Dubai: Namibia and Afghanistan notched their third straight victories in the ICC World T20 Qualifiers on Thursday.
Namibia survived a late charge from the United States to record a 17-run win, while Afghanistan made short work of Denmark with an 89-run victory.
Opening batsman Raymond van Schoor hit an unbeaten 79 as Namibia posted a challenging 177-4. The US made a match of it through Aditya Mishra's 53 before finishing on 160-7 in Dubai.
Namibia has defeated two dangerous sides in Group B — Ireland and Scotland — to the delight of its captain Craig Williams.
"Obviously it is a great position to be in," he said. "But it is a 12-day tournament ... we need to continue to work hard and take one match at a time."
Italy, Oman, Uganda and Kenya are the other opponents of Namibia before the top three from each of the two eight-team groups will go through to another qualifying stage for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, which begins on September 18.
The US was in the hunt until Christi Viljoen clean bowled Mishra in the 15th over with the total on 117. Mishra hit two fours and five sixes and looked threatening with a 40-run fourth wicket stand with Orlando Baker.
Ireland was taken to the limit by Italy before winning by two wickets at Abu Dhabi. Ireland, which restricted Italy to 100-7, overhauled the target with two balls and two wickets to spare.
Allrounder Karim Sadiq smashed 91 off 60 balls in Afghanistan's healthy total of 172-5 before going on to take 4-12 with the ball as Denmark finished on 83-9.
"This is my best day in Twenty20 cricket," Sadiq said. "I love to entertain, so I love Twenty20 cricket. We are looking good and want to keep up the winning momentum."
Hong Kong could not repeat its Wednesday's performance when it beat Bermuda. After Canada restricted Hong Kong to 81-8, Hiral Patel (40) and Nitesh Kumar (22 not out) steered their team to 84-2 in just 14 overs.
In other Group A matches, Canada beat Hong Kong by eight wickets and the Netherlands won by four runs over Bermuda. Michael Swart's knock of 53 enabled the Dutch to score 125-9 and Timm van der Gugten chipped in with 4-22 to restrict Bermuda to 121-8.
"Credit should go to Timm van der Gugten. He's a good death bowler in situations like these and he proved to be very effective today," Swart said.
Kenya won its first match after being beaten in its two previous Group B matches, defeating Oman by 35 runs. Alex Obanda (52) and Duncan Allan (51) powered Kenya to 176-5 and Oman never looked a chance in its run chase to finish on 141-9.
Papua New Guinea also registered its first win in three matches with a 35-run victory over Nepal. PNG's total of 137-8 revolved around an unbeaten 38 from Christopher Amini and 32 from former England test wicketkeeper Geraint Jones.
Amini took 2-20 as Nepal totaled 102-8.
"I am learning from batting with Geraint Jones," Amini said. "We have never had that kind of experience in the team. All that is adding up well for me when I go out to bat. I hope that I can build on this.