14/07/2024

Kuwait shock Qatar in opener by seven wickets

A fitter and sharper Kuwait shocked hosts Qatar with a dominant seven-wicket triumph to set an exciting tone for the four-team ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Asia Sub Regional Qualifier A on Thursday.

At the West End International Stadium, Kuwait won the toss and made the most of the conditions with excellent bowling and fielding, which reduced favorites Qatar to a modest 123 for six.

Opener Ravija Sandaruwan turned in a Man of the Match performance to smash 42 off 29 balls with two sixes and three fours, which led his team’s charge to the win in 15.4 overs.

Qatar spurned two opportunities early into the Kuwait’s chase. If they had succeeded, they might have changed the course of the game.Kuwait and Qatar skippers in the middle for the toss in the opening game of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Asia Sub Regional Qualifier A

Kuwait and Qatar skippers in the middle for the toss in the opening game of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Asia Sub Regional Qualifier A

A sharp chance from Meet Bhavsar was floored in the slips. Then in a freak happening, Qatar had more players in the ring when Bhavsar was caught off Adnan Mirza but the umpire no-balled to a great disappointment of the home team. 

In another match later, Hisham Sheikh’s superb unbeaten 24 and four for 12 inspired Saudi Arabia to crush Maldives by 62 runs. The win pushed the Saudi team to the table ahead of Kuwait on better Net Run Rate.

Sandaruwan  was involved in a match-defining 75-run first wicket stand, which also featured Bhavsar. The other opener chipped in 28 with two sixes and as many fours, while Usman Patel ended up with an unbeaten 15-ball 24 with two sixes and a boundary.

Kuwait skipper Mohammed Aslam was quite thrilled with the big result in the opener. “We were under pressure as we had lost a close game to Qatar in the Gulf Trophy T20 last week here. But we had trust in our abilities, especially our fitness, which is needed in these trying conditions.Kuwait surprised Qatar to notch up a win on opening day

Kuwait surprised Qatar to notch up a win on opening day

“It was a good toss to win. And then we bowled and fielded well to restrict Qatar to 123. Our batsmen then hit the ball all around the field to lift the team to a big victory. But this was the first game and we can’t take any team lightly.

“The tournament is both tough and long. We will clash again in the double round-robin format and we just hope to sustain the momentum we have got through this fantastic victory over a higher-ranked side,” Aslam added.

Earlier, two early setbacks slowed down the Qatar players. Though Imal Liyanage and Muhammad Tanveer collected 52 runs for the third wicket, Qatar started to lose the wickets whenever there was need to ramp up the tempo.

Liyanage hit a game-high 46 off 49 balls.HIs knock had two sixes and one four. Tanveer stroked the ball nicely to get 21 with a six and one four. Jassim Khan was undefeated on 31 in 26 balls. He cracked two sixes and a four. Ilyas Khan had two wickets for 23, while Aslam, Sayed Monib and Yasin Patel shared three.

Saudi Arabia dominant

Saudi Arabia pulled off an emphatic 62-run triumph in the second match of the day, outclassing Maldives by 62 runs as all-rounder Hisham Sheikh grabbed four wickets our for 12 runs in his four-over spell.

Chasing a huge 173-run target, Maldives started well with openers Azyan Farhath and skipper Umar Adam getting 69 runs for the first wicket. The stand was broken by Zain Ul Abidin as he bowled Adam for 28 with a six.

Sheikh then snapped four wickets to contain the rivals at 110 for 7. Umair Shariff also had a wicket.Saudi Arabia’s Hisham Sheikh sunk Maldives with an all-round performance

Saudi Arabia’s Hisham Sheikh sunk Maldives with an all-round performance

Saudi earlier put up a healthy total with Abdul Waheed smashing 58 in 35 balls. His blitz had three sixes and four boundaries. Saad Khan and Manan Ali added 27 and 21, respectively.

Sheikh and Al Abidin reeled off 42 runs for an unbroken sixth wicket in just 21 balls to place their team in the driver’s seat. Al Abidin smashed two sixes and two fours in 15-ball 32 not out and Sheikh’s 24 included only two fours.

Brief scores

Qatar 123 for 6 (Imal Liyanage 46, Jassim Khan 31 not out, Muhammad Tanveer 21; Ilyas Ahmed 2/23) lost to Kuwait 124 for 3 in 15.4 overs (Meet Bhavsar 28, Ravija Sandaruwan 42, Usman Patel 24 not out; Himanshu Rathod 3/20) by seven wickets

Player of match: Ravija Bhavsar (Kuwait)

Saudi Arabia 172 for 5 (Abdul Waheed 58, Saad Khan 27, Manan Ali 21, Hisham Sheikh 24 not out, Zain Al Abidin 32 not out; Ameel Mauroof 2/24) beat Maldives 110 for 7 (Azyan Farhath 43, Umar Adam 28, Ameel Mauroof 19; Hisham Sheikh 4/12) by 62 runs

Player of the match: Hisham Sheikh (Saudi Arabia)

Fixtures

Fri, Sep 29, 3rd match 9:00

Kuwait vs Maldives

4th match 13:30

Qatar vs Saudi Arabia

Points table

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Sub Regional Asia Qualifier A

TEAM          M       W      L        PT     NRR

KSA             1        1        0        2        3.100

KUW           1        1        0        2        1.765

QAT            1        0        1        0        -1.765

MDV            1        0        1        0        -3.100

© ICC 2023

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