Say it carefully, but it seems that international cricket for associate members may be returning to normal after over two years of disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The last few weeks in particular have seen a slew of matches, with the most welcome being several contests as part of CWC League 2 as other teams start to close the gap in number of matches played with Oman who currently sit on top of the table more due to them having played between 10 and 16 matches than anyone else involved.

Second in the table is the UAE with Scotland in third place. The top three qualify automatically for the World Cup qualifier. When you look at the table on a points per game metric, Scotland sit on top with Oman second and UAE third. Oman and Scotland are set to meet in a tri-series in Dubai as part of the tournament later this month alongside Papua New Guinea who currently sit at the foot of the table.

Speaking of Papua New Guinea, they finally won a game in the tournament recently, beating the UAE by six wickets to end an 18 game losing streak in the format, thankfully short of the record held by Bangladesh who lost 23 consecutive matches between 1999 and 2002. They also lost 22 in a row between 1986 and 1998.

Namibia sit in fourth place with USA in fifth and Nepal in sixth. The bottom four teams will contest a play-off tournament with the two CWC Challenge League winners. Speaking of that league, four six team tournaments are still to be played.

In the CWC Super League, Netherlands travelled to New Zealand recently for three ODIs (a planned T20I was rained off) which were all lost rather comprehensively. There wasn't much to write home about for the Dutch with the main highlight coming in the final ODI when Stephan Myburgh scored 64 from 43 balls in what was his final ODI.

Papua New Guinea's first Challenge League win obviously inspired them as they went to Nepal for two ODIs last week and won them both, the first by six runs and the second by 3 wickets. They stayed in Nepal for a T20 tri-series that also involved Malaysia. The hosts won all four of their round-robin games with PNG and Malaysia splitting their two games. Papua New Guinea were ahead of Malaysia on net run rate and met the hosts in Monday's final.

Despite being played on a Monday afternoon, 12,000 fans turned up for the final, the sort of crowd even most full members would love to get for an international on a work-day afternoon. Dipendra Singh Airee top scored with 54 from 38 balls as Nepal batted first and was ably assisted by Karan KC who clubbed 33 from just 12 balls at the end of the innings in which Nepal scored 168-6. Papua New Guinea replied with 118, Sese Bau's 59 was the only contribution of note, whilst Airee and Karan KC completed fine all round performances, taking 4-18 and 3-27 respectively.

In women's cricket two multi-team tournaments took place in March with a six team event in Oman and a five team event in Nigeria.

In Oman, the hosts took on Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE in the Gulf Cricket Council Women's T20 Championship. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia were making their international debut in women's cricket. Bahrain beat the Saudis and also recorded a win over Kuwait but were still fifth due to an inferior net run rate to fourth place Kuwait.

Saudi Arabia were outclassed in all five matches, particularly against fellow newcomers Bahrain who scored a record Women's T20I total of 318-1, just the second ever 300+ total in T20I cricket beating Uganda women's 314-2 against Mali in June 2019. Remarkably, Bahrain's total didn't feature a single six.

Bahrain's Deepika Rasangika scored 161 from 66 balls to set a new mark for highest T20I individual score, beating the 148 scored by Alyssa Healy for Australia against Sri Lanka in October 2019. Her team may have been debutants but Rasangika has international experience having previous played 31 ODIs and 32 T20Is for Sri Lanka between 2008 and 2014.

The UAE were unbeaten in all five matches and were crowned champions with hosts Oman the runners-up. Qatar were third, also level on points with Kuwait and Bahrain.

In Nigeria, a five team tournament was held that, in addition to the hosts, involved Gamiba, Ghana, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. Gambia and Ghana were making their women's T20I debuts though both had previously played in a North West Africa tournament in January 2018 in the pre-universal status days.

Like Saudi Arabia in the aforementioned Gulf tournament, Gambia were beaten comprehensively in all their matches and were firmly rooted to the foot of the table. Ghana finished fourth after a third-place play-off match against Sierra Leone which they lost by ten wickets.

Nigeria were top of the table after the round robin stage with Rwanda in second place. In the final though, Rwanda beat the hosts by 53 runs to win the tournament.