ACC U-19 Challenge Cup 2011 - DAY 3: KUWAIT TOO HOT FOR MALDIVES

Another scorcher at the Turf Club, the strong sunshine bouncing off the ground, and it’s humid. Tough day to be chasing leather and it’s surprising that Maldives have decided to bowl after winning the toss. Kuwait going well here, openers: the diminutive Tahir Naeem LHB and bigger and broader Naser Rashid RHB have taken their team to 49 for 0 and the four bowlers used by Maldives are struggling. Their fielders are looking lackadaisical already….

Kuwait lose their first wicket, Ahmed Mauroof coming back to bowl Tahir Naaem, going for a big one, and Kuwait are 85 for 1 in the 15th. Tahir made a rapid 61

Tahir Naeem

Bit more life from the Maldivians in the field now, Kuwait 88 for 1 after 16 overs, Maldives captain Mohamed Akram trying his best to tie one end uo with his flattish off-spin

WICKET First ball of the 17th over, and Ali Zaheer is run out, a direct throw from Mohamed Akram at mid-off inside the circle beating Zaheer's dive to the bowler's end by inches, Kuwait 88 for 2.

Maldives captain Mohamed Akram bowls four good balls and two down leg to give away six runs and Kuwait are 105 for 2 after 20 overs. Those loose balls are often the difference between a winning side and a losing side.

Tahir Naeem's 61 came off just 51 balls. Full of pearlescent straight drives. A hundred would have been his but for a rush of blood to the head after being tied down for a few deliveries by Ahmed Mauroof.

Ahmed Mauroof's LFM (1-32)been the lone dangerous bowler for the Maldives and he comes back on for his sixth over, with Kuwait on 122 for 2 after 24

Kuwait are 130 for 2 after 27 overs, run-rate slipping once dasher Tahir (61 off 51) was out, fellow opener Naser's still there (28* off 83). Remains a very good wicket for batting, Zakaria the other not out batsman

Naser Rashid starting to open out now, passes 50, Zakaria's on 40* and Kuwait are 165 for 2 after 30. (Tahir 61)

Zakaria Ali

Kuwait 190 for 2 after 33 overs and younger than the average Kuwaiti Zakaria Ali passes 50 with a swashbuckling 4 to leg, Naser's on 70*. Maldives under the cosh in this must win game for them

WICKET Zakaria lbw 77 to Salman Zaki, good innings by the young lad, showed plenty of maturity, anchorman (no, not that one Naser's been letting his partners flourish, he's on 52* either blocking or biffing and Kuwait are 210 for 3 in the 36th

WICKET Always a better than even chance for Naser to be run out and he falls after a tight call by Qamir for 52 and Kuwait are 217 for 4 in the 37th (Tahir 61, Zakaria 77)

DRINKS are taken, Maldives racing through the overs thanks to their spinners, 40 bowled, one wicket each for Mauroof and Zaki, the other two falling to run-outs and Kuwait are 240 for 4 (Tahir 61, Naser 57, Zakaria 77)

Kuwait's lithest and fastest are at the wicket, Qamir Inayat and Sherjeel Tahir and with their range of strokes the score is likely to race along, Kuwait 258 for 4 after 42 overs

Poise and placement: Qamir Inayat

Qamir Inayat becomes the fourth Kuwait batsman to pass 50, strokes all around the ground in the 20-run 44th over, Kuwait 299 for 4

WICKET Qamir falls after his rapid 62, bowled by the persevering Amed Mauroof who picks up his second of the innings, and Kuwait are 301 for 5 after 45 overs

Sherjeel Tahir

Sherjeel Tahir hits his third 50 of the tournament, the fifth Kuwaiti to do so today, with a swat into the bougainvillea and Kuwait are 329 for 5 in the 47th over

Kuwait finish on 355 for 5, Sharjeel Tahir caught by Yanis off Ismail Ali on the last ball of the innings for 63. Ahmed Mauroof the most successful Maldives bowler with 2-66 from his 10 overs

