ACC Men’s Challenger Cup 2023 | Match 8 | Thailand vs Saudi Arabia

ACC Men’s Challenger Cup 2023 | Match 7 | Indonesia VS Myanmar

Bahrain take control of Group A with a ruthless display against Maldives.

Bahrain take control of Group A with a ruthless display against Maldives.

The third day of the ACC Men’s Challenger Cup saw Bahrain stamp their authority on the tournament as they defeated Maldives by a mighty 292 runs at AIT. Both teams had won their matches on the opening day and were seen as likely semi-finalists but Bahrain were clearly a class apart as they reached 380 for 6 in 50 overs and opener Shahbaz Badar hit a powerful 178.

Iran gave a determined display against Bhutan in the day’s other match at TCG and leg-spinner Masood Jayeseh’s four wickets helped them to victory by 50 runs which took them to second place in the table.

Bahrain opted to bat first at AIT and Shahbaz Badar started with a six over long on but the first wicket fell on 22 when Prashant Kurup was bowled by the pacey Ibrahim Hassan for 13.  Bahrain reached 46 for one in 10 overs with Junaid Aziz joining Shahbaz at the crease. Bahrain looked to be building a good score as the total passed fifty in the 11th over and stood on 71 for 1 after 15 overs.

Bahrain were taking control as the hundred came up in the 18h over as Ibrahim Rizan conceded 16 runs in the over. Shahbaz Badar reached his fifty from 56 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes. Bahrain were racing along at 117 for 1 after 20 overs.

Bahrain’s Junaid Aziz scored his second fifty of the tournament from 53 balls with 4 fours. He had shared a century partnership for the second wicket with Shahbaz Badar. Bahrain were accelerating well as they reached 153 for 1 after 25 overs and Maldives were missing chances in the field.

Shahbaz Badar and Junaid Aziz completed their 150 partnership and Shahbaz hit a six to reach 97 but Junaid was caught on the boundary for 75 on 197 for 2 in 32 overs. The partnership ended on 175.

Shahbaz Badar became the second man to score a century in the ACC Men’s Challenger Cup as he edged away another boundary. He reached the landmark from 102 balls with 8 fours and 3 sixes.

Shahbaz Badar was carrying on his merry way as he cleared the boundary on a regular basis. Sohail Ahmed was bowled by Ibrahim Nashanth for 19 but Shahbaz reached his 150 from 124 balls with 12 fours and 6 sixes. Shahbaz overtook Thailand’s Daniel Jacobs to make the highest individual score of the tournament when he reached 153.

Bahrain reached 300 with three wickets down in the 43rd over so Shahbaz Badar still had time to make a priceless double century but the opener’s masterclass came to an end as he this time failed to clear the fielder at long on who took the catch. He could be proud of a knock of 178 from 144 balls with 14 fours and 7 fours.

Bahrain posted the highest total of the tournament as they passed Thailand’s total of 332. Haider Ali smashed a fifty from 28 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes but was brilliantly caught and bowled next ball by Laheem Shafeeg. Bahrain kept hitting to the end and reached 380 for 6 in their 50 overs.

Maldives had quite a job on their hands after Bahrain’s efforts with the bat and they lost four wickets for 34 in the first powerplay. Rizwan Butt dismissed the two openers Ismail Ali and Adam Nasif while Ali Dawood got the wickets of Mohamed Azzam and Mohamed Rishwan. The remarkable Shahbaz Badar had taken two catches behind the stumps.

Maldives were not looking capable of getting anywhere near their monstrous target as wickets were falling regularly against a fine Bahrain bowling attack. Hassan Rasheed was fifth man out and he was followed by Ibrahim Nashanth and Ameel Maroof was the seventh wicket to fall. Veerapathiran now had two wickets and Abdul Majid had again started well with a wicket in his first over as Maldives were reduced to 39 for 7.

Ibrahim Rizan was the eighth wicket to fall on 41 as Abdul Majid claimed his second wicket but number 10 Mohamed Mahfooz led the resistance when the end of the innings seemed close.  He was now top scorer on 30 and was batting with Ibrahim Hassan as they doubled the score for the ninth wicket.

