Defending champions Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman registered win along with hosts Nepal on the first day of the ACC Twenty20 Cup in Kathmandu.
UAE beat Kuwait
At the TU Cricket Ground, UAE proved that Kuwait is no match to them defeating them by 4 wickets in a thoroughly professional display.
Kuwait’s decision to bat first could not help them much. They lost wickets regularly and struggled against bowling of UAE. The generosity of UAE bowlers, in giving away 36 extra runs, and a blasting innings by Mohammad Murad took them to 135 in 19.5 overs.
Murad’s 34 off 23 balls with five sixes – four of which were hit consecutively in an over bowled by Ahmed Javed ensured Kuwait had something to play for. Earlier, Mohammed Asghar had scored 24 off 32 balls.
UAE captain Khurram Khan, at 41, was most successful bowler claiming three wickets. Irfan Ahmed and Ahmed Raza claimed two wickets each.
Chasing the total, UAE met the target in 18.4 overs. Vikrant Shetty remained unbeaten on 45 off 32 balls after opener Faizan Asif put on a foundation with 44 runs off 30 balls. Man-of-the-match Shetty hit four boundaries and a six while Asif struck five sixes and two fours.
Oman scores big win against Bhutan
Oman, a team coached by Roy Dias, proved too mighty for Bhutan as they raced away with the biggest victory of the day. Oman beat Bhutan by 124 runs.
Oman put up 186 for 7 in 20 overs and bundled out Bhutan at 62 runs in 13.4 overs.
Oman opener Zeeshan Siddiqui (31 off 19) and Rajeshkumar Ranpura (22 off 22) produced 63-run partnership. Vaibhav Wategaonkar took the Oman innings ahead with 45 runs off 34 balls. Sultan Ahmed added 23 runs off 20 balls while Bhutan gave away 32 runs as extras.
Sonam Tobgay took three wickets for Bhutan while Thinley Jamtsho claimed two.
Bhutanese batsman failed one after another as they were chasing a massive total. Hemal Mehta took three wickets while Awal Khan and man-of-the-match Zeeshan Siddiqui grabbed two wickets each to seal victory for Oman.
Dilip Subba (13 off 20) and Kencho Norbu (13 off 22) were the major contributors for Bhutan, who lacked the service of a few veterans such as Manoj Adhikari.
Afghanistan defeats Malaysia
Defending champions Afghanistan thrashed Malaysia by 59 runs at the Institute of Engineering Ground.
Afghanistan won the toss and opted to bat first. Afghanistan piled up 166/4 with opener Shabir Noori scoring 53 off 30 balls. Man-of-the-match Noori along with his opening partner Karim Sadiq (39 off 41) contributed 83-run stand.
Asghar Stanikzai remained unbeaten with 24 and Mohammad Shahzad added 20 runs. Malaysia’s right-arm off-break Nik Arifin took three wickets giving away 35 runs.
In reply, Malaysia only managed 107 for 9 in 20 overs. At the end of 11 overs, they were positioned well at 71/1 with a close match in sight however Mohammad Nabi undid the good work taking three wickets. Samiullah Shenwari claimed two.
Hammad Ullah Khan (31 off 26) and Suhan Kumar (28 off 25) were the highest contributors in Malaysia’s innings.