Botswana's Faisal Rana Rasheed and captain Akrum Chand lead the hosts to a stunning victory over Norway today in Lobatse at ICC World Cricket League Division 7. The duo put on a huge 211-run partnership to steer Botswana to victory with Faisal scoring the first century of the tournament in the process.
Meanwhile, Japan slumped to its fourth defeat of the tournament and Germany shocked Kuwait to beat the Division 8 winners by 11 runs.
The hosts having lost the toss and been forced to field at the newest cricket field in Botswana, Lobatse, saw Norway led by Damien Shortis grind out a hefty target of 273 for the Africans.
Having come off a victory yesterday over Japan, the captain led by example scoring an impressive 91 before he was run out by some quick thinking by Denzil Sequeira but not before he'd smashed nine boundaries on a fast outfield.
Yesterday's star performer with the bat Shahbaz Butt had a disappointing day scoring just five while others in the middle order stepped up to the plate to make runs. Ehetsham-ul-Haq and Shahid Ahmed both scoring runs before the former was caught by Omar Ali off the bowling of Botswana captain Akrum Chand.
Chand used a number of bowlers today, eight in total, with his brother Aslam proving the most expensive with his figures of 1-50 while Akrum proved the most economical with his three overs, taking two wickets for just 20 runs.
Middle-order batsman Umran Shahzad had a disappointing day with the bat, facing four balls - lofting one for six - before being caught behind by Sequeira.
After the innings break Faisal Rana and Noor Ahmad took to the field to begin proceedings for the hosts. Noor departed early for just nine runs while Sequeira didn't last much longer leaving for just 14 after the diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman was caught and bowled by Babar Shahzad.
The task then fell to Faisal assisted by Akrum Chand to bat out an impressive innings and bring home another victory for the hosts. Faisal's mammoth innings saw the 27-year-old hit the first century of the tournament and finish the game on 158 not out, fittingly the right-handed batsman smashed a six to seal the game.
Captain Akrum Chand contributed 84 runs off 100 balls as he stuck out the match with Faisal, the 28-year-old right-handed batsman took his time to settle into his innings but once established began to free himself up to score runs and alongside Faisal the duo proved impossible to break for the Norwegian bowling attack.
Norway's Umran Shahzad, Shahbaz Butt and Iram Dawood all proved costly for the Europeans with the trio giving away 168 runs for no wickets.
A delighted Faisal said after sealing victory for the hosts: 'It feels so great to win this game for Botswana. I have been waiting for this day to really contribute with the bat and give Botswana everything it deserves and today I managed to provide for my team.
'Credit also has to go to my captain, Akrum, who stuck out the innings with me and kept me calm and collected to help me make my first century of the tournament.
'I was just concentrating on the match, I wanted to stick out the whole innings and help us to win the game. I don't think Norway bowled badly but we just made sure we hit as many balls as we could to chase down a really big target set by Damien Shortis and his team. I'm very very happy for Botswana today.'
At BCA Oval 1, it was a re-run of the final of Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 8 as Kuwait took on Germany in a match that the latter wanted to win from the moment the fixtures were announced for Division 7.
With captain Asif Khan injured it was up to Rana-Javed Iqbal to lead the Germans today as Kuwait won the toss and sent the Europeans into bat.
Openers Milan Fernando and Andre Leslie both put on a good effort with the bat in morning sunshine as a strong wind blew across the ground. Fernando put on a hard-fought 59 off 106 balls but the 39-year-old was caught by Muhammed Naseer off the bowling of Midhun Pakalapati.
Kuwait captain Hisham Mirza proved to be the pick of the Kuwaiti bowlers while the German middle-order crashed out to a mixture of pace and spin.
After the innings break Kuwait took to the field confident that it could knock off the low total but all was not to be for the Division 8 winners.
A poor start for the top order with Iqbal dismissing all three of the top order, the task of making runs fell to captain Mirza and Sibtain Raza which the pair managed but after they departed things began to slip away from the Asia region side.
A lower order collapse and later a pull-back from Mohammed Murad could do nothing to help the Kuwaiti side as Farooq Ahmed and Iqbal worked their way through the side with the last wicket falling leaving Kuwait 11 runs short of its target and on the receiving end of its first loss of the tournament.
A delighted Iqbal said: 'It feels great to beat Kuwait having lost to them in Division 8 and things just went our way today. I enjoyed captaining the side today and the boys just seemed to really listen to me and it worked out in our favour.
'On a personal note, I think my bowling is well suited to the conditions here in Botswana and we use the same type of matting in Germany which I knew was going to work in my favour. I'm really pleased to win man of the match but it's an even better feeling to win the game.'
At BCA Oval 2, Japan slipped to its fourth defeat of the tournament as Nigeria bounced back from its massive defeat yesterday to win by 90 runs.
The African side posted a good target of 221 for the Japanese who have been struggling all week against the opposition it has faced and today's game proved to be no different.
Masaomi Kobayashi's side took its time to claim its first wicket, when with 44 runs on the board Ademola Onikoyi departed for 18 runs off the bowling of Naoki Miyaji.
It was the day of Raheel Kano with the 18-year-old claiming two wickets in two balls after Tatsuro Chino put in some good work behind the stumps. Ultimately the young Japanese bowler walked away with four wickets but not before Segun Olayinka had made 51 and Olajide Bejide had made 43 to contribute to the total.
As the Japanese opening pair took to the field to bat in the afternoon sun of Gaborone the duo put on a good partnership but Nigeria's bowling and fitness in the field over-powered the Japanese batsmen.
Patrick Giles-Jones, Tatsuro Chino and Ko Irie were promoted up the order with captain Kobayashi dropping down to bat in sixth spot, but the promotion proved futile with none of them scoring higher than 14.
Player-coach Sean Philips once again proved a key element to the Nigeria team claiming three wickets including that of Chino and opener Munir Ahmed.
Fittingly it was Philips who took the last wicket of the game as the sun began to set, bowling Satoshi Nakano and all but relegating Japan out of Division 7.
Nigeria captain Endurance Ofem said: 'We tried to stay positive after yesterday's defeat and we still believe we have a side that can make it to Malaysia. We know now our game against Botswana on Saturday is crucial especially since Germany has beaten Kuwait today.
'>From what I saw of Japan today I feel sorry for them that they are most likely going to be relegated out of this division. I think their bowling attack is a bit weaker than most of the sides in this division and for us they used spin when actually they needed pace to actually threaten the bat.
'I don't think they really knew what we had planned for them when they faced our bowling attack and if they'd protected their wickets a little better against our bowlers perhaps they would have made more of a game of it.'
Tomorrow is a rest day with play resuming on Saturday.