Bahrain will join Singapore in Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5 next year after it secured a 233-run victory over Norway today at the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 6 (WCL Div. 6) in Singapore.
The home team defeated Malaysia by four wickets forcing it into third place, while Guernsey beat Botswana by 25 runs to ensure it stays in WCL Div. 6. Saturday's finalists will join Fiji, Jersey, USA and Nepal in the Division 5 tournament which will be staged in Nepal from 20 to 27 February 2010.
The WCL provides a clearly defined pathway towards the ICC Cricket World Cup as all Associate and Affiliate teams receive the opportunity to progress and develop as they take part in qualifying events against similarly ranked teams around the globe.
Bahrain's Tahir Dar, who was 54 not out at the close of his side's innings, proceeded to take match figures of 2-13 and earn himself the man-of-the-match award.
Afterwards, Dar said: "Today we just played our natural game against Norway. In Bahrain we play on matting so it's taken some time to get used to the turf wicket but today things really came together for us and we just went for it.
"As for tomorrow's final against Singapore, we know it's going to be tough, Singapore have not lost a match this tournament but we're confident and hopefully we can bring our winning way to the finals."
Imran Sajaad (68), Adil Hanif (65) and Qamar Saeed (47) helped Dar to clock up a total of 304 in 50 overs giving the Norway side a mountain to climb after the innings break.
Dar added: "We really wanted to create a big target for Norway and the only way for us to do that was to hit the 300 mark, which we did and they failed to make it thanks to our strong bowling."
When it came out to bat, Norway failed to fire. Indeed, only three of its batsmen made double figures and four got out having not scored a single run. Bahrain's bowlers worked their way through Norway to demolish the side for 72 all out in 27.4 overs, captain Yaser Sadeq taking 3-22, Fahad Sadeq taking 3-16 along with Dar's 2-13.
Elsewhere, Singapore secured its fifth victory in the tournament by beating Malaysia by four wickets at Kalang.
Having won the toss, Singapore put Malaysia into bat and managed to get it 183 all out in 50 overs before reaching the target with four overs and four wickets to spare thanks to a particularly strong performance from Narender Reddy who scored 64 runs and earned the man-of-the-match award.
Malaysia's loss put them on equal footing in the table with Bahrain, as it has also won three matches, but its net run-rate was lower than Bahrain's after Sadeq's side had beaten Norway by such a large margin.
Further down the table Guernsey ensured it stayed in WCL Div. 6 by beating Botswana by 25 runs in a relegation battle match at Singapore Cricket Club.
Lee Savident made a strong 65 and Jeremy Frith made another half-century to contribute to Guernsey's first innings total of 241-6.
Botswana made a valiant effort in its bid to stave off relegation but even another Faisal Rana half-century and one from Abdul Patel was not enough as the Africans fell short of the target and slipped into the relegation zone alongside Norway.
Tomorrow will see ranking play-off matches where Singapore will face Bahrain at Kalang, Guernsey will play Malaysia at Singapore Cricket Club and Botswana are set to take on Norway at the Indian Association.
Score summaries (day six - final group-stage matches):
At Kalang: Malaysia 183 all out, 50 overs (Muthuraman Sockalingham 43; Dharmichand Mulewa 3-37)
Singapore 184-6, 46.3 overs (Narender Reddy 64, Mohammed Shukri 3-34)
Singapore won by four wickets
At Singapore Cricket Club: Guernsey 241-6, 50 overs (Lee Savident 65, Jeremy Frith 59; James Moses 2-31)
Botswana 216 all out, 49.2 overs (Faisal Rana 57, Abdul Patel 59; Jamie Nussbaumer 4-42)
Guernsey won by 25 runs
At Indian Association: Bahrain 305-6, 50 overs (Imran Sajaad 68, Adil Hanif 65, Tahir Dar 56 not out, Qamar Saeed 47)
Norway 72 all out, 27.2 overs (Fahad Sadeq 3-16, Yaser Sadeq 3-22)
Bahrain won by 233 runs
P W T NR L Pts NRR
Singapore 5 5 0 0 0 10 1.05
Bahrain 5 3 0 0 2 6 0.91
Malaysia 5 3 0 0 2 6 0.46
Guernsey 5 2 0 0 3 4 -0.33
Botswana 5 1 0 0 4 2 -0.25
Norway 5 1 0 0 4 2 -1.75