KUWAIT BOW OUT AFTER WINNING THRILLER


Kuwait’s Adnan Idress

The 9th and 10th playoff between Kuwait and Thailand at Club Aman today saw Kuwait win their first game of the tournament, in their very last game of the tournament. It may just have been a silver lining but the game turned out to be one of the most entertaining in the tournament so far.

Both teams haven’t had the best of tournaments, with Thailand coming into the game a point ahead, thanks to the abandoned match against finalists and defending champions, Nepal. Ironically, Thailand are the only team so far to get a point out of Nepal but were at the bottom of the barrel as they were left to fight it out with Kuwait.

The Thai’s opted to bat on winning the toss and had a somewhat slow but positive start. Opener Akshay Desai (19) looked to be the only one who was interested in having the scoreboard rolling as Wanchana Uisuk (0) blocked 18 deliveries before finding his stumps knocked over by Syed Ali Mehdi (7.3-3-16-3) in the sixth over.

A second wicket for Mehdi in the 10th over saw the introduction of Nishadh Rego (45), Thailand’s best performer with the bat this tournament. And once again, Rego didn’t disappoint. Understandably vigilant once starting, with the score at 24-2, he soon slipped into the form that has gotten him his average of 42.66 so far in the tournament. Batting with Desai and Sahan Ranamukharaachchi (7), Rego took on the bulk of the work as he slammed four glorious boundaries. Throughout his innings, Rego batted with an unfaltering concentration before he was run out to both, an unnecessary and risky single, in the 33rd over.

Shreyanshu Tewari (10 off 38) Christopher Bell (12 off 31) and Rapheepong Ghai (11 off 27) all tried staying on at the crease hoping the runs would materialize but 133 was the best the team could do as Thailand were bowled out in the 47th over.

Syed Ali Mehdi

Although a total of 27 extras helped lift the score, Syed Ali Mehdi (3-16) and Adnan Idress (3-7) bowled exceptionally for Kuwait.

Most would think 9th place is not worth fighting for and had this been the attitude of the Kuwaiti’s they would never have started as well as they did with a first-wicket partnership of 96 between Shoeb Mohammed (56) and Syed Abdul Munaf (36). Kuwait at this point, were obviously assured of a win, but the game of cricket has a funny way of turning a situation on its head.

Three balls, three wickets, one name – Noppon Senamontree (4-20). Senamontree helped all at Club Aman witness the first hat-trick of the tournament. In the midst of the madness stood Adnan Idress (21), who quickly brought the situation under Kuwait’s control. Idress exited in the 25th over, but Syed Hasan Ali (6*) and Navtaj Singh (2*) saw Kuwait home to their first victory, an action-packed one at that.

It may have been a position for 9th and 10th place but with so many excellent performances, the choice for the man of the match was never going to be an easy one for Match Referee Iqbal Sikander. Finally, for his contribution with both, the bat and the ball (21 off 22 and 3-7), Adnan Idress took home the man of the match award in his very last game in the ACC U-19 Tournament.

9th and 10th Playoff
Kuwait v Thailand at Club Aman
KUWAIT WON BY 5 WICKETS
Thailand won the toss and elected to bat
Thailand: 133 all out after 46.3 overs (N. Rego 45; S. Mehdi 3-16, A. Idress 3-7)
Kuwait: 134 for 5 after 26.3 overs (S. Mohammed 56, S. Munaf 36; N. Sennamontree 4-20)
Man of the Match: Adnan Idress (Kuwait)

Scorecard

Filed August 27 2007