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MALDIVES WIN A THRILLER


  • ACC Trophy Challenge Final Maldives v Saudi Arabia from the Thai Cricket Ground
  • Good morning from cloudy Bangkok
  • The two captains are out in the middle performing the toss
  • Saudi Arabia's captain Shoaib Ali has won the toss and said that his team will bat
  • The Saudis have announced one change to their semi-final line-up, left-arm pace bowler/part-time spinner and top-order batsman Hammad Saeed comes in for Hammad Omar and the Maldives have an unchanged side from their epic semi-final win over Qatar
  • For those of you who wanted a Maldives team picture as much as we did, its just being taken now and will be posted later!
  • Both teams look quite relaxed, just going through their final preparations with their coaches, Brendon Kuruppu for Maldives and Asim Hussain for Saudi Arabia
  • Ismail Nihad RMF to open the bowling from the Pavilion End, he'll be looking for swing
  • Saudi openers are Shafiq Ahmed and Hammad Saeed, both known for hitting but really, in these humid conditions, with Saudi Arabia playing their first match at this ground, against this calibre of bowling, a little 'wait and see' would be advisable!
  • Abdulla Shahid RMF who bowled so well in the semi-final against Qatar, taking 3-16, to open the bowling from the Lake End. Big Hammad Saeed RHB on strike
  • Saudi Arabia 6 for 0 after 2 overs
  • Maldives's new ball bowlers Ismail Nihad and Abdulla Shahid pitching the ball up, in contrast to what happened in their group-stage match in Chiang Mai. There is just a hint of swing in the air so far
  • Wicket looks slow, there was morning dew and it's still very humid, the sun's fighting hard to break through the hazy swathes of low cloud above us in Bangkok
  • DROPPED CHANCE Shafiq flashes at Abdulla and is dropped at gully, Saudi Arabia 14 for 0 after 4 overs, difficult chance but catchable
  • Ismail Nihad starting to find some inswing in his third over but Saudi batsmen are getting bat on ball and its been an even duel so far
  • Saudi Arabia starting to look aggressive, still no boundaries though and they are 16 for 0 after 5 overs
  • It's a big ground this and the outfield's slowed down by morning dew so boundaries are difficult to hit but Hammad Saeed is a powerful man and smites the first FOUR of the innings through midwicket to take the score to 22 for 0 after 6 overs
  • DROPPED CATCH and a dolly at short-extra by Afzal Faiz, he can't believe he missed that off Shafiq Ahmed
  • DROPPED CATCH next ball! Shafiq survives again, this one difficult, as the attempted drive is skewed to cover and the fielder running back, gets fingers to the ball but it doesn't stick
  • WICKET Hammad swings a long-hop off his hips and finds fine-leg Mihusan Hamid who takes it moving two paces left head high inside the circle and Hammad goes for 11 and Saudi Arabia are 25 for 1 in this highly eventful seventh over
  • Ismail takes a wicket with his worst ball so far! And 'that's cricket' is what people are saying. New batsman is Khurram Kamarat who has had an uneven tournament so far as he is finding it difficult to come on the front foot
  • All the Saudi batsmen wearing caps so far against the Maldives pace bowlers
  • Saudi Arabia 29 for 1 after 8 overs
  • Ismail Nihad keeps coming in hard; Saudi Arabia 32 for 1 after 9 overs
  • Just the one boundary so far, Maldives will be happy with that and Saudi Arabia will be glad not to have lost any more than one wicket. 200's their target, plenty of batting - including potential Player of the Tournament Muhammad Afzal, 103 and 99* in his last two innings, to come
  • WICKET Shafiq Ahmed lbw to the persevering Abdulla Shahid, a fullish ball which he tried to flick to leg but missed. He's out for 15 off 34 and Saudi Arabia are 35 for 2 after 9.5 overs
  • That Muhammad Afzal is now in
  • Afzal timing the ball well already, he's the big wicket. He's on 1* and Khurram Kamarat is 8*, Saudi Arabia 37 for 2 after 11 overs
  • Abdulla Shahid and Ismail Nihad have bowled 6 overs each and are coming in as hard as ever, Saudi Arabia 40 for 2 after 12 overs
  • Afzal's keeping his powder dry, everything's off the middle so far, and is timed well but he's not really pushing too hard. Looks like he has all the time in the world to play the Maldives fast men
  • MAIDEN Ismail keeps Afzal in check and Saudi Arabia remain on 40 for 2, 13 overs gone
  • Abdulla Shahid RMF in for his seventh over on the trot from the Lake End
  • Moosa Kaleem still at slip
