Malaysia stun Afghanistan
Malaysia have played Afghanistan eight times since they first met in the 2004 ACC Trophy. They've lost every match, though they did get close in 2010, losing by just one run. But that has all changed today as Malaysia stunned their Afghan counterparts with a three wicket win in the ACC Premier League.
Put into bat by Malaysia, Afghanistan never really got going in their innings. Usman Ghani and Nasir Ahmadzai both scored 36, but no other batsman was able to pass 20. Malaysia bowled superbly, with Khizar Hayat taking 4-29, and Sharulnizam Yusof going for just 19 runs in his ten overs.
Afghanistan were bowled out for 175, but their bowling attack was likely to make that a tough target. Malaysia lost Hammadullah Khan early in their reply, but the rest of the top order recovered nicely. Ahmed Fiaz and Shafiq Sharif both scoring 44.
The home side were cruising towards their target on 173-5 with 14 overs to spare. Noor Ali Zadran had Suhan Algaratnam caugh behind from the first ball of the 37th over, before Suharril Fetri took Malaysia to within two of their target from the next ball.
Khizar Hayat brought the scores level with a single, but turned and was run out going for the winning run. Hassan Ghulam survived the last three balls of the over without scoring, and Mohammad Nabi bowled a wide with the first ball of the next over to give Malaysia their three wicket win.
With three ODI status teams being defeated by WCL Division 3 & 4 teams so far in this tournament, it's looking like almost anybody could win it.
There were two other games today, including an ODI between Hong Kong and the UAE at the Kinrara Academy Oval. Hong Kong were put into bat and were bundled out for just 157, Mohammad Shahzad taking 4-26.
The UAE almost made a complete mess of their run chase, as they were reduced to 122-8, with Amjad Ali the only bright spot with 39. The ninth wicket pair of Fayyaz Ahmed and Mohammad Naveed were able to take the UAE home though, putting on an unbroken 36 partnership.
The game between Nepal and Oman proceeded in remarkably similar fashion. Nepal were also bowled out for 157, with Aamir Kaleem taking 4-36.
In reply, Oman lost Zeeshan Siddiqui from the first ball of the innings, but recovered with a 50 run partnership for the second wicket between Zeeshan Maqsood and Vaibhav Wategaonkar. Maqsood went on to score 44 before he was the third man out, but his wicket sparked a collapse.
From 87-2, Oman collapsed to 94-6. The lower order battled back a little, but at 126-8, things were looking bleak. But, like in the Hong Kong v UAE match, the ninth wicket pair was the decisive factor. Sultan Ahmed and Amir Ali were able to put on an unbroken 45 to secure the two wicket win for Oman.
That win meant that Oman are the only unbeaten team in the tournament so far, and are clear in front at the top of the table. They will take on Afghanistan tomorrow. Other matches tomorrow will see Hong Kong play Nepal and Malaysia take on the UAE.
Malaysia beat Afghanistan by 3 wickets
UAE beat Hong Kong by 2 wickets
Oman beat Nepal by 2 wickets
Have you any comment to make on any aspect of this article? What are your views on any of the opinions expressed in it? Have your say on the CricketEurope International Forum.