Kuwait back in semi-final contentionThe Gulf side pull off a comfortable four-wicket win over Singapore to climb to the third spot in Group ‘B’.
Kuwait roared back into semi-final contention with a comfortable four-wicket victory over Singapore in Group ‘B’ match of the ACC Premier Cup at TU ground in Kirtipur on Tuesday.
Electing to field first, Kuwait bowled out Singapore for 113 runs in 31.4 overs after spinner Mohammed Aslam shone with the ball, claiming five wickets. Chasing the target, Kuwait raced to victory in 26.3 overs, scoring 118-6.
With the win, Kuwait climbed to the third position and came level with the second-placed United Arab Emirates on four points after playing an equal three games. The two sides are separated by net run rate. Hong Kong lead the team standings with five points, while Bahrain are placed fourth on three points after playing an equal number of games. Singapore, already out of the semi-final race, finished the group stage without their opening account on the points table.
The winner of the Hong Kong and Kuwait last group match scheduled for Thursday will qualify for the semi-final from the group. But a tie or defeat will send them crashing out. The winner of the Bahrain versus UAE game will be the other team to make it to the last four, from the group.
Singapore were off to a shaky start and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Opener Amartya Kaul scored 45 runs off 60 balls, the highest of the innings, which included nine hits to the fence. Manpreet Singh contributed a 44-ball 28. Thilipan Omaidurai was the other player to touch a double-digit score for Singapore, contributing a-run-a-ball 13.
Kuwait’s spinner Aslam, also the player of the match, returned with impressive figures of 8.4-2-20-5. Siraz Khan claimed three wickets in his six-over spell, conceding 14 runs.
Chasing the target, opener Adnan Idrees contributed 38 runs off 28 balls studded with two boundaries and three sixes. Meet Bhavsar hit an unbeaten 27 off 50 balls and Yasin Patel played an unconquered innings of 21 off 25 balls. Bhavsar hit a boundary and a six, while Patel cracked two hits to the fence along with a six.
Singapore bowlers Vinoth Baskaran and Akshya Puri grabbed two wickets each.
Malaysia pull off a second victory
Malaysia registered a three-wicket victory over Qatar in the dead rubber Group ‘A’ match at the Mulpani ground to wrap up their campaign with a second victory.
Though the outcome lifted Malaysia provisionally to the second position with four points from as many matches on net run rate, they will drop from the second position after the outcome between Oman versus Saudi Arabia game scheduled for Wednesday. Only the top two teams at the end of league rounds will qualify for the semi-finals.
Leaders and hosts Nepal are already assured of a last-four spot with five points from three matches. Oman are placed third on four points, the Saudis at fourth on three points while Qatar is languishing at the bottom of the table without opening its score. All teams of the group, except Malaysia, are yet to play their last league match.
Electing to bat first, Qatar posted a score of 215-8. Imal Liyanage scored 56 runs off 68 for Malaysia while Khurram Shahzad contributed a 45-ball 41. Ikramullah Khan (39) and Muhammad Tanveer (26) were the other batters to make significant contributions for Qatar.
Malaysia bowlers Rizwan Haider and Muhammad Wafiq picked up two wickets each.
Chasing the target, Malaysia’s middle-order batter Syed Aziz, adjudged player-of-the-match, slammed 80 runs off 64 balls, studded with six boundaries and two sixes. Captain Ahmad Faiz (33), Khizar Hayat (not out 25), Muhamad Syahadat (22) and Viyay Unni (20) scored for Malaysia.
Qatar bowlers Mohammed Nadeem and Ikramullah Khan picked up two wickets each.