ACC U-19 Challenge Cup 2009 - Thailand v Maldives


A good competive match this between two countries who've established quite a rivalry on the cricket field, ended with Thailand winning by a handsome margin.

Maldives' pacy new ball attack tested the Thai openers, Hassan Ibrahim making the ball climb sharply. The newly relaid Gymkhana square showed more life than in many years.

The Thai openers Thanathit Jeerapanthawong and Pranav Parakh did well to put up a 40-run partnership, albeit with a little bit of good fortune. Hassan Ibrahim, who plays for the Maldives' senior side impressed mightily in his opening spell, bowling five overs on the trot, the last ball as fast as the first; the ball hitting the bat hard throughout.

The U-19 Thai batsmen have added inches, bulk, technique and temperament since their 2008 ACC U-17 outings but still remain a little unsure against spin, Ahmad Zaki's leggies (and occasional googly) being hard to get away. Jilwaz Rasheed's swing also troubled the crease-bound batsmen and the batting Powerplay between overs 10-15 produced only six runs. Thailand 36-0 at this stage.

Thanathit hits

The first wicket fell to the persevering Jilwaz Rasheed in the 18th over, and Witsanukorn Thipthamthai fell the next over. The pre-match Thai target of 230 looking quite distant.

At the halfway stage, Thailand were 56-3, Maldives increasingly on top. "We have to work hard for our wickets on Astroturf back home, and that is then advanced during practise in a turf net," says the Maldives coach Imad Ismail. Had the Maldives catching been as good as their ground-fielding, Thailand would have really been in trouble.

Local Chiang Mai boy Thanathit, who'd been in from the start fell for a doughty 34 (79 balls, 3 fours, 1 six). Ishant Kalra and Wanchana Uisuk injected some urgency into the stuttering Thai innings with a partnership of 52 off 79 balls but it was through singles, not boundaries. Jilwaz and Ahmed Zaki reeled off their 20 overs for just 37 runs.

The innings fell away after Wanchana's dismissal, Thailand limping to a total of 136 in the 49th over. Flat batting on a bouncy track.

Thailand had a sense of urgency about them in the field however, and struck with the second delivery of the Maldives innings, Daniel Leach getting one to climb at Muhammed Jailam. Another wicket fell in the fourth over and Thailand were in business.

Thailand's bowlers revelled in the conditions and kept chipping away at the Maldivian defences. Batsmen were struck by sharply-rising deliveries and repeatedly jamming their bats down on attempted yorkers. Wanchana Uisuk, left-arm over the wicket at some pace, from the Golf Course End was in prime form.

Pictures courtesy of Imad Ismail

If the batsmen found Wanchana difficult, the left-arm spin of Thai captain Vichanath Singh and Noppon Senamontree was quite imponderable. They claimed five wickets to a series of uncoached strokes and Thailand were easy winners in the end after a strong, fighting performance.

ACC U-19 Challenge
Thailand v Maldives at Chiang Mai Gymkhana
Thailand won the toss and chose to bat
Thailand: 141 off 48.2 overs (T.Jeerapanthawong 34; A.Mauroof 3-47, M.Hamid 3-23)
Maldives: 55 off 22.5 overs (N. Sennamontree 3-3)
Man of the Match: Thanathit Jeerapanthawong (Thailand)

Tournament page