Hong Kong beat Saudi Arabia by seven wickets to qualify for semi-finals alongside Oman who made it three wins out of three

The sixth day of the ICC U19 Men's World Cup Asia Division 2 Qualifier in Bangkok saw the closing round of matches in Group B. Saudi Arabia played Hong Kong, China at TCG, and Bhutan faced Oman at AIT. The winner of the Saudi Arabia against Hong Kong, China match would qualify for the semi-finals along with Oman, who had won both their matches.

Saudi Arabia reached 133 thanks to a last-wicket partnership of 52, but Hong Kong chased down their target in 25.4 overs with only three wickets down, and Oman held off Bhutan to win by three wickets after Bhutan had reached 141 in their 50 overs.

Saudi Arabia won the toss and elected to bat first at TCG in a winner-takes-all contest after both sides had beaten Bhutan and lost to Oman. Left-handed captain Rayyan Khan started confidently with two cover drives for four off Daniel Mapp. His partner Hashir was run out for 1 after a direct hit from Taran Laungani. Rayyan hit his third boundary off Mapp and then hit him for six over mid-off. Zuber got off the mark but was out to the first ball bowled by Rishan Shah, who took 7 for 21 against Oman. Saudi Arabia was 29 for 2.

Rayyan Khan had looked impressive as he went for his shots in the first 10 overs, making 26 out of 32 for 2. He was hitting the ball in the air, and he was caught at mid-on off Shah to end his innings. Without their captain at the crease, Saudi Arabia's runs had dried up, and they were 40 for 3 after 15 overs.


Rishan Shah had 2 for 9, and left-arm spinner Shayan Puri had bowled 4 overs for 4. Leg-spinner Harry Hodgson was on and immediately took the fourth wicket with the score on 42. Shahzad Sami now hit two fours, and Saudi Arabia was 50 for 4 in 20 overs.

Saudi Arabia was struggling as Mapp claimed his first wicket as Omair Ahmed was caught and bowled with the score on 55 for 5. Mapp took two wickets in his next over as Shahzad was caught behind for 20, and Anas was lbw first ball as Saudi Arabia had slipped to 60 for 7 in 24 overs.

Ahmed Faisal had been the hero for Saudi Arabia against Bhutan as they recorded a victory by one wicket, but he was caught at mid-wicket by Hodgson off Shiv Mathur, and Saudi Arabia lost their ninth wicket on 81 as Mathur took his second wicket.

Fahad Munir had gotten underway with a four and a six, so he was looking to hit out with nine wickets down. He managed to strike a second six and two more fours, and Saudi Arabia reached their 100 in the 32nd over.

Fahad Munir was becoming a menace for Hong Kong, China as he hit two more boundaries and got five runs after four overthrows. Another big hit took him to 48, and number 11 Arkham Arif survived a full over, and a straight drive for four brought Fahad his 50 from 35 balls.

It seemed time for leg-spin, and after Fahad hit his third six, he was caught on the boundary by Mapp as Saudi Arabia finished on 133 in 36.3 overs. Fahad hit 59 in 42 balls, and the last-wicket stand added 52.

It was the indefatigable Fahad Munir who took the new ball as he raced in to bowl left-arm fast from round the wicket. There were few alarms for Hong Kong as they reached 24 for no wicket in five overs, but Zuber came on first change and got the first wicket as Taran was caught by Ahmed Faisal. Fahad took the second wicket as he had Arya caught behind for 14 with the total on 34.

Shiv Mathur and Matthew Clayton settled the innings as Hong Kong, China passed 50 in the ninth over, and the total was 61 for two in 10 overs. They were now making good progress towards their target of 134 as they reached 86 for 2 from 15 overs, and Mathur and Clayton posted a 50 partnership for the third wicket.

Saudi Arabia's three left-arm spinners were trying to find a breakthrough, and it was Taha who dismissed Clayton, caught by Ahmed Faisal for 17 as Hong Kong, China lost their third wicket. Mathur looked well set as he hit 6 fours and 2 sixes as Hong Kong, China passed 100 in the 18th over.

Hong Kong, China were 108 for 3 in 20 overs, and Mathur reached his 50 from 49 balls with his side now only 21 runs from victory. Shiv Mathur has looked a class apart in the Hong Kong, China batting line-up as he crashed another boundary through the off-side. Ahmed Faisal was getting some spin, but to no avail. Saudi Arabia's fielding hadn't been good, and another misfield gave Mathur the two runs needed for victory.

Mathur made an unbeaten 63 in 63 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes as Hong Kong, China finished on 134 for 3 in 25.4 overs. Hong Kong, China won by 7 wickets and will face Kuwait in the first semi-final on Sunday at TCG.


At AIT, Oman won the toss and chose to bowl first against Bhutan. Tshering Rigden was out early with the score on 11, but Bhutan made 33 for 1 in the first 10 overs before Ronak Pradhan was run out for 14. Tenzin Rabgay was going for his shots, and Bhutan had reached 59 for 2 in 15 overs with Tenzin on 30 from 32 balls with 4 fours and a six.

Tenzin's entertaining innings was over on 44 from 56 balls as he hit 4 fours and 2 sixes. Bhutan were 77 for 4, and Ugyen Dorji soon followed before Jigme Tenzin was out first ball with Sampath taking two wickets in two balls. Bhutan were 84 for 5 in 28 overs, but Anuj Pradhan was still there on 4 from 53 balls.

Bhutan were battling hard, but Sangay Dorji was the sixth wicket to fall on 86, but Anuj hit his first boundary from his 67th ball, and the 100 came up in the 35th over. Anuj was still at the crease with 3 fours in 23, but Bhutan were 113 for 7 after 40 overs, and it would be an achievement for them to complete their 50 overs.

Bhutan achieved their objective as they posted a total of 141 for 7 in 50 overs thanks to a marathon contribution from Anuj, who compiled an unbeaten 41 from 126 balls with 4 fours.

Bhutan's bowlers were making Oman work hard as they were chasing 142 in 50 overs. Sangay Dorji took the first wicket in the third over as he dismissed Jeet Shah caught behind for 3 with the score on 11. He followed by getting Sumanasekera lbw for 9 to make it 20 for 2. Oman was 37 for 2 after 10 overs, and Sangay completed an opening spell of 2 for 18 in 6 overs.

Bhutan was still fighting in this match as Chedra Jamtsho has taken two wickets to reduce Oman to 47 for 4 as Gaurav Dinesh was out for 14 and Saumya Sampath fell for 12. Oman still had work to do, and Bhutan was hoping for a famous victory.


Oman lost their fifth wicket with the score on 60 when Habibulla was lbw to Tenzin and 82 runs were still needed with five wickets left. Sharkar hit 20 for Oman as they reached 90, but he was the sixth wicket to fall when he was dismissed by Ronak, the eighth bowler to be used by Bhutan. Oman was 90 for 6 in 25 overs.

Oman had moved on to 118 for 6 after 30 overs with Aneek and Nitish going well. 24 runs were needed with 20 overs left. Bhutan claimed their seventh wicket on 125 as Aneek became Chedra’s third wicket, but Nitish saw his team home to victory by three wickets with an unbeaten 33. Oman topped the table with three wins and will face Malaysia in the second semi-final at AIT.

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