A comprehensive 10-wicket win in their final game helped UAE seal their place at the top of the table, while Nepal, despite a win against Kuwait, had to be content with second place at the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup Asia Qualifier Division 1.
KUWAIT vs NEPAL, Kinrara Oval
Nepal elected to field first, putting Kuwait’s top batsmen to the test. In-form Meet Bhavsar was the first to exit at 2.5 over for 10 runs, bowled by Rashid Khan. With the main player out, the remaining batsmen stepped up to the plate. Noman Budroo held out for 70 runs off 120, eventually run out by wicket-keeper Aasif Sheikh. Gokul Kumar also contributed a good 36 runs off 66 balls before he was bowled by Surya Tamang. Kuwait managed 157 runs in 49.4 overs.
Nepal’s innings started with Rit Gautam and Pawan Sarraf facing bowler Hamza Qureshi. After a slow start, they were 21/0 in five overs, with the sixth being a maiden. The action started in the 10th over when Sarraf knocked four consecutive fours, quickly escalating the score to 48.
Noman Budroo slowed the scoring, but Sarraf and Gautam remained in partnership until 19.2 overs, when Sarraf was caught by Hamoud Amanullah off Abdul Sadiq for 53 to break the first-wicket stand at 93. Gautam too fell, lbw to Amanullah after a half-century, but Nepal were on course. Aasif Sheikh struck a brisk 33 in 20 balls, with five fours and a six, the last boundary bringing up an eight-wicket victory in 28 overs.
Gautam was declared Player of the Match for his 62 runs.
Here’s UAE’s winning moment in the ICC Under 19 World Cup Asia Qualifier!
Look how much it means to the players! pic.twitter.com/SUjcCqCCz3
— ICC (@ICC) April 19, 2019
UAE vs OMAN, Bayuemas Oval
Oman chose to bat, but lost the first wicket of Mohammed Sameer in the second ball of the innings, bowled by Akasha Tahir for 0. They proceeded cautiously, but UAE struck at regular intervals to bowl them out for 105 in the 44th over. J Biju was the top scorer with 37 off 72 balls, and was the last wicket to fall, caught by Farazuddin off Tahir.
Aryan Lakra and R Mukherjee took three wickets each, while Tahir and KP Meiyappan finished with two apiece.
It took openers Lakra and Syed Haider just 12.1 overs to bring the match to a close, sealing a comprehensive 10-wicket win. Haider smashed 56 off 28 balls while Lakra had 51 off 45 against his name.
Lakra was named Player of the Match for his all-round performance. With the highest number of wickets in this tournament, he was also declared Player of the Series.
MALAYSIA vs SINGAPORE, Selangor Turf Club
After electing to bat, Singapore lost AK Chabria in the fifth over with the score on 16. Opener SH Venugopal, however, anchored the innings, even as wickets fell around him. Muhammad Amir and Haiqal Khair successfully limited the scoring, with the 100 coming up only in the 41st over. In that time, K Sathish was caught by Vijay Unni off Mohammad Arief, Aman Desai was caught by Iezzat Daniel off Afiq Syakir.
Venugopal was the fifth wicket to fall, in the 45th over with the score on 125, after which the remaining wickets tumbled quickly for Singapore to be all out at 141.
Chasing 142, Malaysia fielded Wan Amirul and Aslam Khan against bowlers PSRK Sudarshan and P Singhavi. They too began slowly, just reaching 38 in the first 10 overs. However, they remained together till 17.4 overs, adding 81 for the first wicket, before Singhavi removed Amirul for 28. Aslam too fell four overs later, caught by AK Chabria off A Berry for a well-made 60.
It left Malaysia needing 42 runs from 28 overs. Chabria struck twice in the 25th over of the chase, only for Hakim Harisan to come in with purpose, striking a six and a four while Daniel smashed two sixes himself, taking the score to 132/4 in 27 overs. Singhavi triggered another stutter with a double-strike in the 28th over, sending back Harisan and Arief lbw. But with just four runs needed, Unni and Daniel brought the match home.
Malaysia won by four wickets with 121 balls remaining, for their first win of the tournament. Aslam was declared Player of the Match.