UAE, Kuwait and Nepal ran out victors on the opening day of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup Asia Qualifier.
The first match of the day at Kinrara Oval saw Malaysia win the toss and elect to bat. The three top-scorers for Malaysia – Wan Amirul, Aslam Khan and captain Muhammad Amir – made more than half of their final score of 206. Aslam hit a quick-fire 35 from 32 balls only to be caught by Akasha Tahir at the end of the eight over. Amir put up a good show with 54 runs off 67 balls, stumped by wicket-keeper Aravind off Mukherjee in the 33rd over. Tahir also caught Amirul off his own bowling on 47 off 71. All in all, Malaysia were all out after 48.4 overs.
UAE progressed at a steady pace in their chase, reaching the target of 207 in 47.1 overs. UAE won by five wickets with 17 balls remaining. The Player of the Match was UAE’s Syed Haider.
Oman captain P Kumble fought hard for his side against Kuwait after winning the toss and choosing to bat. Kumble hit 25 off 64 balls – Oman's top score – before he was caught by A Sanjeev off Hamoud Amanullah, becoming the sixth wicket to fall.
Azam Ali managed 22 off 51 before Faez Qureshi dismissed him before the 20th over. Oman’s team struggled against some excellent bowling from Kuwait, finishing the innings on 105 all out.
In reply, Kuwait’s leading men Meet Bhavsar and skipper Abdul Sadiq added 83 runs between them. Bhavsar was the star of the show, striking 44 from 42 balls. He was caught by SR Ravindra off the bowling of NJ Poojari in the 13th over, but Sadiq remained out in the middle until the target was reached with 30.3 overs still left to play, sealing an eight-wicket win.
Bhavsar, who turns 15 come June 23, was named Player of the Match.
Nepal won the toss and elected to bat first. And from the first swing, nothing could stop them from notching 282 runs. Captain RK Paudel hit 95 off 105, his knock including seven fours and one six, as he led his side from the front. KS Airee demonstrated some excellent ball-striking, hitting 31 off 18 balls, swinging his bat for three sixes and a four. Airee was caught by Singapore captain Aman Desai late into the first innings. Singapore’s excellent fielding saw Nepal all out after 46 overs, but not before the batting side had put up a competitive total.
SH Venugopal displayed some resistance at the top of the order for Singapore, hitting 18 from 45 balls. He was eventually caught by Paudel in the 12th over, off the bowling of Kushal Malla. I Sawney also showed some ticker with a 54-ball 28, but Nepal’s bowlers were brilliant. Pawan Sarraf was both economical and among the wickets, taking 3/5 from just six overs, as Singapore were bowled out for 65.
Sarraf, the 18-year-old all-rounder, was adjudged Player of the Match.
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