ACC U-19 Challenge Cup 2011 - SAUDIS RECLAIM THE CROWN

ACC U-19 CHALLENGE 2011, FINAL: Kuwait v Saudi Arabia at Kinrara Oval, Malaysia

  • Kuala Lumpur weather forecast for Saturday: 30% chance of thunderstorms, and it's expected to be 33 degrees Centigrade
  • Good news is that the morning murkiness has dissipated, the sun's still behind hazy cloud but it's bright nevertheless and play will start on time. Teams are out there, going through their warm-up drills and we're all looking forward to a beaut of a match between the two best teams in the competition.
  • ACC U-19 CHALLENGE 2011, FINAL: KUWAIT v SAUDI ARABIA at Kinrara Oval, Malaysia
  • Saudi Arabia have won the toss and have elected to field first
  • Play gets under at 0200 hrs GMT, 10 AM local time
  • Saudi Arabia: Mohammad Abdullah (Captain), Hassan Bukhari, Faheem Afrad, Salman Bukhari, Immad Shams, Umer Baig, Emad Uddin, Zubaid Ahmed, Imtiaz Khan, Usman Khalid, Akram Aslam, Mohammad Adnan (12th Man)
  • Kuwait: Abdul Jabar (Captain), Qamir Inayat, Tahir Naeem, Sherjeel Tahir, Ismail Javaid, Ali Zaheer, Qasim Sadaqat, Usman Ghani, Naser Rashid, Zakaria Ali, Fazlur Rahman, Salman Rauf (12th Man)
  • Tahir Naeem LHB and Naser Rashid RHB join Umpires Sivan and Kalidas at the wicket, Zubaid Ahmed RFM takes the lacquered white cherry from the Pavilion End. GAME ON!
  • Good start by Tahir and Kuwait, two cover drives, the first aerial, the second, sumptuously carpeted, and Kuwait are 8 for 0 at the end of the opening over
  • Saudi Arabia's Imtiaz Khan RMF who bowled with real pace yesterday at the Selangor Turf Club in the semi- against Bhutan hasn't found any rhythm yet, and is pitching it short and on leg, Naser RHB taking advantage and Kuwait are 13 for 0 after 2 overs
  • Tahir unfurls that cover drive again, to the boundary and Kuwait are 19 for 0 after 3 overs
  • WICKET Intiaz clips the top of Tahir's middle-stump and He goes for 13 off 17 balls and Kuwait are 19 for 1 in the fourth over, Ali Zaheer (in a cap against the pacemen, which will give you some idea of the pace of the wicket) comes in
  • Boundary fielders at fine leg and third man in this first Batting Powerplay, but it's Zubaid who does his own fielding taking a good caught and bowled low down in his follow-through, which the umpires after consulting among themselves, confirm is OUT. Ali Zaheer LHB goes for no score, pushing the ball just a fraction early on this slow track and Kuwait are 21 for 2 in the fifth over
  • Zakaria Ali RHB is the new batsman. Imtiaz still yet to find his best form, has been bowling short and wide too often for his team's benefit
  • Zakaria Ali takes the WICKET! Runs out his partner Naser who was looking good, he is short of his ground and goes for 13 (2 fours). Kuwait 29 for 3 in the 7th over and Saudi Arabia are taking a grip on this game
  • We said yesterday that it will be "the team that takes the most singles" who will win, Kuwait dealing in a boundary an over here, 37 for 3 after 7 overs
  • Qamir Inayat RHB and Zakaria Ali RHB at the crease for Kuwait
  • Imtiaz starting to hit his straps now, getting life out of the wicket, and the Saudis, if not quite like a fog on a swamp over the batsmen, are not allowing the batsmen any freedom at all. Kuwait 41 for 3 after 8 overs
  • Zakaria Ali RHB collects a couple of boundaries, scoring behind square on the off-side as caution is his first instinct at the moment, looks a really good bat and its a good duel between him and Imtiaz Khan and Zubaid Ahmed of Saudi Arabia. Kuwait 52 for 3 after 10 overs
  • WICKET Zakaria's clean bowled, almost yorked, ball in the blockhole by Zubaid Ahmed and Kuwait have lost their fourth wicket, 52 for 4 in the 11th over