  • WICKET The BIG ONE Afzal out for 2 off 15, driving a tad loosely outside off and Shafraz Jaleel snaffles the edge, Saudi Arabia 41 for 3 in the 14th over
  • Saudi Arabia in a rebuilding phase here, really need to bat out the 50 overs
  • CHANCE Ismail dives forward and right in his follow-through as he tries to take the low return catch off new batsman Saudi captain Shoaib Ali but can't get enough hand below the ball and spills it. Shoaib survives, Saudi Arabia 42 for 3 in the 15th
  • End of over 15, Saudi Arabia 45 for 3
  • Maybe one over too many from Abdulla Shahid, last ball of his eighth consecutive one is a full toss, lofted through square leg by Shoaib Ali for a one-bounce 4, Saudi Arabia on 51 for 3 after 16 overs
  • Ismail Nihad to bowl his ninth over on the trot - good effort from the 38-year old
  • DRINKS Saudi Arabia are 54 for 3 after 17 overs, Maldives's morning so far but plenty of cricket left in this match and enough overs for Saudi Arabia to put up a defendable total. Shoaib Ali 11*, Khurram Kamarat 13*; Ismail Nihad 9-1-24-1, Abdulla Shahid 8-0-30-2. Just two wides bowled so far and several chances created
  • First bowling change and Ahmed Hassan OB replaces Abdula Shahid from the Lake End
  • CHANCE of a run-out Shafraz Jaleel the wicket-keeper's throw just misses as he runs to leg and Khurram Kamarat is miles short of getting back, Khurram has some words with his captain!
  • Khurram takes a wild swing next ball, misses it, goes for a bye
  • WICKET Some bad feeling between the batsmen wouldn't have been lessened by Khurram Kamarat getting run out diving into the striker's end and finding Husham Ibrahim's throw from short mid-off beating him. Saudi Arabia 57 for 4 in the 18th over
  • New batsman is Amir Sajjad RHB as Mohammad Mahafooz SLA replaces Ismail Nihad at the Pavilion End
  • Maldives tightening their grip on this game, but all the Saudis can bat. 58 for 4 after 18 overs
  • 20 overs gone and Saudi Arabia are 59 for 4, captain Shoaib Ali still there on 15* and much rests on this young man. Mahafooz finding turn
  • Amir Sajjad taking his chances against Mahafooz, there's been runs, there could just as easily be wickets. Seven off the second over from the slow left-armer and Saudi Arabia are 66 for 4 after 21 overs
  • SIX Shoaib Ali slams a long-hop from Ahmed Hassan OB over square leg
  • WICKET Amir Sajjad out for 1 off 13 balls, to a good catch at square leg, as he flicked a half-volley by Ahmed Hassan to, Saudi Arabia 73 for 5 in the 22nd over
  • Moosa Kaleem the catcher for the last wicket
  • Saudi Arabia 76 for 5 after 23 overs, Shoaib Ali 27* off 27 balls (one 4, one 6)
  • Saudi Arabia 80 for 5 after 24 overs
  • Mahafooz getting some real bite off the wicket, Saudi spinners must also be licking their lips
  • Saudi Arabia 82 for 5 at the half-way stage, their captain Shoaib 32* off 36 balls and plenty of cricket left in this match.
  • Good contest between the spinners and Shoaib, who's looking to dominate them in spite of the turn and bounce
  • Shoaib Ali, short-sleeved shirt, collar turned up looks a stylish batsman
  • Saudi Arabia 88 for 5 after 27 overs
  • Saudi Arabia starting to get back into the match, Maldives have really bowled and fielded well and would have made life difficult for teams in the ACC Elite division too
  • CHANCE Catch missed by Husham Ibrahim at cover as Faiq Habib drives Mahafooz in the air, and the ball goes through the fielder's hands, Saudi Arabia 95 for 5 after 29 overs
  • 100 up for Saudi Arabia, 104 for 5 after 30 overs, Shoaib 39*, Faiq 17*
  • WICKET Afzal Faiz SLA replaces Mahafooz and strikes with his second ball, Shoaib looking to attack, caught at long-off by Ismail Nihad for 39, Saudi Arabia 105 for 6
  • CHANCE dropped by Moosa Kaleem at mid-on and it's all happening in this Afzal Faiz over. Saudi Arabia now 106 for 6 after 31 overs
  • Moosa Kaleem OB the new bowler from the Lake End in place of Ahmed Hassan
  • Batsmen at the crease Samar Hussain 2* and Faiq Habib 22*
  • Three off the over, and Saudi Arabia are 112 for 6 after 33 overs
  • Some fresh impetus for the Saudi innings coming from Samar Hussain RHB, fifteen overs to go and Saudi Arabia are 120 for 6, Faiq 29* off 44
  • WICKET Samar Hussain dinks a catch to Husham Ibrahim at cover off Afzal Faiz he's out for 4 and Saudi Arabia are 123 for 7 in the 37th over
  • CHANCE of a stumping off Ahmed Hassan but Hussain Anwar Bhatti survives and at the end of the 38th over, the Saudis are 126 for 7
  • Both teams undoubtedly trying but the game just drifting here as the Saudi batsmen are unable to find the boundary and Maldives unable to rip through the order any further.