Mohamed Mahfooz was ninth out as the hit the ball to the cover fielder and was stranded half way down the pitch. The final wicket fell to Zeeshan Abbas as Ibrahim Hassan was lbw for 8 from 35 balls. Maldives were all out for 88 in 31.3 overs. Bahrain won by the margin of 292 runs after a dominant display with Shahbaz Badar named man of the match.

Iran had put up a good fight against Maldives on the opening day and chose to bat first against Bhutan at TCG. Iran lost two early wickets as Yousef Shadzehisarjou was dismissed for 4 and Emran Shahbakhsh made only 7 with Bhutan’s opening bowlers Dorji and Wangchuk taking a wicket apiece. Iran were 26 for 2 after the first 10 overs.

Iran were battling hard against Bhutan’s accurate bowling but Abbas Ali Raesi was  run out for.22 from 49 balls as the third wicket fell in the 19th over and Iran were 52 for 3 after 20 overs.

Iran were restricted to a rate of three runs an over by Bhutan with Zahed Afarin facing more than 50 balls to reach double figures but Masood Jayese injected some life into the innings by hitting two sixes before he was out for 31. It was a determined effort by Iran who were 94 for 4 after 30 overs.

Zahed Afarin’s vigil was ended as he was run out by Tenzin Wangchuk for 26 from 82 balls but he had given Iran a great chance of batting through their 50 overs but Iran’s lower order found it quite a struggle as they collapsed to 124 for 8 after 40 overs.

Nine wickets down for Iran but captain Abdolvahab Ebrahimpour was still at the crease and now had the highest score of the innings as Iran reached 150 in the 49th over.

Iran were bowled out for exactly 150 in 48.3 overs as Abdolvahab Ebrahimpour was dismissed for 37.  The Bhutan bowling attack had persisted well with opening bowlers Ranjung Dorji and Tenzin Wangchuk both claiming two wickets apiece.

Iran had battled hard throughout their innings but they at least had a reasonable total to defend with a good bowling attack. Bhutan found this out as both openers were dismissed for ducks as Abdolvahab Ebrahimpour and Dadrahman Raeisi each took a wicket  Ebrahimpour took his second wicket as Thinley Jamtsho was out for 6. Ghakul Ghalley was playing some shots but Bhutan were 40 for 3 after 10 overs.

Ghalley was run out for 22 as Bhutan lost their fourth wicket and then the Iranian spinners began to cause trouble for the middle and lower order as Supriya Pradhan was lbw to Masood Jayese and Namgang Chejay was lbw to Zahed Afarin who also had Jigme Singye lbw to take the seventh wicket.  Ranjung Dorji was eighth out to Masood so Iran were approaching victory with Bhutan on 88 for 8.

Bhutan were finally bowled out for 100 in 24 overs as leg-spinner Masood Jayese took the last two wickets to finish with 4 for 37. Off-spinner Zahed Afarin claimed two for 19. Only Gakul Ghalley passed 20 in a disappointing batting display as Iran won by 50 runs with Masood man of the match.

Bahrain have such an advantage at the top of Group A that a place in the semi-finals will be a formality and Iran have moved ahead of Maldives by virtue of a superior net run-rate.

Tomorrow Group B’s matches will see Thailand face Saudi Arabia at AIT and Indonesia play Myanmar at TCG. The winner of the match at AIT will probably avoid Bahrain in the semi-finals and today Bahrain have shown what a strong side they can be.


Saudi Arabia and Thailand on top as Jacobs hits first century in ACC Challenger Cup

Saudi Arabia and Thailand on top as Jacobs hits first century in ACC Challenger Cup

The second day of the ACC Men’s Challenger Cup saw convincing victories for Saudi Arabia and Thailand  as Saudi Arabia defeated Indonesia by eight wickets at AIT and Thailand beat Myanmar by a mighty 272 runs at TCG. Thailand are top of Group B by virtue of their superior net run-rate thanks to opener Daniel Jacobs who made the first hundred of the tournament in a total of 332 for 6.

