Hong Kong, Oman reach final of ICC Men's World Cup Asia Division 2 Qualifier

It was semi-final day in the ICC U19 Men's Asia Division 2 Qualifier in Bangkok with Kuwait winners of Group A playing Hong Kong who finished second in Group B and Oman first in Group B facing Malaysia runners up in Group A. 

It was going to be an exciting day of U19 cricket with places in the final and promotion to Asia Division 1 up for grabs for the two winners.

A day of thrilling and competitive cricket has been completed with Hong Kong, China beating Kuwait by 33 runs and Oman overcoming Malaysia by 19 runs. They will meet in the final on Tuesday and now will also contest the Asia Division 1 Qualifier.

Hong Kong, China were looking to put a total close to 200 on the board and they made a solid start at TCG after winning the toss with Arya Panjwani striking three early boundaries. Hong Kong 28/0 after five overs. Taran Lungani had been quiet but he hit over long-on for four. Two new bowlers checked the run-rate with leg-spinner Asmeet Jadhav on early. Hong Kong, China reached 41 in 10 overs.

With skies darkening the Hong Kong, China openers raised the 50 partnership in the 13th over. Kuwait have been holding back off-spinner Janath Herathliyanage and the openers both hit boundaries so it was time for the leading wicket-taker in the tournament to have a bowl. Hong Kong, China were 75/0 after 20 overs. 

Hong Kong, China's patience was now paying dividends as they reached 98/0 in 25 overs. The openers posted a 100 partnership in the next over and Arya hit over mid-on to bring up his 50 from 80 balls with his seventh four. The openers were still progressing well as the score was 120 after 30 overs. They were on course for an impressive total.

Taran reached his 50 in 102 balls with five fours as he gave great support to his more fluent partner. But the opening partnership was broken with the score on 139 in the 35th over as Arya was out for 65 from 104 balls with eight boundaries. Hong Kong, China would be looking to accelerate with captain Shiv Mathur now at the crease.

The 150 came up in the 38th over and Hong Kong, China were still going well as Taran hit the first six of the match. Hong Kong, China were 167/1 in 40 overs.

The fifty partnership for the second wicket came up and Shiv celebrated with a six and a four. He was already on 40 as his side were 202/1 with five overs remaining.

Shiv Mathur was looking dangerous but was caught at deep mid-wicket for 43 in 46 balls with five fours and a six. Hong Kong, China were 209/2 with three overs left.

Taran has batted throughout the innings and had the strength to hit a four in the last over and run a two. A great effort as he made an unbeaten 85 from 138 balls and Hong Kong, China posted a total of 234/3.


Kuwait's openers were very cautious against Hong Kong, China's opening attack as Srivastava and Daniel Mapp bowled well. Kuwait made 17 in eight overs and as so often it was Rishan Shah who took the first wicket in his opening over as Melrick was caught by Shiv Mathur.

Hinshu was batting well with three fours and a six but Shaies Ali was the second wicket to fall asleep he was run out for 0. Kuwait were 35/2 after 13 overs at drinks.

The two Hong Kong, China spinners who have bowled so tidily in this tournament were working in tandem and it was left-arm spinner Shayan Puri who struck as Arsh Sahil was out for 1 off 21 balls. Hinsu is still there and Jay Mehta has started with a four. Kuwait were 51/3 in 20 overs

Puri has finished an excellent spell of 10-2-27-1 but it was Mathur who replaced him and immediately took the fifth wicket with a caught and bowled as Kuwait were 79/5 and surely Hong Kong, China were now on the way to the final.

Kuwait were doing their best to make a match of the semi-final as they reached 135/5 in 40 overs. Exactly 100 runs were needed in 10 overs with Mehta approaching his 50 and Janath also well set.

Jay Mehta reached his 50 from 70 balls as he was trying to lead his side to a remarkable victory. Two boundaries and four byes brought 14 off the 43rd over but the effort was too much for Mehta and he was forced to retire hurt on 59 to get treatment for cramp.

A setback for Kuwait but Janath hit a six and 65 were needed off five overs. Janath was out for 37 but Mehta came back to the crease. Afiq was now seventh out and surely it was too much for Kuwait?

Hong Kong, China beat Kuwait by 33 runs as they restricted them to 201/9 in 50 overs despite a brave 77 not out off 90 balls from Jay Mehta who was battling cramp as well as the bowling. Hong Kong, China have reached the final of Asia Division 2 Qualifier.


In the other semi-final at AIT, Oman started slowly against accurate Malaysia bowling and the first wicket fell in the ninth over when Gaurav Dinesh was dismissed by Ammar Aiman with the score on 26. After 10 overs Oman were 29/1.

Oman were still content to look for the singles with only one boundary in the first 15 overs. Still only one boundary as Oman were 60/1 in 20 overs and they scored 13 more runs in the next five overs to be 73/1 after 25.

Oman were still being tied down by the Malaysia bowlers and they lost the two set batsmen. Jeet Shah was run out for 29 from 92 balls after a partnership of 61 and Soumya Sampat soon followed for 28 from 65 balls.  Hadiff took his second wicket as Aneek Chakrovarty was out for 0. Another wicket for Hadiff and another duck for Oman as Siddarth Shankar was lbw. The score reached 100 in the 35th overs and Habibulla was sixth player out.

Oman were bowled out for 154 in 47.2 overs as the tail-enders who had seen Oman home in previous matches were easily dealt with. Hadiff had figures of 4/30 but 28 from Dinesh at least got Oman past the 150 mark.


Although they only posted a total of 154, Oman were fighting hard as Malaysia lost two wickets in the powerplay. Azmar Iqbal was dismissed by Puladith for seven and Muhammad Akram who hit a century against Thailand also went for seven as Malaysia were 27/2 after 10 overs.

Malaysia were four wickets down as Ammar Aiman was out for 12 as Malaysia were 47/4 in 20 overs as four Oman bowlers had taken a wicket each. Malaysia stabilised their innings and were 64/4 at halfway. So 91 runs were needed from 25 overs.

Malaysia were 81/4 after 30 overs with Hairil on 18 and Muqri on 15. They now required 74 runs in 20 overs.

Malaysia were 95/4 after 35 overs and the fifth wicket partnership has just passed 50 with keeper Hairil leading the way. Arya Sampat had bowled his 10 overs for 18 runs so it was still a tight game.

Malaysia's 100 was up in the 39th over still with four wickets down but runs were still hard to come by. Malaysia had reached 105/4 in 40 overs with 50 more needed in the last 10 overs with Hairil on 36 and Muqri on 20.

Prathiesh has taken two wickets in three balls to turn things in Oman's favour as Malaysia were now 106/6 and Prathiesh had 3/13. Muqri was out for 20 and Haziq for 0. Two runs later Hairil was bowled by Soumya for 38 from 70 balls and Malaysia were 108/7.

Malaysia had moved on to 125/8 from 45 overs with 30 runs needed off the last five overs.

Oman's quality bowling finally proved too much for Malaysia as Prathiesh finished with 3/26. The last wicket was a run out as Malaysia were dismissed for 135 in 46.5 overs to lose by 19 runs. Oman had defended a total of 154 and were in the Asia Division 2 Qualifier Final.

The semi-final at TCG had run the full 50-overs in each innings with both teams scoring more than 200 and at AIT all 20 wickets had been taken in a lower-scoring contest. 

It had been an exciting day which had shown that young players from the leading sides in Asia perform brilliantly in 50-over cricket. It is a great competition that gives them a chance to do this and this will be matched in the other regions of the world.

NewsU19 Cricket World CupU19 ICC Men's Cricket WC