  • There are some batsmen who you like to watch; Sherjeel Tahir RHB is one of them Has the ability to play with zip and zap and keep the scoreboard ticking over with strokes all around the ground. Zubaid Ahmed ends a good spell 6-0-30-2, Kuwait 68 for 4 after 12 overs.
  • Kuwait: 70 for 4 after 13 overs, Qamir Inayat as is his wont, quietly accumulating, he's on 21*, Sherjeel 2*. Imtiaz Khan ends his opening spell, 6-0-38-1
  • Immad Shams SLA replaces Imtiaz Khan RMF at the Masjid End
  • Kuwait: 80 for 4 after 15 overs
  • Salman Bukhari RFM with hustle and wobble the new bowler at the Pavilion End, Sherjeel and Qamir taking a few singles but still the scoreboard only really moves with wides and boundaries.
  • WICKET Qamir gives it away, looking to slam Emad Uddin RFM over mid-on, gets an outside edge which is well taken by Hassan Bukhari standing up and Kuwait are 83 for 5 after 17 overs.
  • Abdul Jabar RHB, Kuwait's captain joins Sherjeel Tahir at the wicket, there's batting to come but these two are the best exemplars of classy strokeplay, packed leg-side field for Emad Uddin, Kuwait 92 for 5 after 19, Sherjeel 9*, Jabar 5*, Zubaid Ahmed has 2-30 for Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait: 94 for 5 after 22 overs
  • Immad Shams SLA bowling well, just enough flight to keep the batsmen honest, landing the ball on a teasing length too. Hint of turn, and there'd be even more if he used his body more
  • Kuwait: 95 for 5 after 23 overs and Faheem Afrad LB is on at the Masjid End, 10 wickets in 3 games so far this tournament.
  • Kuwait: 101 for 5 after 24 overs
  • There's turn for Faheem, but Sherjeel greets him with a smite for 6 over long-off, and just a single off the over. Kuwait just aren't putting the ball into the gaps enough times for them to be putting the Saudi bowlers under pressure. At the moment Saudi Arabia pretty much have Kuwait where they want them
  • WICKET Kuwait: 102 for 6 in the 25th over, Jabar caught well at cover by ace fielder Salman Bukhari off Emad Uddin. Can Kuwait bat out 50 overs? Can they get past 200? Sherjeel's the only man who really could get them there, and he's 20*. Ismail Javaid RHB
  • Sherjel Tahir lofts Faheem Afrad for another SIX, right after changing his contact lenses. Good contest between these two young men, as its punch and counter-punch. Faheem going round the wicket to the right-hander. Kuwait: 117 for 6 after 28 overs.
  • Just a note to all those fans of Immad Shams OB, it was not he who was bowling earlier and not putting enough revs on the ball with his body-action and follow-through, it was Akram Aslam!
  • WICKET Sherjeel plays the worst shot a batsman could play when he's in a Final of a big tournament and his team are in need of him to bat out for half the overs of an innings. He heaves wildly at Faheem, slices to backward point and Zubaid gleefully accepts. Kuwait 119 for 7 in the 31st, Sherjeel out for 31
  • Kuwait: 120 for 7 after 32 overs, Kuwait have hardly taken any singles, its either been biff or miss, and when they do attempt them, there are alarms aplenty.
  • WICKET Ismail Javaid is out caught behind for 7, Faheem Afrad gets his second, Kuwait 120 for 8
  • WICKET Akram Aslam strikes, Fazlur Rahman's bowled and Kuwait are 122 for 9 in the 33rd over. The wheels have fallen off, can Kuwait crawl, climb, creep to 150 at least?
  • Kuwait: 125 all out off 35.3 overs (S.Tahir 31, F.Afrad 3-20)
  • They went in thinking 250, they started hoping for 200, they would have been grateful for 175. 125 it is, way below par but Kuwait do have fine bowlers of their own and are a good fielding side.
  • Low-scoring matches can be incredibly exciting but given the Saudi armoury of batsmen, 125 at this moment looks an easy task for them
  • INNINGS BREAK, we're back in 10 minutes
  • In the Kuwait innings 14 balls were hit for 60 (12 fours, 2 sixes), 37 balls were struck for singles. 213 balls were faced in all.