Strange decision by the Maldivians, not just in retrospect, to bowl first, because it gave Kuwait first use of what not just Ravi Shastri would call a "spankingly good deck". Maldives now not only have to win this match but score 355 at about 8 an over if they are to pip Kuwait to the semis on run-rate

Maldives openers Mohamed Shameen RHB and Mohamed Rishwan RHB take the field, Qamir Inayat RMF takes the bright white ball from the Mines End

WICKET Shameen bowled, beaten by the pace of Qamar, middle and leg knocked back and Maldives are 0 for 1 in the first over, in a game they have to win and win comfortably, if they are to pip Kuwait to the semi-finals

WICKET Maldives lose their second in the second over, Ahmed Yaanis RHB lbw to Qasim Sadaqat without unduly troubling the scorers and Maldives are 3 for 2 in this must-win game for them etc etc etc

WICKET Two slips and a gully in place but Qasim Sadaqat doesn't need them as he knocks Hassan Haziq's off-stump back and Maldives are 7 for 3 in the fourth over

WICKET Mohamed Akram is caught behind off the bowling of Qamir Inayat and Maldives are 9 for 4 at the end of the 5th over, Mohamed Rishwan and Ismail Ali at the crease now

WICKET Ismail Ali is bowled by Usman Ghani for 8 after making a good fist of the fifth-wicket partnership with Mohamed Rishwan (34*) and Maldives are 53 for 5 after 10 overs

WICKET Mohamed Rishwan falls after a doughty 48 to a good catch by Ali Zaheer running to his left on the midwicket fence and Usman Ghani SLA has a wicket in his third over, Maldives are 64 for 6 in the 12th over

WICKET Ahmed Mauroof is snared by the wily, smiley SLA Usman Ghani and Maldives are 82 for 7 in the 14th

WICKET SLA Usman Ghani has a double-wicket maiden Ismail Nashath falling to him and Maldives are 82 for 8 after 14 overs

Kuwait's last 10 overs, including the Batting Powerplay produced 114 runs for the loss of two wickets. It's what the Maldives would dearly want to reproduce now - can you hear the sound of straws being faintly clutched? - as they take their Powerplay, Maldives are 88 for 8 after 15 overs

Everything went durian-shaped the moment Maldives elected to field after winning the toss and the team, which has plenty of promise, were beaten by a slicker, more committed and just more skilful side today. Maldives now go to the 5th/6th Playoff in Penang on Friday against Iran, Kuwait remain in Kuala Lumpur for the semi-finals where they take on China.

Qamir Inayat accepts his Man of the Match award from ACC Development Manager Bandula Warnapura

Kuwait: Abdul Jabar (Captain), Qamir Inayat, Tahir Naeem, Sherjeel Tahir, Ismail Javaid, Ali Zaheer, Qasim Sadaqat, Usman Ghani, Naser Rashid, Zakaria Ali, Sufwan Iqbal, Salman Rauf (12th Man)

Maldives: Mohamed Akram (Captain), Mohamed Shameen, Ahmed Mauroof, Ibrahim Nashath, Hassan Haziq, Slamn Zaki, Mohamed Rishwan, Ismail Ali, Saafee Saeed, Leem Shafeeg, Ahmed Yaanis, Hammadh Zareer (12th Man)


Group A: Kuwait v Maldives at Selangor Turf Club, Kuala Lumpur
Maldives won the toss and elected to field
Kuwait: 355 for 6 off 50 overs (T.Naeem 61, N.Rashid 57, Z.Ali 77, S.Tahir 63)
Maldives:: 98 all out off 18.1 overs (M.Rishwan 48; U.Ghani 4-22)
Man of the Match: Qamir Inayat (Kuwait)

Pictures by Peter Lim

Tournament page

Filed July 6th, 2011