  • End of the 40th over and Saudi Arabia are 133 for 7, on course for 167 at this rate. Maldives racing through the overs with their spinners
  • WICKET Mahafooz strikes as he has Faiq caught at point, cutting one that bounced and turned just a bit more than he expected. He's out for 35 and Saudi Arabia are 133 for 8 in the 41st over.
  • Mohammad Abdullah RHB the new bat, Saudia Arabia are 135 for 8 after 41 overs
  • WICKET Mahafooz gets another one, Muhammad Abdullah caught behind for 0 and Saudi Arabia are 136 for 9 four balls into the 42nd over
  • Every run that Saudi Arabia can get now will make things just a little bit harder for Maldives when they bat.
  • WICKET Hussain Bhatti run-out with the score on 139 after 43.3 overs and that means that Maldives will need 140 to win off 50 overs at 2.80 an over.
  • Terrific work by Maldives in the field again, pretty much everything they tried came off and they even had the luxury of missing a few chances.
  • Saudi Arabia had to work really hard for their runs and though they will be bitterly disappointed by their 139 they will nevertheless gain considerable hope from the fact that the ball did so much for the spinners on this track and they have three top slow men of their own.
  • Much to play for - the ACC Trophy Challenge 2010. Maldives will resume at 1225 local time, 0525 hrs GMT
  • Feeling is that it's going to be close!
  • A recap of the Saudi innings: 139 all out off 43.3 overs, (S.Ali 39, F.Habib 35; A.Faiz 3-19)
  • Maldives's regular openers Abdulla Shahid RHB and Shafraz Jaleel RHB are in the middle, Saudia Rabia's Mohammad Abdullah RMF to start things off
  • Five off the first over, one alarm for Maldives as Abduallh Shahid was beaten outside off
  • Saudi Arabia opening with Muhammad Afzal OB from the Lake End
  • SIX Abdullah Shahid swings a full-pitched delivery over midwicket, big hit
  • End of the second over, Maldives 12 for 0
  • Maldives running well too, as they seek to knock off Saudi Arabia's 139.
  • Three overs gone and Maldives are 19 for 0
  • FOUR Abdulla Shahid lofts Afzal to the long-off boundary and then another FOUR two balls later as the fielder running round from mid-on to square-leg (he shall remain nameless) makes a complete hash of it
  • End of the fourth over, Maldives 28 for 0. Saudi Arabia's captain Shoaib Ali OB comes on.
  • BIG APPEAL, for lbw first ball as Shafraz pads up, Umpire Kaluhetti's arm twitches but the hand remains down.
  • Shoaib putting the ball right on a driving length, at some speed and Shafraz is clueless
  • WICKET Shafraz bowled by the top-spinner, Maldives 28 for 1, Shoaib doing the job for his team. Still quite a bit of cricket left in this match
  • WICKET MAIDEN for Shoaib, even with the Powerplay five around the bat. Good work by the captain and Saudi Arabia, if they can get a couple more out before the lunch break in 10 minutes will have thrown the game wide open
  • CHANCE of a stumping - Thaib misses Ahmed Hassan and even slip misses with the underarm throw as the batsman was stranded in this Afzal over
  • FOUR off the last ball of the sixth over by Ahmed Hassan eases his nerves, Maldives 35 for 1
  • End of the 7th over, Maldives 40 for 1, Abdullah Shahid 25* off 18 balls
  • Hussain Anwar Bhatti OB replaces Muhammad Afzal at the Lake End, coming up to lunch
  • End of the 8th over, Maldives 45 for 1. Possibly last over before lunch coming up, Shoaib Ali to continue with his fast off-breaks
  • 95 more wanted to win by the Maldives, plenty of overs in hand
  • CHANCE dropped at silly point, Ahmed Hassan survives, Maldives 48 for 1 after 9 overs. Shoiab Ali is bitterly disappointed
  • WICKET Crazy shot at this time! Abdullah Shahid takes a big heave at Hussain Bhatti's first ball of the next over and is bowled for 30 off 23. Big wicket for Saudi Arabia
  • Maldives running badly too now!
