By Shahzad Raza

MUSCAT: Qatar announced its entry to the ACC T20 Western Region championship with an emphatic win against Saudi Arabia at OC Turf 2 in Amerat. In the day’s other match, Bahrain secured its second successive victory, beating Maldives by 2 wickets in a keenly fought encounter at OC Turf 1.

Player of the Match: Tamoor Sajjad (Qatar)
Player of the Match: Sarfaraz Ali (Bahrain)

Saudi and Maldives have now lost two games each. Qatar now face Kuwait today while Maldives take on Saudi Arabia in the day’s other match.

Saudis had a forgettable match yesterday, getting dismissed for 126 and then failing to stop a rampant Qatar who raced to the target with 27 deliveries to spare and four wickets in hand. Only Sajid Imran and Mohammed Adnan batted well for Saudi, scoring 47 and 38 respectively. Taimoor Sajjad and Iqbal Hussain bowled exceptionally well to take three wickets each.

Opener Faisal Javed slammed a strokeful 47 off 26 to put Qatar in the driver’s seat. Muhammed Tanveer remained unbeaten at 33 off 18 to ensure victory was secured without much trouble. Muhammed Nadeem did cause a flutter in the Qatari camp, taking three quick wickets for just 16 runs.

“We had an excellent win today. Cricket is fun if the weather and conditions are good. We enjoyed our cricket here today as the weather was great facilities simply superb. It was an excellent pitch to bat on and it supported bowlers too who were able to put the ball in the right areas,” said Qatar captain Inamul Haq.

He said Qatar had brought a balanced side and looked forward to taking on Kuwait in Tuesday’s match.

“We know Kuwait has a good side but so do we. Faisal Javed and Taimoor Sajjad in particular are quality players and they showed today why they are so highly rated,” added the Qatari captain who was greatly impressed by top class facilities at Oman Cricket Academy.

Giving a better account of itself yesterday, Maldives posted a fighting 141 for 4 in 20 overs after its dismal 109 against Kuwait on Sunday. Rishwan Mohammed batted well again, scoring a solid 54 while Adam Nashif chipped in with a useful 24. Imran Javed bagged two wickets for Bahrain.

In a disastrous start, Bahrain lost its first three wickets without a run to pacer Ibrahim Hassan who went on to claim 5 for 24 in 3.4 overs. However, prolific opener Sarfraz Ali played another explosive knock to not only pull his team out of trouble but put it on course for a close finish. His score of 59 off 35 included 5 fours and 4 sixes. Bahrain attained victory in the 19th over, scoring 142 for 8. Anasim Khan contributed a useful 22 off 18.

A delighted Bahrain captain Adil Haneef thanked Asian Cricket Council for providing the teams a great opportunity to play cricket at a fantastic venue and prepare for tougher assignments in the months ahead.

He was all praise for Sarfraz and looked forward to better performances from him and his team.

“We have a strong team with a string of all-rounders who can turn the game in our favour on their day. Sarfraz played a gem again and played a key role in us winning this game. We will play Kuwait on Wednesday which a far better side followed by our game against Qatar on Thursday. The boys are pretty confident of winning those matches as well,” added Haneef.

Mon 21-Jan

Maldives vs Bahrain at OC Turf 1
Maldives won the toss and chose to bat
Maldives: 141 for 4 off 20 overs (R.Mohamed 54)
Bahrain: 142 for 8 off 18.4 overs (S.Ali 59; I.Hassan 5-24)
Player of the Match: Sarfaraz Ali (Bahrain)

Qatar vs Saudi Arabia at OC Turf 2
Qatar won the toss and elected to field
Saudi Arabia: 126 all out off 20 overs (S.Imran 47, M.Adnan 38*; T.Sajjad 3-11, I.Hussain 3-26)
Qatar: 127 for 6 off 15.3 overs (F.Khan 43, M.Tanveer 33*; M.Nadeem 3-16)
Player of the Match: Tamoor Sajjad (Qatar)


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Filed January 21st, 2019