Singapore, Hong Kong register easy wins to secure berth in semifinals
Singapore and Hong Kong registered convincing victories over Thailand and Qatar respectively to assure themselves of a spot in the semifinals of the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Division 2 Asia Qualifier at the Oman Cricket Academy (OCA) grounds on Sunday.
In the Group B action, Hong Kong wrapped up the proceedings early in the day against Qatar as they raced to an eight-wicket victory while
Singapore posted an emphatic 167-run win over Thailand.
With two successive wins for both Singapore and Thailand, the game between them on Tuesday will decide the group topper.
The winner of Group B will take on the loser of Monday’s Group A match between Oman and Bahrain while the loser of Thailand and Singapore match will face the winner of Group A match in the semifinals.
At the OCA 1 ground, Singapore elected to bat first and the batters made merry as they scored 248/6 in 50 overs.
Last match centurion, Sidhant Srikanth continued his rich vein of form as he hammered an unbeaten 72 off 80 balls. His inning was studded with five boundaries and a maximum. Vihaan Maheshwari was the other half-centurion with a solid 52 off 79 balls. Handy contributions from Pratham Somani, Aaryan Modi, Pranav Maheshwari and Abhuday Chhajer, helped Singapore reach a formidable total. Wiraphan Ngowhuad was the most successful bowler (2/41).
Chasing a tough target, except for Thailand skipper Chaloemwong Chatphaisan, none of the other batters could stay at the crease. Except for Chatphaisan’s 51, none could reach double digits as they were bowled out for 81 in 33.4 overs.
Singapore captain Jeevan Santhanam was the pick of the bowlers with 4/25. Equally impressive was Adwitya Bhargava, who claimed 3/6 in 4.4 overs.
Player of the match Sidhant Srikanth said: “Going into the match, which was a must-win game for us, I feel that we performed very well under pressure.
“We are looking forward to the next game and the semis. We would like to finish on top of the table and then win the semis to qualify into the Division 1 Qualifier. If we play to our potential, we can beat any team here.”
Vora, Bhagwat shine for Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s Darsh Vora ran through the Qatar top-order to leave them reeling at four for three in just 4.2 overs. The early collapse never allowed Qatar to bounce back as they were bowled out for 123 in 40.1 overs.
Tailender Luqman Mehmood top-scored with 24 to help his team cross the 100-mark. Captain Jack Joseph made 22 and was one of the three victims of Aarush Garg, who took 3/18.
Hong Kong were never in trouble in reaching the target as they chased it down in 27 overs for the loss of two wickets – the openers – who fell to Aryan Surani in the same over.
Parth Bhagwat and Ansh Doshi then shared a 101-run third-wicket partnership to lead the team to victory as they scored 127/2.
Doshi was unbeaten on 39 off 51 deliveries while Bhagwat’s knock of 61 was laced with ten boundaries.
Player of the match Bhagwat said: We are really happy with the way the team played today. We wanted to bowl first and to restrict Qatar to 123 was a good job by our bowlers. It was a good batting wicket and I am glad to get some runs and along with Ansh it was a nice performance ahead of the final round league match.