  • Maldives are 50 for 2 in the 10th over
  • At LUNCH Maldives are 51 for 2 after 10 overs, needing another 89 off the next 40. Join us again at 1.45 local time, 0645hrs GMT
  • Match poised nicely, about 60-40 to Maldives at the moment but a couple of quick wickets after lunch will bring it back Saudi Arabia's way.
  • Welcome to the resumption of the Maldives innings, they're on 51 for 2 needing another 89 to win off 40 overs. Saudi Arabia want wickets
  • WICKET Second ball of the resumption! Shoaib Ali strikes, Ahmed Hassan lbw for 9 off 23 balls, Maldives 52 for 3 after 10.2 overs
  • Moosa Kaleem RHB the new man, the biggest wicket on the Maldives side
  • FOUR first ball as Moosa sweeps
  • End of the 11th over, Maldives 57 for 3, needing another 83 off 39 overs
  • Hussain Anwar Bhatti OB to continue to from the Lake End. A confident twirler, the kind of bowler who makes things happen
  • Moosa coming well forward to scotch the pace and spin of Shoaib Ali
  • FOUR Moosa drives a wide half-volley through off, end of the 13th over Maldives 61 for 3
  • Mahes Silva the other batsman with Moosa Kaleem out in the middle
  • WICKET Moosa caught and bowled by Shoaib Ali, driving loosely, captain gets captain and Saudi Arabia are right back in it. In fact, it is they who now have the advantage. Maldives 65 for 4 off 14.3 overs, needing another 75 off 35.3 overs. Saudi Arabia wants six wickets
  • Afzal Faiz the new batsman, BEATEN first ball by the doosra. Close to the edge, close to the off-stump
  • Maldives 67 for 4 after 15 overs
  • Maldives 72 for 4 after 16 overs
  • WICKET Mahes Silva run out going for the second and Maldives are 81 for 5 in the 19th over
  • Ismail Nihad RHB the new Maldivian batsman
  • Hussain Anwar Bhatti bowling well. Maldives 81 for 5 after 19 overs. Saudi Arabia with their tails up and Afzal Faiz looks like a walking wicket at the moment
  • FOUR Afzal Faiz swings Bhatti to square leg, pressure-relieving.
  • WICKET Afzal straight down the throat of the man on the midwicket boundary and Maldives are 89 for 6 in the 20th over. 51 more runs wanted, Saudis want four wickets
  • Both batsmen at the wicket Ismail Nihad and Mihusan Hamid are still yet to score as Saudi Arabia are reeling off the maidens
  • FOUR Ismail asserts himself with a fine straight drive off Muhammad Afzal and Maldives are 93 for 6 after 22 overs, needing another 47 runs
  • Shoaib Ali OB brings himself back on for his eighth over, figures of 3-23 so far
  • WICKET Mihusan Hamid caught close in off the one that goes the other way and Shoaib has his fourth wicket and Maldives are 93 for 7 in the 23rd
  • Saudi Arabia's captain Shoaib Ali may be young, but he's as cunning as an old fox
  • ?23 overs gone, Maldives 94 for 7, needing 46 runs, Saudi Arabia wants three wickets
  • Ismail Nihad's down with cramp and there's a pause in the action
  • A runner comes out for Ismail Nihad, the nippy Shafraz Jaleel
  • WICKET Mahafooz edges a Shoaib Ali pearler to slip and he's out for 1 off 7 balls and the bowler has his fifth wicket, Maldives 98 for 8 in the 25th over
  • Hassan Haziq is the new batsman, he joins Ismail Nihad 7*, Maldives 98 for 8 after 25 overs
  • ?100 up for Maldives, 25.4 overs
  • Shoaib Ali finishes with 10-3-25-5, top job for his team and the Maldivian batsmen were quite clueless against his dipping, breaking both-ways fast off-spinners. Likely to have done enough for his team, Maldives 102 for 8 off 26 overs. The grizzled, tough Ismail Nihad is Maldives last remaining hope
  • Maldives 109 for 8 off 29 overs, getting closer, every run having to be fought for as Saudi Arabia are pressing so hard for their own victory
  • Hammad Saeed comes on, normally a fast bowler, this time SLA, to bowl the 30th over
  • Maldives 113 for 8 after 30 overs and that's DRINKS
