Kuwait's Yasar Idrees delighted to demonstrate that catches win matches

Kuwait's unpredictable cricketers pulled off another close win, beating Saudi Arabia by three runs at Al Dhaid. Five wides off the last ball of the 19th over left Saudi Arabia with nine runs to get with seven balls to go, but an audacious over of flighted doosras by Kashif Sharif foxed the Saudis and Kuwait won a game neither side deserved to lose. In the day's other matches at Sharjah Stadium, Oman beat Malaysia by 46 runs and Singapore beat Maldives by 68 runs.

The wickets at Al Dhaid village and Sharjah were a little sluggish first thing in the morning, and Maldives' bowlers capitalised, having three big wickets down inside 31 deliveries. Singapore's captain Saad Khan Janjua in partnership first with Arjun Mutreja and then Kshitij Shinde got Singapore back on track but they were never allowed to get away thanks to some fine bowling and fielding from the young Maldives side. Singapore's 128 for 8 was at least 20 runs under par. A second defeat for Singapore after their 10-run loss to Kuwait the day before would have meant their chances of winning the ACC Twenty20 and a place in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier disappearing. So their bowlers came out to right some wrongs. The big-hitting Rishwan fell to the sixth ball of the innings, Ahmed Hassan two overs later and once Abdullah Shahid went in the seventh over for 21, Maldives weren't going to win.

Oman's Jatinder Singh
Picture by Robert Coelho

The Sharjah track, "shiny as a National guitar" was a batsman's delight once the sun had been on it for a few hours and Oman took full advantage of winning the toss and piled into the Malaysian bowlers. The top order all made merry. Having been softened up when Adnan Ilyas came in, after the fall of Jatinder Singh (62 off 41 deliveries, one 4, four 6s), the stocky right-hander laid into young left-arm spinner Virandeep Singh and smashed 35 off just eight deliveries (two 4s, four 6s). Oman's 192, the highest score of the tournament so far was always going to be challenging, more so when opener Shafiq Sharif fell to his first ball. Malaysia couldn't build any momentum and Oman closed out the game to win by 46 runs.

Kuwait guarantee excitement pretty much every game they play, and thanks to a combination of exceptional ground fielding and catching, interspersed with some shockingly sloppy work in the field, alternated between tightening and letting go and tightening their hold on the Saudi batsmen. Abdul Waheed looked in great touch for Saudi Arabia before falling to an excellent catch at point by Yasar Idrees; Saudi Arabia's late surge got them to the brink of what would have been a textbook winning run chase but in the end Kuwait just had a little bit more strength in depth.

ACC Twenty20 2015, Day 2

Kuwait v Saudi Arabia at Al Dhaid
Saudi Arabia won the toss and elected to field
Kuwait: 159 all out off 19.5 overs (A.Javed 44, K.Sharif 31; S.Ali 6-55)
Saudi Arabia: 156 for 8 off 20 overs (M.Shabbir 44*)
Man of the Match: Kashif Sharif (Kuwait)

Maldives v Singapore at Sharjah
Singapore won the toss and chose to bat
Singapore: 128 for 8 off 20 overs (S.Janjua 38, K.Shinde 34*; H.Ibrahim 3-27, A.Hassan 3-22)
Maldives: 60 all out off 13.3 overs (S.Appusamy 4-25)
Man of the Match: Suresh Appusamy (Singapore)

Malaysia v Oman at Sharjah
Oman won the toss and chose to bat
Oman: 192 for 3 off 20 overs (Z.Maqsood 30, A.Lalcheta 40, J.Singh 62, A.Ilyas 35*)
Malaysia: 146 for 7 off 20 overs (S.Kumar 34)
Man of the Match: Jatinder Singh (Oman)

ACC Twenty20 Tournament Page

Filed January 27th, 2015