Hong Kong China and Oman take charge of Group B in Asia Division Qualifier

Play got underway at 9:30am on day two of the ICC U19 Men's World Cup Asia Division 2 Qualifier in Bangkok with Hong Kong China playing Bhutan at TCG and Oman facing Saudi Arabia at AIT.

It was Hong Kong and Oman who took the honours as Hong Kong China were pushed hard by Bhutan and Oman who dominated Gulf rivals Saudi Arabia.

Bhutan won the toss and batted first against Hong Kong China and they made a bright start with Tshering Ribden hitting a pair of boundaries in the second over. Sufyan Khan struck back as he dismissed Kinley Phuntso caught at cover for 1 with the score on 13. Tenzin Rabgey struck a nice drive for four and Tshering hit over mid-on as Bhutan were 24 for 1 after five overs.

Bhutan had progressed to 39 for 1 at the end of 10 overs with Tshering on 22 and Tenzin on 12. Tshering had gone for his shots against the pace bowlers and hit a towering on-drive against the first ball from left-arm spin of Shayan Puri only to be caught at long-on for 24 as Bhutan were 45 for 2.

The fifty came up in the 13th over with two wickets down but Ronak Pradhan was third out as he skied the spinner to mid-off. Leg-spinner Harry Hodgson had been introduced but the fourth wicket fell to a run out as Tenzin fell for 21 at 65 for 4.

The two spinners were bowling well and it was the leg-spinner who took the next two wickets as Ugyen Dorji was bowled and Jigme Tenzin was caught behind. The left-arm spinner then bowled Sangay Dorji and had Anuj Pradhan caught at mid-on as Bhutan slumped from 65 for 3 to 73 for 8.

Hodgson then took his third wicket as Bhutan collapsed to 77 for 9. Puri ended his excellent spell with figures of 10-3-18-4 but Bhutan were hanging on with nine wickets down.

Oman defeated Saudi Arabia

Shiv Mathur the Hong Kong China captain took the last wicket as Ngaden Wangchuk was caught at mid-on as Bhutan were bowled out for 85 in 31.4 overs. Hodgson finished with figures of 9-3-15-3 as the two excellent spinners shared seven wickets.

Hong Kong China looked to have the easy task of scoring 86 in 50 overs but they did lose a wicket in the fourth over as Aarez Dar was lbw to Sangay Dorji for 6. Hong Kong China were 17 for 1 as two Dorjis were opening the bowling for Bhutan. Shiv Mathur came in at number three and hit the first boundary of the innings in the 7th over. Bhutan turned to spin with Tenzin Rabgay and he struck with his off-spin as he claimed the wicket of Arya Panjwani lbw for 5.

Bhutan wee bowling well to make Hong Kong China battle hard for their runs as Matthew Clayton was caught behind off Sangay Dorji as Hong Kong China were 36 for 3 after 10 overs.

Shiv Mathur had been batting well but he was brilliantly run out by Tenzin Rabgay who dived to stop a cover-drive and quickly threw to the keeper. Hong Kong China were 43 for 4 in 12 overs.

Bhutan's second spinner Ngaden Wangchuk came into the attack and claimed the fifth wicket with his first ball as Will Walsh was caught at mid-off for 2. Hong Kong China were 46 for 5 in the 16th over with 40 more runs still needed.

Khris Butani and Harry Hodgson batted sensibly and the singles began to come against the spinners. Butani hit the third four of the innings but runs had now started to come steadily.

The Hong Kong China sixth-wicket pair had initially been content to stay at the crease but Hodgson hit another boundary to take them within one run of victory. Hodgson was caught behind off Kishan Subba for 17 with scores level but a wide quickly brought Hong Kong China victory by four wickets.

Butani was there at the end unbeaten on 20 as Hong Kong China finished on 86 for 6 in 24.5 overs. Hong Kong China had beaten Bhutan by four wickets with more than half the overs left.

The day’s other match at AIT saw Oman become the first side in the tournament to bat the full 50 overs against Saudi Arabia as they hit 222 for 8 but Saudi Arabia could not mount a serious challenge to a big target as they were bowled out for 81 in less than 20 overs to lose by a mighty 141 runs,

Oman started their innings steadily but Fahad Munir claimed the first wicket in the eighth over when he bowled Sumanasekera for 7 at 29 for 1 but the other opener Jeet Shah played a fine sheet anchor role as he hit 55 from 92 balls while Saudi Arabia took wickets regularly so that Oman were looking likely to be bowled out for a fairly modest total when they were 93 for 6 in the 29th over.

Oman went to the top of Group B ahead of Hong Kong China on net run-rate

Jeet Shah was still at the crease but number eight batsman. Nitish Nadendla changed the course of the innings by hitting 60 from 65 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes as he added 56 in 9 overs with Shah who was run out with the score on 149 for 7.

Pratiesh Ramesh also made useful runs as he added 61 for the eighth wicket with Nitish who made a determined 50 before being the eighth wicket to fall on 210. Saudi Arabia could not bowl out Oman who reached 222 for 8, a total which also included 43 extras and had the Saudi Arabians feeling the heat of the sun for more than three and a half hours.

Saudi Arabia’s response to this big total was rather disappointing as they lost five wickets for 32 inside the first 10 overs. Opening bowler Puladith took two wickets but it was Arya Sampat who came on first change who did most of the damage.

Fahad Munir made the highest score of the innings with just 15 and Ahmed Faisal was the only other batter who made double figures as he scored 12, Arya Sampat taking 4 for 21 with his slow left-arm spin.

A total of 81 in less than 20 overs was rather a poor effort for the young Greens but Saudi Arabia had been run around the ground at AIT in the morning as Oman recovered from 93 for 6 to 222 for 8. Zuber and Fahad had both taken two wickets but there were few highlights in the day’s play for Saudi Arabia.

All is not lost for Saudi Arabia as Bhutan did make Hong Kong China struggle for runs despite their victory in less than 25 overs but it was Oman who went to the top of Group B ahead of Hong Kong China on net run-rate.

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