ACC Twenty20 Cup underway
After the excitement of the finish to World Cricket League Division Two, the associate & affiliate calendar switches to the Twenty20 format now, with the ACC Twenty20 Cup underway in the UAE. The top four Asian teams - already in the global qualifier - are absent from this event, leaving the next six teams to battle it out for the one place in the global qualifier, which will be hosted by Ireland and Scotland in July.
The first of two matches in the morning was between Oman and Saudi Arabia at Sharjah, with Oman batting first after Saudi Arabian captain Shoaib Ali won the toss. Rajeshkumar Ranpur and Zeeshan Maqsood got their innings off to a useful start with a 62 run partnership in the first 8 overs.
That partnership ended when Maqsood was stumped for 29, and he was replaced at the crease by Jatinder Singh, who went on to top score with 45. Singh shared in the highest partnership of the innings, putting on 67 for the third wicket with Vaibhav Wategaonkar. The final Oman total was 167-5 from their 20 overs.
The Saudi reply never really got going, with Babar Hussain's 24 the only innings over 20. They were bowled out for 116 to lose by 51 runs, with Ajay Lalcheta the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-22.
Starting a little later in the morning was the contest between Malaysia and the Maldives at the Al Dhaid Cricket Village. Malaysia batted first after winning the toss, with skipper Ahmed Fiaz dominating their innings with 80 from 54 balls. Hassan Ibrahim was the pick of the Maldives bowlers with 3-22 as Malaysia racked up 156-6.
Aside from Mohamed Rishwan's 36, the Maldives struggle in their reply against some tight Malaysian bowling. Derek Duraisingam was the leading bowler with 3-11, with credit also going to 15 year old debutant Virandeep Singh, who took 3-17 with his left-arm spin. The Maldives were bowled out for exactly 100 to lose by 56 runs.
The only game of the afternoon session saw Kuwait batting first after winning the toss against Singapore. They lost both openers cheaply, before captain Aamir Javed smashed his way to 45 from just 13 balls before he was run out. Usman Waheed was their top scorer with an unbeaten 54 from a relatively more sedate 34 balls.
Four of the Kuwaiti wickets fell to run outs as they reached 160-8 from their 20 overs.
With three overs to go in the Singapore reply, they were looking well set on 130-4. But the wheels quickly came off as wickets fell rapidly as they tried to push towards their target. They managed 20 runs from those last three overs and lost four wickets in the process to finish on 150-9, a ten run defeat.
Tomorrow's games in the tournament will see the Maldives play Singapore, Kuwait play Saudi Arabia and Malaysia take on Oman.
Oman beat Saudi Arabia by 51 runs
Malaysia beat Maldives by 56 runs
Kuwait beat Singapore by 10 runs
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