Australia manager David Nilsson was "extremely proud" of his players after they reached the World Baseball Classic quarter-finals for the first time ©Getty Images

Australia comfortably won their deciding Pool B match against Czech Republic at the World Baseball Classic in Tokyo to seal their place in the quarter-finals for the first time.

Co-hosts Japan sealed top spot in Pool B yesterday, and Australia occupied second place going into the final round of fixtures.

They knew victory would be enough to progress, but a Czech win would draw their opponents level on two wins and two defeats, potentially creating a three-way tie if South Korea beat China.

Pool A concluded with a remarkable five-way tie yesterday in which Cuba and Italy took the top two places, but Australia ensured there was no need for tiebreaking criteria today with an 8-3 victory at the Tokyo Dome.

The match was tied at 1-1 after the sixth inning, but Australia took control of the contest with a two-out and two-run batted in (RBI) double by Logan Wade in the seventh, and Alex Hall added a two-RBI triple to take further control.

Australia closed out the win to set up a quarter-final against Cuba, and manager David Nilsson praised his players for their efforts.

South Korea earned a record-breaking 22-2 win against China, but it was not enough for them to progress ©Getty Images
South Korea earned a record-breaking 22-2 win against China, but it was not enough for them to progress ©Getty Images

"I'm extremely proud of the group," he said.

"Not only the players but everyone involved along the way.

"Qualifying for the second round gives us a sense of relief because we worked really hard.

"Tonight it was a tough game, but I think we played it very well."

World number three-ranked South Korea finished with a huge 22-2 win against China - the most runs scored in a World Baseball Classic match.

However, earlier defeats to Olympic champions Japan and Australia meant it was not enough to progress.

South Korea and Czech Republic have qualified for the 2026 World Baseball Classic by finishing third and fourth respectively, while China must go through qualification.

In Pool D matches, played at IaonDepot Park in Miami, the Dominican Republic defeated Nicaragua 6-1, with Juan Soto scoring a home run and three further runs in the win.

The other pool game saw a perfect display from Jose De León, who helped Puerto Rico overcome Israel 10-0.

De León threw five and two-third perfect innings, part of a World Baseball Classic record, as Puerto Rico did not allow a base runner through the entirety of the match.

In Pool C fixtures, played at Chase Field in Phoenix, Britain claimed its first ever win in the World Baseball Classic with a 7-5 triumph against Colombia.

Despite falling behind early Britain scored seven unanswered runs to earn the win that team manager Chase Spencer described as "the beginning of chapter two for British baseball."

Elsewhere in the pool co-hosts the United States crushed Canada 12-1, with big hitting from Mike Trout helping the US to score nine runs in the opening inning.

The US never looked back from this point, with the match ending after six and a half innings under the World Baseball Classic's mercy rule.