Kuwait win WCL Division 8; Vanuatu avoid relegation.
Both Germany and Kuwait may have already secured promotion to WCL Division 7 in Botswana next year, but there was still the small matter of the trophy for Division 8 to be taken care of at the KOC Hubara Ground today.
Germany won the toss and chose to bat first. They started reasonably well, with the first two wickets taking the score to 76. They were scoring slowly though, and had only reached 109 when the fourth wicket fell from the first ball of the 34th over.
The next three wickets fell with just 11 runs added to the total, and it took a 26 ball innings of 25 from Rana-Javed Iqbal to take Germany's total to 163-8 - well below par for a match against an in-form Kuwaiti side. Saud Qamar (5-28) and Azmatullah Nazeer (3-29) were Kuwait's wicket-takers.
That target was never going to be any trouble for Kuwait, and they knocked off the runs in 33.1 overs to win by six wickets. Saud Qamar top-scored with 45 not out to complete a fine all-round performance. Kashif Haider was once again the pick of the German bowlers, taking 3-38.
The more important match of the day though took place at Ahmadi City between Vanuatu and Zambia. With the winner of this match set to stay in WCL Division 8 for 2012 and the losers having to re-qualify through regional tournaments, there was arguably more at stake in that match than the final.
Zambia batted first after winning the toss and Allan Nsensha's 82 was the backbone of their innings. They were scoring slowly though, and when captain Safraz Patel was out for 42, they had made 185-5 in 42.3 overs, and were looking like making an uncompetitive total.
But Imran Patel went on a big hitting spree, smashing 51 from just 27 balls. Gladson Kandela made 28 from 20 balls, and the sixth wicket had put on 87 in 7.3 overs to take the total to 272-5.
Vanuatu lost Damian Smith early in their run chase, but a second wicket partnership of 120 between Jonathon Dunn and Andrew Mansale got the innings back on track before Dunn was out for 62. Mansale then stayed in, dominating each partnership he was in to finish unbeaten on 124, taking his team to a five wicket win.
In the fifth place play-off, Suriname had an easy seven wicket win over Gibraltar, whilst Bhutan beat the Bahamas by two wickets in a close match that went down to the last ball to take seventh place.
The World Cricket League juggernaut now rolls onto Hong Kong and China for WCL Division Three, which will take place from 22-29 January. Taking part, in addition to hosts Hong Kong, will be Denmark, Italy, Oman, Papua New Guinea and the USA.