Germany and Kuwait underlined their status as favourites for promotion to WCL Division 7 with relatively easy wins in their final group stage games in Kuwait today. They will both go into the semis with unbeaten records.
Germany secured their place with a 106 run win over the Bahamas at the KOC Unity Ground. Batting first, they scored 258 in 47.4 overs, Eishi Pillai top scoring with 51.
The Bahamas started their reply well with an opening partnership of 81, but a remarkable display of leg spin bowling from Kashif Haider won the game for the Germans. He took a German record 8-25 as the Bahamas collapsed from 105-1 to 152 all out. He was the obvious choice for man of the match.
Kuwait had an even easier win over Bhutan at the Sulabiya Ground. They bowled them out for just 31, extras the only score in double figures and knocked off the runs in 5.1 overs to win by 8 wickets. Saad Khalid took 6-12 in the Bhutan innings.
Vanuatu were the other team to qualify from Kuwait's group and they did so with a four wicket win over Suriname. After bowling the South Americans out for 139, they scored the required runs in 43 overs, Damian Smith top scoring with 46.
Zambia will be the fourth team in the semi-finals after they beat Gibraltar today at the KOC Hubara Ground. An opening partnership of 166 between Allan Nsensha (77) and Ashraf Lulat (88) was the backbone of their total of 286-6. Kieron Ferrary scored a fine 105 for Gibraltar, but the next highest score for them was David Coram's 19. Gladson Kandela took 4-25 as Gibraltar were restricted to 194-9 from their 50 overs, losing by 92 runs.
Tomorrow will be a rest day, with the semi-finals taking place on Thursday. Hosts Kuwait will play Zambia whilst Germany will play Vanuatu in what will probably be the most closely fought of the two matches.
The Bahamas, Bhutan, Gibraltar and Suriname will all now have to re-qualify for the next WCL Division 8 in 2012 through their regional tournaments, but they still have the play-offs for fifth place to contend with. In the semi-finals on Thursday, Bhutan will play Gibraltar and the Bahamas will play Suriname.