  • Shafiq Ahmed RMF to bowl the 31st over, Ismail Nihad to face, Ismail with a runner now as he looks to have pulled something. Maldives limping, lurching, stumbling towards 140. Shafiq Ahmed, by contrast, just one of many Saudis charging in
  • That over before lunch when Abdulla Shahid was bowled, was a big turning point in the match
  • Just one off the over and Maldives are 114 for 8 after 31 overs
  • MAIDEN by Hussain Anwar Bhatti and the score remains on 114 for 8, 32 overs gone
  • Muhammad Afzal OB comes back on for his eighth over
  • Hassan Haziq and Ismail Nihad defending stoutly but there are any number of close alarms every over
  • Maldives 117 for 8 after 33 overs
  • Hussain Bhatti feeling a bit of pressure perhaps, starts with a wide and then tosses up a half-volley but then gets a WICKET, Hassan Haziq caught and bowled for 9 off 30 balls and Maldives are 121 for 9 in the 34th over, needing another 19 to win, Saudi Arabia one wicket
  • Fielders gathered round the bat as young Husham Ibrahim walks in, Maldives's last man
  • Lots of appeals, some ridiculous, Maldives 123 for 9 after 34 overs
  • Both teams want to win this ACC Trophy Challenge so much
  • Afzal bowls his penultimate over, Ismail 13* off 41 balls
  • MAIDEN from Afzal, Maldives 123 for 9 after 35 overs
  • Hammad Saeed to resume with his SLA from the Lake End, has been beating the outside edge on a number of occasions so far
  • One off the over and Maldives now 124 for 9, the game has been on a knife-edge for so long hasn't it?
  • BIG APPEAL for a caught behind as Afzal fizzes one through past the outside edge of Husham Ibrahim, Umpire Kaluhetti shakes his head
  • Afzal hurls down a quicker one which bounces high and Husham Ibrahim ducks into it, and is hit around the ear it looks like, getting some treatment
  • Maldives 124 for 9 after 36 overs
  • Both sides shouting out encouragement to their players
  • Three big appeals in the over - the last raising Khurram Karamat from a hamstring strain onto the field in his excitement. The Maldives players state their doubts in the sudden miracle cure. Either way, none of the appeals are upheld
  • Maldives 125 for 9 after 38 overs
  • FOUR Ismail drives through off, big release of tension around the ground!
  • Last ball of the over is a doosra Ismail reads it, leaves it, Faiq Habib can't believe it, Maldives 131 for 9 after 39 overs
  • Three results possible!
  • Ismail 18* off 57 balls, Husham 2* off 17 balls
  • Every run a mountain
  • End of the Hammad Saeed over and Maldives are 132 for 9 after 40 overs
  • Pace on, Shahfiq Ahmed RMF at the Pavilion End
  • Shafiq is FAST! Starts with a yorker
  • Next ball, beats Husham's flashing blade as he goes on one knee to attempt a cut
  • FOUR That dashing blade reveals a Sehwagian square drive and now it's just four to win
  • 1 run off a short-ball defended off his hip, three to win
  • Over ends, no more runs, Maldives 137 for 9 after 41 overs
  • Hammad Saeed continues
  • MALDIVES WIN Husham drives through cover and they run 3 and Maldives have won an epic victory!
  • Awesome match, gripping from start to finish, both teams giving it their all, Saudi Arabia fought all the way but they were up against a team that just had little bit more of fight and fire and absolute hunger to win. Both teams go up to the ACC Trophy Elite for 2012 and both teams will impress there too.

ACC Trophy Challenge 2010 Final
Maldives v Saudi Arabia at TCG
MALDIVES WON BY ONE WICKET
Saudi Arabia won the toss and chose to bat
Saudi Arabia: 139 off 43.3 overs (S.Ali 39, F.Habib 35; A.Faiz 3-19)
Maldives: 140 for 9 off 41.4 overs (A.Shahid 30; S.Ali 5-25; H.Bhatti 3-35)
Man of the Match: Ismail Nihad (Maldives)
Scorecard

Tournament page

Filed December 11th, 2010


 
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