  • Usman Khalid LHB and Zubaid Ahmed RHB take the field, there's an hour to go before lunch, it just may be that they win it by then, but its unlikely! Kuwait have some decent bowlers, Qamir Inayat RFM being one of them
  • First runs to Saudi Arabia, a clip for FOUR to square leg by Zubaid Ahmed off Qamir
  • Kuwait attacking with two slips, the only way they're going to win this is by taking all 10 Saudi wickets.
  • Runs in a flurry, two consecutive boundaries from Zubaid off Qamir, one slip disappears, Sherjeel the 'keeper stands up to the stumps. Another FOUR two balls later. The spinners will have to come on soon, Saudi Arabia 20 for 0 in the 3rd
  • Abdul Jabar OB brings himself on for the fifth over and strikes with his first ball, Usman lbw. It's got to be the spinners for Kuwait with so few runs to play with. Saudi Arabia: 22 for 1
  • Spin on at both ends now, Usman Ghani SLA from the Pavilion End, Saudi Arabia 22 for 1 after 5 overs
  • Saudi Arabia: 27 for 1 after 6 overs
  • WICKET SLA Usman Ghani tosses one up a bit higher, a touch wider and Emad Uddin LHB goes for the drive and skews it high over his head to be caught by slip running back. Usman celebrates like he knew it was inevitable and Saudi Arabia are 27 for 2 in the 7th over. Kuwait have a sniff of a chance now
  • Jabar Iftikhar OB has a doosra, and he's bowling them, but they're rather telegraphed and Zubaid Ahmed RHB's leaving them well alone
  • Saudi Arabia 30 for 2 after 8 overs
  • Kuwait are fielding well, Zubaid Ahmed's looking to attack at every oportunity, appeals are flying in too. Immad Shams is the other batsman
  • WICKET Immad Shams slams a short ball to deep square leg off Ali Zaheer and he goes for 8 and Saudi Arabia are 42 for 3 in the 12th over.
  • Low-scoring games have a vitality of their own
  • SLA Fazlur Rahman comes on in place of ace-winkler Usman Ghani at the Pavilion End - doesn't seem the best move - Zubaid Ahmed takes a liking to him, Saudi Arabia: 53 for 3 after 13 overs
  • Saudi Arabia steadying the ship here, 56 for 3 after 15 overs, Zubaid Ahmed 32*, Mohammad Abdullah 1*
  • Qasim Sadaqat makes a great effort, running from mid-off to mid-on to try and catch Zubaid Ahmed as he drives OB Ali Zaheer, dives full length, gets fingers on the ball but can't hold on and Saudi Arabia are 61 for 3 after 16 overs (Z.Ahmed 35*)
  • Saudi Arabia: 66 for 3 after 17 overs (Z.Ahmed 35*)
  • SLA Usman Ghani (4-1-13-1) who was surprisingly taken off after grabbing a wicket, comes on from the Masjid End straight after lunch for his fifth over.Saudi Arabia move on to 68 for 3 after 18 overs, Zubaid 36*
  • WICKET Saudi Arabia: 69 for 4 in the 30th over and LB Ali Zaheer strikes. Saudi captain Mohammad Abdullah cows it into the deep and his team have some work to do now, boys to men become they must
  • Further travails for Saudi Arabia as Zubaid Ahmed (37*) goes down with cramp
  • He's back on his feet and needs no runner, but he is limping
  • WICKET Zubaid goes, driving flat-footed and is well caught by Abdul Jabar head high at short extra cover off SLA Usman Ghani and Saudi Arabia 69 for 5 in the 21st over and this game has become Kuwait's for the taking
  • Two batsmen yet to score at the wicket, Akram Aslam and Faheem Afrad, Saudi Arabia are making this game very interesting and the atmosphere is closing in, the air heavy with lowering clouds. A FOUR from the talented Akram relieves some of the pressure, Saudi Arabia 77 for 5 in the 23rd over now
  • Usman Ghani bowls his third MAIDEN 2-18 so far, he has two overs left, and Saudi Arabia are 78 for 5
  • 25 overs gone, Saudi Arabia 78 for 5
  • SLA Usman Ghani concedes FOUR WIDES down leg. It's when he tries something different to usual looping, teasing spinners that land on a driving length that he goes wrong. Saudi Arabia don't mind, they move on to 83 for 5 after 26
