struck twice for Ireland in a tidy spell of bowling, taking 2-31 off 10 overs.

Ireland started their batting innings in a similar fashion to the Scots, reaching a 50 run opening stand inside the first ten overs. The scoring rate slowed down somewhat after the fall of the openers, when Alex Stiles (43 runs) and Will Smale (32 runs) batted with composure as they steered their side into a commanding position. It was a piece of brilliance in the field from Rory Hanley that proved the crucial breakthrough for Scotland as the run out of Will Smale triggered a middle order batting collapse in the Ireland side. Going from 144 for 2 to 152 for 6 in the space of four overs, Ireland were feeling the pressure of the number of runs still required for the win. With the momentum now in their favour, Scotland maintained their advantage and took the final Irish wicket with the score on 199 to seal the victory by 47 runs and put themselves just one game away from a place at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa.

In Amstelveen, France won the toss and chose to bat against Jersey, hoping to improve on their performances earlier in the week. Facing a formidable Jersey bowling attack, the France batters were undeterred by early loss of wickets as Faizan Akhter (75 runs) anchored the innings for his side. Facing 116 balls for his 75 runs, Akhter grew in confidence as he found the gaps in the field with some unconventional strokes. Julius Sumerauer was the pick of the bowlers for Jersey, claiming 4 wickets for 46 runs. Faizan Akhter was the last wicket to fall in the 50th over with the score on 183.

Jersey were given 20 minutes to bat before the lunch interval due to the first innings finishing just before 2pm. Captain Carlyon (107 runs) and fellow opener Patrick Gouge (53*) took advantage of the early overs to make a dent in the chase before the interval, breaking on 24 for 0. After lunch, the opening pair continued where they left off, playing risk-free shots and placing the ball between fielders to build on their side’s total. France rotated the bowlers in an attempt to break the partnership as the Jersey pair reached consecutive milestones. France got their wicket eventually with the score on 176 as Carlyon mistimed a shot and had to depart for a well-made 116 runs from 103 balls. Jersey surpassed the France total shortly after to seal their second win in the tournament.

In Schiedam, the Netherlands were keen to come back strong against Denmark after a loss to Ireland the day before on the same ground. Netherlands won the toss and chose to bat, getting off to a solid start with a 50-run opening partnership in nine overs. Left hander Vikramjit Singh (85 runs) recorded another half century for his side, playing his shots and rotating the strike in consecutive partnerships with Aryan Dutt (24 runs), Shirase Rasool (34 runs) and captain Boris Gorlee (29 runs). Middle order batters Kevin van der Geest (27 runs and) Stijn Bakker (42 runs) pushed the Netherlands score to an imposing 263 for 5 in the final ten overs.

Denmark showed grit and determination in the chase, with several batters making good starts despite regular loss of wickets. Once again spin proved effective for the Netherlands as off-spinners Pierre Jacod (2-31/10) and Arnav Jain (1-30/8) bowled economical spells. It was captain Boris Gorlee who shone for the Netherlands, taking 5 wickets for 34 runs with his off-spin to take the momentum out of the Denmark chase. Gorlee had put himself on to bowl after an injury forced opening bowler Jan Willem Damhuis to leave the field. Sami Zeb top scored for Denmark with a patient 47 runs, Denmark ending their innings 71 runs short of the Netherlands total on 192 for 9.

In the final round of matches on Thursday, Scotland will be looking to go five wins from five against Denmark to secure qualification, Ireland will be hoping to put the pressure on the Scots with a win against France, and Netherlands and Jersey will battle it out to secure a minimum third place finish.

Summary of Scores

Jersey 187/1 (32.3 overs) defeat France 183 all out (49.1 overs) by 9 wickets

Scotland 246/6 (50 overs) defeat Ireland 199 (48.1 overs) by 47 runs

Netherlands 263/5 (50 overs) defeat Denmark 192/9 (50 overs) 71 runs