ACC U-19 Challenge Cup 2009 - Brunei v Iran


In what was the most dominant bowling display so far in this ACC U-19 Challenge, Iran's captain Abdolvahab Ebrahimipour led Iran to a nine-wicket win with a devastating 9 wickets for just 11 runs.

Ebrahimipour at his best

Iran have proved that they can play good cricket and don't really deserve to be involved in a playoff not to finish last in the tournament. Being in the tougher of the two groups, they ran Maldives close in their first game, beat finalists Bahrain in their second and made Thailand work hard for a win in their third. A strong bowling and fielding side, Iran were pleased after Brunei chose to bat – their captain, Ebrahimipour, grinning from ear to ear with fists raised in delight as he walked back to the team after the toss – confident, and rightly so.

Ebrahimipour has impressed all through this tournament. A player for Iran’s senior team and with a Wasim Akram-ish leap and considerable accuracy, Brunei were powerless against him. Brunei’s batsmen were having trouble just padding up to get to the crease in time – such was the rate of the falling wickets.

A combination of fear and cluelessness took over Brunei’s batsmen and it seemed as though they weren’t able to pick out the ball as it blazed towards their stumps. Ebrahimipour took three wickets in both his third and fourth overs and missed out on a hat-trick in the third. “What can I say? He is really on form this tournament and has bowled very well”, said his smiling coach Yousef Raeisi. Iran’s extras were top score for Brunei with 27. Brunei were bowled out for 44 in the 17th over.

“It feels very good to do well for the team and I practice very hard. We have shown how good we are by beating Bahrain and so we’re disappointed not to reach the semi-finals”, said Ebrahimipour.

“We are happy to represent our country in any sport. It was nice to play in Thailand on such beautiful grounds”, added Ebrahimipour.

Back home in Iran, players practice only on cement tracks with an outfield that is not flat enough, scattered with stones. Taking advantage of the lush conditions here, the Iranian players are happy to dive for any ball when fielding.

Brunei have lost all their games in the tournament but their coach, Mustaq Aleem remains positive. “The boys will learn from these matches. They are a very young side and in the years to come I am sure they will play good cricket”, he said.

Iran reached their target in the sixth over with Zobeir Balouchzehi (19*) hitting the winning runs.

ACC Challenge Cup
7th/8th Place Playoff: Brunei v Iran at Gymkhana
Brunei won the toss and chose to bat
Brunei: 44 all out off 16.5 overs (A. Ebrahimipour 9-11)
Iran: 45 for 1 off 5.5 overs
Man of the Match: Abdolvahab Ebrahimipour (Iran)

Tournament page