  • WICKET SLA Usman Ghani takes his cap, keeps one over in hand, 2-18 so far, as SLA Fazlur Rahman comes on at the Masjid End bowls Faheem Afrad with one that turned to off, with his fourth ball, 83 for 6 in the 28th now
  • Saudi Arabia: 85 for 6 after 29 overs
  • Kuwait's captain Abdul Jabar 7-2-10-1 doing a good job with the ball too, his coach said he was a fast bowler at the start of the event, now he's bowling more than adequate offspin
  • Runs are going to flow the moment the fast men come back on, but there are only a handful of slow bowlers' overs left. These low-scoring high-stakes games are great!
  • And they can be settled either way in a matter of minutes, Akram Aslam LHB may be just the man to win it for Saudi Arabia - has played some strokes of authority, he's on 12*, Saudi Arabia 93 for 6 after 30 overs
  • MAIDEN by Abdul Jabar
  • Saudi Arabia: 93 for 6 after 32 overs
  • Saudi Arabia: 97 for 6 after 33 overs
  • Still anybody's game, 1 good over for either team is going to decide it.
  • Saudi Arabia: 97 for 7 after 34 overs
  • MAIDEN by Fazlur Rahman 1-15 off his 6 overs so far, Abdul Jabar has 2 overs, Usman Ghani has one over left and we're at the DRINKS break with the game beautifully poised
  • Saudi Arabia: 102 for 6 after 36 overs
  • Partnership of 19* between Aslam Akram and Hassan Bukhari, doesn't seem much but in the context of the game, highly significant
  • Qamir Inayat RFM comes on at the Pavilion End
  • Saudi Arabia: 104 for 6 after 37 overs
  • Double-pronged pace attack now, Qasim Sadaqat comes on at the Masjid End. Kuwait want to break this Aslam-Bukhari partnership of 21*
  • Five off that Sadaqat over, including two overthrows off the last ball and Saudi Arabia are 109 for 6 after 38 overs
  • Good attempted yorker by Qamir Inayat to end the over, well dug out by Akram Aslam and Saudi Arabia are 111 for 6 after 39 overs as we head to DRINKS
  • Fine leg, square leg, third man on the boundary - the Batting Powerplay is yet to come, Hassan Bukhari slashes a FOUR through point
  • Saudi Arabia: 117 for 6 after 40 overs, partnership of 34*between Bukhari and Aslam
  • Difficult chance to Jabbar at wide mid-on inside the circle, first ball of SLA Usman Ghani's last over: Aslam pulled it hard, Jabbar couldn't get down to his right in time. Saudi Arabia: 120 for 6 after 41 overs
  • Saudi Arabia 123 for 6 after 42 overs
  • Akram Aslam ends it with a SIX! Great innings by a young man full of potential, came in at a difficult time and with Hassan Bukhari put on 46 for the 7th wicket
  • Kuwait just didn't put enough runs on the board and a number of batsmen will not want to look back on the way they got out, Saudi Arabia bowled with discipline and certainly deserved their victory for the way in which they stuck to their task from first ball to last. Both teams will be a credit to the U-19 Elite group for 2013 and a number of these players on show today are sure to go on to senior team honours.
  • Man of the Match in the Final is Saudi Arabia's Zubaid Ahmed for his new ball bowling and 38 at the top of the order which set the platform for his team's victory. Well done to him. The announcements for Bowler, Batsman, Most Promising and Player of the Tournament will be made shortly.


FINAL: Kuwait v Saudi Arabia at Kinrara Oval, Malaysia
Saudi Arabia won the toss and elected to field
Kuwait: 125 all out off 35.3 overs (S.Tahir 31, F.Afrad 3-20)
Saudi Arabia: 129 for 6 off 42.3 overs (Z.Ahmed 38, A.Aslam 32*)
Man of the Match: Zubaid Ahmed (Saudi Arabia)

Pictures by Peter Lim

Player of the Tournament: Sherjeel Tahir (Kuwait)
Batsman of the Tournament: Emad Uddin (Saudi Arabia)
Bowler of the Tournament: Faheem Afrad (Saudi Arabia)
Most Promising Player: Abdul Jabbar Iftikhar (Kuwait)

Tournament page

Filed July 9th, 2011