Canada, Scotland record wins in T20 qualifiers
A half century from opener Ruvindu Gunasekera helped Canada beat Denmark and keep their playoff hopes alive in World Twenty20 qualifying while Scotland stayed in the hunt with a win over Italy on Monday.
Afghanistan and Namibia, meanwhile, remain unbeaten in the 16-team tournament with victories over Hong Kong and Oman, respectively.
Dollat Zadran took 5-14 to help Afghanistan beat Hong Kong by nine wickets in a Group A match. Skipper Sarel Burger's 3-14 and 53 runs off 44 balls with the bat paced Namibia to a 36-run victory over winless Oman in their Group B encounter.
Canada claimed a 55-run victory over Denmark, as the in-form Gunasekera smashed 95 runs off 65 balls in an innings that included six boundaries and six sixes. Gunasekera's teammate Hiral Patel added 43 as the side punished the Denmark bowlers to reach 178 in their 20 overs.
In reply, Denmark's Rizwan Mahmood and Freddie Klokker battled to chase down the big target after Henry Osinde had removed Kamran Mahmood and Aftab Ahmed. But the side struggled on a good pitch. The loss ends last-placed Denmark's campaign.
"I was looking in the last three overs to get us up to 170 or 180, and with only five runs to go before I could have got a century I suppose. It was just the luck for me today that I fell short," Gunasekera said. "It was about making sure we added to the total in the last three overs but hopefully when it comes to making the playoffs I can come through when it's crunch time."
In Dubai, a 76-run partnership for the second wicket between Richard Berrington and Preston Mommsen helped Scotland beat Italy by seven wickets in their Group B match. The victory moved Scotland ahead of Italy into third place and helped ease the pain of its loss Sunday to Ireland.
Berrington scored 67 - including six fours and three sixes - and Mommsen chipped in with 36 as Scotland reached the 137-run target for the loss of three wickets in 18 overs.
Earlier, Gareth Berg (29), Peter Petricola (28), Carl Sandri (25) all contributed to help Italy reach 136-6 after they were 60-3 at the halfway stage.
Scotland bowlers Majid Haq (2-16) and Matthew Parker (2-24) kept the Italy batsmen in check.
"The boys played very well today and bounced back after yesterday's game against Ireland," Berrington said. "It takes a lot of character to come back and win today, so we're just focusing right now on every game and taking each game as it comes."
Elsewhere in Group B, Ireland ended Uganda's chances of advancing with an 82-run victory behind captain William Porterfield's half century that included a 78-run partnership for the first wicket with Paul Stirling. Netherlands notched up their fifth victory with a six-wicket win over Nepal in Group A and are on pace to reach the playoffs alongside Ireland.