There were wins for Singapore, China, Nepal and Hong Kong on the opening day of the ACC U-16 Eastern Region Tournament which is being held in Bangkok and Chiang Mai over the next week. The match of the day was staged at the David Buck Oval at Prem International School where local rivals Malaysia and Singapore faced each other and it was Singapore who took the honours as they defended a total of 151 for 8 to win by 29 runs.

The eight competing teams are divided into two groups and Malaysia and Singapore are likely to be the strongest sides in Group B so their match looked sure to be a good contest between two evenly matched sides. Singapore won the toss and elected to bat first and were set on their way by a second wicket partnership between Sai Venugopal and Ishaan Sawney.

Pramesh Singhavi continued the good work with 30 from 26 balls and Raoul Sharma scored some useful runs down the order.  Wickets fell regularly as Mohammad Afiq claimed 4 for 28 from his 7 overs as Singapore finished on 151 for 8 from their 35 overs.

Malaysia began their chase at breakneck speed as if they were confident of an easy victory. Malaysia were well ahead of the required as they passed fifty inside eight overs with two wickets down. Sandesh Supparamaniam was impressive as he hit 27 from24 balls with five fours.

Singapore's Ishaan Sawney

The tide began to turn when he was dismissed and Malaysia were 57 for 4 after 10 overs. The Singapore fielders kept their composure under the high ball as they caught several skiers off the spinners but it was opening bowler Aiden Sherry who brought an early end to the match by hitting the stumps twice in two balls as Malaysia were bowled out for 122 in 25 overs.

Malaysia will reflect that a more careful approach may have been more effective as there were exactly 10 overs of their innings left unused. A total of 151 made in the full quota of overs had been successfully defended by Singapore and Ishaan Sawney was named man of the match for his all-round contribution of 15 runs and two wickets.

In the other match in Group B China faced Bhutan at Royal Chiang Mai Golf Course and China were victorious as they bowled out Bhutan for 58 to win by 61 runs. China made 119 for 9 as the first over of their innings brought 15 runs including a number of wides. The scoring rate slowed down considerably but opener Guohao Gao held the innings together expertly as he scored 35 from 57 balls.

China v Bhutan

He was seventh out with the score on 73 but Dongluan Zhang also batted steadily as he made 29 after coming in at number eight. China were able to bat out their 35 overs even though spinner Tshering Penjor claimed figures of 4 for 20.

Bhutan would have hoped to be able to chase a target of 120 but China's opening bowlers did most of the damage as they shared six wickets, Xiaoze Wang and Zhao Wang both taking 3 for 18. The final wicket fell to a catch in the slip cordon as most of the Chinese fielders surrounded the batsman and scenes of great excitement followed as China celebrated their victory.

Group A is being played in Bangkok and hosts Thailand would have been pleased that they were the only side to bowl out the opposition in the morning session as they dismissed Nepal for 179 in 34.4 overs at Terdthai. Kokiad Chatwong took 3 for 34 as the hosts came back strongly after Nepal had made a good start. Trit Raj Das top scored with 39 from 57 balls but a target of 180 still looked be a testing one.

Thailand could not match that level of performance with the bat as the first four in the order all fell for ducks. Narayan Joshi took 5 for 17 but at least the last pair doubled the score for Thailand as they reached 46 before losing their last wicket. Nepal won by 133 runs and they look to be a formidable side.

Hong Kong made the highest total of the day as they faced Myanmar at AIT and they reached an impressive 253 for 4 in 35 overs. Adit Gorawara and Tej Sheopuri provided an excellent start with an opening stand of 77 and Kalhan Challu made 64 from 67 balls as he became the first batsman to pass fifty in the tournament.

Hong Kong wasted little time in the field as they won by the commanding margin of 212 runs as Myanmar were bowled out for 41 in 16.2 overs with Mohammad Hassan returning the remarkable figures of 6 for 8.

Tuesday will see another round of group matches being played as Group A sees Nepal face Hong Kong at Terdthai and Thailand play Myanmar at AIT. Group B sees Malaysia face China at Prem, while Singapore play Bhutan at Royals.

All teams play three matches in the group stages and the top two teams in each group go through to the semi-finals played in Bangkok on Saturday.

Day 1: Mon Dec 11

Malaysia v Singapore at Prem
Singapore won the toss and chose to bat
Singapore: 151 for 8 off 35 overs (P.Singavi 30; M.Afiq 4-28)
Malaysia: 122 all out off 25 overs

Bhutan v China at RCGC
China won the toss and chose to bat
China: 119 for 9 off 35 overs (G.Gao 35; T.Penjor 4-20)
Bhutan: 58 all out off 25.2 overs (X.Wang 3-15, Z.Wang 3-15)

Thailand v Nepal at TCG
Nepal won the toss and chose to bat
Nepal: 179 all out off 34.4 overs (T.Das 39; K.Chatwong 3-34)
Thailand: 46 all out off 19.3 overs (n.Joshi 5-17)

Hong Kong v Myanmar at AIT
Hong Kong won the toss and chose to bat
Hong Kong: 253 for 4 off 35 overs (T.Sheopuri 47, K.Challu 64, M.Khan 43)
Myanmar: 41 all out off 17.2 overs (M.Hassan 6-8)

Written by Richard Lockwood
Filed December 11th, 2017

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