Qatar and Bahrain register first wins
KUWAIT CITY, April 22: The second day of ICC World Twenty20 Asia Qualifier ‘A’ saw UAE extend their winning streak whereas Qatar and Bahrain register first wins. At the Sulaibiya Cricket ground, Qatar won the toss and elected to bat first against the hosts Kuwait. Qatar got off to a great start with 52 runs opening partnership in the first five overs.
Faisal Javed Khan giving them a great start and scoring 48 runs off 23 deliveries. Qatar continued to add quick runs on a flat wicket with skipper Inam ul Haq scoring a useful 25 runs to lay the foundation for Kamran Khan to score quick 49 runs off 28 deliveries to post a total of 167 for 6in the allotted 20 overs. Imran Ali continued his fine form with the ball picking up 3 wickets for Kuwait.
In response Kuwait lost skipper Kashif Sharif in the second over as Usman Waheed took the charge and scored 66 runs off 36 deliveries to keep the match in balance.
At the other end Kuwait middle order struggled to build partnerships after the fall of Usman Waheed, losing three quick wickets. Kuwaiti lower order batsmen showed some glitter but the asking rate kept climbing and Kuwait fell 26 runs short of the target. Skipper Inamul Haq picked up 4 wickets and was declared Man of the Match for his all-round performance. At the Doha cricket ground Bahrain faced Maldives and elected to field first after winning the toss.
Maldives batsmen put up 55 runs for the loss of 1 wicket in 10 overs. MNR Cooray looked in good touch for his 65 runs off 51 balls. Hassan Rasheed and Mohamed Rishwan added 26 runs each to take Malivides to a total of 142 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in the allotted 20 overs.
In response Bahrain got off to a good start scoring 61 runs in 10 overs for one wicket. Opener Shahbaz Bader who was declared Man of the Match scored 56 runs in 43 balls and other batsmen chipped in useful contributions. Maldives managed to take the match to the last over making it an exciting finish to watch as Bahrain needed 8 runs in the last over.
Mohammad Saifee scored 2 boundaries in the first 3 deliveries to fetch Bahrain their first win of the tournament. In the afternoon game at Doha, Saudi faced the favorites UAE and selected to bat first on winning the toss. After scoring 30 runs in the first 2.4 overs, Saudi batsmen struggled to post a meaningful target as wickets kept falling against UAE’s good bowling. Imran Haider picked up 3 wickets for 8 runs in 4 overs and skipper Rohan Mustafa picked up 2 wickets.
Chasing a target of 103 runs UAE comfortably achieved it in 13.4 overs on the back of Ashfaq Ahmed’s 41 not out runs. Mohammed usman scored a quick 31 to pave the way for UAE’s consecutive victory.
Ashfaq Ahmed was declared Man of the Match. At the end of second day in the tournament UAE lead the table followed by Kuwait at the second spot and Qatar in the third place. The tournament is getting interesting as UAE remain leaders and other teams have equal opportunity to grab the second and third qualifying spots