Record breaking win for the UAE
At the Unity ground in Kuwait today, the gulf in class between the United Arab Emirates and Bhutan was apparent to anyone.
When the first wicket fell in the twelfth over with the score on 117, it set the stall for what was to become the hgihest ever score, and first 500 plus score, in official international one-day matches. Indika Sampath was the big hitter at the top of the order with 63 from 37 balls, and Saqib Ali hit 140 from 90 balls before he retired.
But they were out hit by Abdul Rehman, who smashed 75 from just 28 deliveries, helping the UAE score 77 from the last five overs to take their total to 510-6. The mark is bettered only by Papua New Guinea's 572-7 in an unofficial international against New Caledonia at the 2007 South Pacific Games in Samoa.
In reply, Bhutan lasted 32.2 overs, but they never had a chance of reaching the target. Shadeep Silva was the pick of the UAE bowlers with 3-13 as Bhutan were dismissed for just 76, losing by 434 runs, the highest margin of victory in an official international one-day match, beating Afghanistan's win over the same opponents on the opening day.
At the Hubara ground, Singapore took on Oman. Singapore captain Monish Arora won the toss and chose to bat first.
Singapore found their innings slow going, with the Oman bowlers keeping things tight, at one point bowling four consecutive maidens. Arora was the top scorer with a painstaking 43 from 103 balls, and by the time the lower middle order began to pick up the pace, it was too late, and Singapore were bowled out for 173. Awal Khan was the pick of the Omani bowlers with 4-29.
Oman started their innings quickly - Hemin Desai's first five balls at the crease went dot, dot, four, six, out. His opening partner Deep Trivedi was a little more sedate though, scoring 45 from 88 balls. Vaibhav Wategaonkar made 60 from 74 balls, before Adnan Ilyas took them home by clubbing 52 from just 37 balls as Oman won by 8 wickets.
In other news from the tournament, Bahrain have withdrawn. The website of the Asian Cricket Council says that they were "unable to field a team", but it is suspected that the visa issues that have prevented a few players from other teams getting to Kuwait is the reason for Bahrain's withdrawal. They will automatically be given tenth place and relegated to the challenge division.
Tomorrow will see Afghanistan and the UAE come up against much tougher opponents than Bhutan - each other. CricketEurope will have a live scorecard from that match between the two tournament favourites. In other matches, Hong Kong will hope to get their tournament back on track against hosts Kuwait, whilst Nepal will play Oman.