Bahrain and Kuwait both win by five wickets as 2026 ICC U19 Men’s World Cup starts in Bangkok

The ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup for 2026 got underway today only two weeks after Australia won the final of the 2024 competition held in South Africa.

The Asia Division 2 Qualifier is being held in Bangkok with today's matches being Bahrain against Thailand at TCG and Kuwait against Malaysia at AIT. Both matches were competitive and low-scoring encounters with Bahrain and Kuwait the victors as they each bowled out the opposition and chased their respective targets.

Bahrain won the toss and elected to field at TCG so Thailand batted first and scored 11 runs in the first over courtesy of a string of wides and a boundary but Bahrain's opening bowler Vishwaesh found his line to bowl Dechapon for 0. His opening partner Chetsarit was caught at over point in the second over for 9 as Thailand were 15 for 2.

Thailand recovered well to reach 46 for 2 in 10 overs with Pattarapol and Natpakhan batting calmly against the new ball. The fifty came up in the 11th over and the 3rd wicket partnership reached 48 when Natpakhan drove uppishly to be caught at mid-off. Thailand were 63 for 3 from 14 overs at drinks.

Thailand reached 84 for 3 after 20 overs with Jetsada also batting steadily but Pattarapol was caught at cover from the bowling of off-spinner Mounish Swamy for 28. Danuphon hit his first ball for four but Jetsada lost his head to be caught at long on in the same over for 11. Thailand were suddenly 101 for 5.

Leg-spinner Muhammad Adil then got Phanuwat caught at slip as Thailand quickly lost their sixth wicket but after showing a measured approach the batsmen were now taking on the spinners. Captain Ratthasat was bowled by a quicker ball as Thailand slipped to 127 for 7 after 28 overs.

Left-arm seamer Muhammad Hamdan took the eighth wicket with the score on 139 but Danuphon had now hit three boundaries and wides were still adding to the total as Thailand reached 150 in the 34th over.

Danuphon's bright and breezy contribution ended on 23 as he was caught behind off the leg-spinner and his side were nine wickets down. Thailand's innings was soon over as the left-arm bowler jumped to take a caught and bowled. Muhammad Hamdan took 3 for 23 and Muhammad Adil 3 for 20 as Thailand were bowled out for 150 in 34.3 overs.

Thailand's opening bowlers struggled to control the new ball and Bahrain's openers were untroubled as they made 29 from the first five overs. Aryan Ashwin and Abhinath Vashisht progressed well as they raised the fifty partnership in the 10th over. 

The spinners came on as Thailand were trying to keep control of the run-rate. Bahrain were already 79 for 0 after 15 overs at the first drinks break with the two left-handers combining well with Ashwin hitting five boundaries in 34 and Vashisht two boundaries in 24.

Thailand eventually broke the partnership on 93 in the 18th over as Vashisht was bowled by off-spinner Phanuwat for 34 in 53 balls. Jetsada claimed the second wicket as Muhammad Adil was bowled for 7 with the score on 110 in the 24th over.

Ashwin completed his fifty in 79 balls with 7 fours but Chinnathip took a wicket in his first over as Vishwaesh was lbw for 4 as Bahrain were three wickets down with 30 runs still needed. Left-arm spinner Chinnathip then bowled Ashwin for 56 on 127 so Bahrain were stuttering with victory in sight.

Chinnaphat had made an impression with his low slingy action as he took his third wicket for just three runs and Bahrain were 132 for 5. Bahrain’s sixth-wicket partnership saw them home as Chainnaphat bowled a series of wides in his next over and the match was won with a boundary. Bahrain had won by five wickets as they scored 153 for 5 in 38.2 overs.

Kuwait faced Malaysia at AIT in the day’s other match and Kuwait took charge of the contest from the moment they dismissed both openers for ducks to reduce Malaysia to 9 for 2 and it was looking bad for Malaysia when their number four batsman became the second run out of the innings in the first five overs.

Malaysia were 12 for 3 but Muhammad Akram and Mohammad Hairil steadied the innings with a partnership of 33 for the fourth wicket. Muhammad Akram was a rock on which the rest of the innings was based as he was unbeaten until the end of as he scored 44 not out from 84 balls with just one four and one six. He showed great application to keep his side’s hopes of victory alive as the wickets continued to fall.

Off-spinner Janath took 4 for 30 and there was a third run out as Malaysia slipped to 66 for nine. The best partnership of the innings was yet to come and number 11 Areen Aqeel hit his way to 26 from 29 balls with 3 fours and a six to take the score to 108 before he was last out in the 30th over.

A last-wicket stand of 42 had given Malaysia a bigger score than they would have expected at the fall of the ninth wicket and Haziq Haiqul took two wickets with the new ball to keep Malaysian hopes alive as Kuwait were 29 for 2 in the eighth over.

Kuwait were 43 for 3 after 10 overs with Melrick bowled by Ammar Aiman for 18 and they looked to be well on their way to the target of 109 as they reached 80 for 3 with Jay Mehta and Asmeet Jadhav batting well,

Two wickets fell without the addition of a run as Mehta was out to Muhammad Muqri bowled for 20 and Haziq came back to claim his third wicket as Jadhav was caught behind for 13.

The Kuwait innings almost ground to a halt with Mohammad Moeez unable to rotate the strike. Janath at least managed to get off strike and extras helped to get Kuwait within 10 runs of victory as they reached the 100 mark in 34 overs with five wickets down.

Moeez was finally able to hit a four from his 51st ball faced to bring the scores level on 108 and yet another wide took Kuwait to victory by five wickets in 34.5 overs. Janath added an unbeaten 10 to his four wickets but the last 29 runs had been quite tortuous for Kuwait as Malaysia had made them work hard for this victory.

Tomorrow’s matches will see Bhutan face Hong Kong at TCG and Oman play Saudi Arabia at AIT.

NewsU19 Cricket World CupU19 ICC Men's Cricket WC