Victories for Kenya and the United Arab Emirates condensed the Super Sixes standings at the Cricket World Cup qualifying tournament in Christchurch yesterday.
UAE thrashed Papua New Guinea by 150 runs at Hagley Oval and Kenya edged Hong Kong by 10 runs at Mainpower Oval, while Scotland's rain-affected match with Namibia will be completed today.
The results saw UAE pull level with PNG on four points after the first of three rounds in the Super Sixes, while the four other sides all sit on two points, pending today's outcome.
With teams carrying over points earned against fellow Super Six sides in the group stage, PNG were in the box seat before the day began, chasing what would be a maiden appearance at the 2015 World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.
But those hopes were soon dented by UAE captain Khurram Khan, who stroked 17 boundaries and hit two sixes to record a career-best innings of 138 from 145 balls. UAE were eventually dismissed for 280 in the penultimate over, setting PNG a daunting chase.
That chase began badly when outstanding opener Lega Siaka was caught behind from the bowling of Mohammad Naveed on the first ball of the innings. Wickets continued to tumble and PNG were soon reduced to 45-5, before slumping to 130 all out.
Elsewhere, rain denied a grandstand finish between Kenya and Hong Kong in Rangiora but, after the Duckworth-Lewis calculations went in their favour, Kenya wouldn't have been complaining. Jamie Atkinson's captain's knock of 85 helped Hong Kong to compile 254-8 batting first.
With Kenya needing 32 runs from 28 balls with six wickets in hand, the match seemed set for a nail-biting conclusion, before the heavens opened and the African nation were awarded a 10-run victory.
In the day's other match at Lincoln, rain interrupted Namibia on 59-2 after 12 overs, chasing Scotland's total of 279-9.
* United Arab Emirates 280 (Khan 138, Shetty 35; Gavera 3-39) beat Papua New Guinea 130 (Amini 49; Javed 4-26, Naveed 2-13) by 150 runs.
* Kenya 223-4 (Karim 82, Ouma 69no; Ahmed 2-50) beat Hong Kong 254-8 (Atkinson 85, Hayat 45no; Onyango 4-29) by 10 runs (D-L method).
* Scotland 279-9 (Machan 78, Berrington 51; Scholtz 3-55) v Namibia 59-2 (Baard 28no; Taylor 2-34)