In the match at AIT, Indonesia were playing in an ACC tournament for the first time and were facing one of the strongest teams at this level in Saudi Arabia. They lost their first wicket when Gede Priandana was run out by a direct hit from Waqar ul Hassan as he tried to make the first run.  Muhaddis was then bowled by Ishtiaq Ahmad in the second over so, at 9 for 2, it was testing timesfor Indonesia in their opening match.

Indonesia continued to struggle against Saudi’s impressive opening bowler Ishtiaq Ahmad who now had three wickets for 10 runs as he claimed the wickets of Ferdinando Banunaek and I Kadek Gamantika both pinned lbw in front of their stumps. Indonesia were still going for their shots and were 39 for 4 from 7 overs.

Indonesia clearly play an exciting brand of cricket as their batsmen are still looking to play their shots particularly Padmakar Surve who had six fours in his 42 with Indonesia on an entertaining 60 for 4 after 10 overs.

The spinners were on for Saudi Arabia and the Indonesia scoring rate had calmed down but Surve reached his 50 from 48 balls with seven fours.

Surve’s excellent innings was over at 63 from 73 balls with 7 fours and a six when he tried to clear long on and was caught on the boundary by Abdul Wahid off Imran Yousuf. The spinners had bowled well and Indonesia were 104 for 8 after 25 overs.

Indonesia’s innings ended on 117 in 29.3 overs at 11.30 with spinners Zubair Mohammad and Imran Yousuf each taking three wickets. Saudi Arabia will start their reply before lunch and needed 118 in 50 overs to win.

Saudi Arabia made a steady start in pursuit of their target as. openers Abdul Waheed and Waqar Ul Hassan were growing in confidence after the edge had been found a few times and Saudi were 34 for 0 after seven overs.

Saudi Arabia reached fifty without losing a wicket in the 11th over and their openers were looking to take them towards a convincing victory. Waqar hit the first six of the innings but his partner Abdul Waheed was brilliantly caught at extra cover by I Katul Artawan for 33 as Saudi Arabia had lost their first wicket on 68.

Saudi Arabia had reached 93 for 1 after 21 overs at the scheduled time for lunch but with 25 needed for victory the umpires decided the chase should continue. Saad Khan became the second wicket to fall off the very next ball as he was caught at long on but Saudi were not wasting any time so victory was getting close.

Scores were brought level by a wide and Waqar was left stranded on 49 when Zubair Muhammad scored the winning run and a convincing victory was completed by eight wickets in 25 overs.

Ishtiaq Ahmad was named man of the match for his blistering opening spell but it was Padmakar Surve who deserved credit for making sure the match had reached the lunch break at all.

In the day’s other match, Thailand lost two early wickets against Maldives at TCG as Paing Danu took two wickets in three balls in his second over. Daniel Jacobs had been joined by new captain Akshay Yadav much earlier than expected but Thailand were able to rebuild the innings sensibly as they reached 43 for 2 after 10 overs..

Thailand’s innings continued to improve as, although captain Akshay Yadav was out for 27, Daniel Jacobs had made fifty and the hundred was up. Thailand were 114 for 3 after 20 overs.

Thailand reached148 for 3 at the halfway stage with Jacobs on 74 and Bobby Raina on 22 and the experienced pair brought up the hundred partnership for the fourth wicket before Raina was out for 29. Jacobs then completed the first hundred of the tournament as he hit10 fours and 3 sixes as Thailand have passed the 200 mark.

Thailand still moved ahead strongly with the score reaching 251:for 4 after 40 overs with Narawit Nuntarach beginning to outscore Daniel Jacobs. Narawit reached his fifty from 44 balls in style as he hit a six and Thailand were racing towards the 300 mark.

Thailand passed 300 in the 47th over and Daniel Jacobs was on 144 at the start of the last over before two fours took him past 150 from 142 balls. He was out next ball for 152 but had hit 18 fours and 3 sixes in a monumental knock. He had shared a sixth wicket partnership of 141 with Narawit who finished unbeaten on 73 from 64 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes. Chanchai Pengkumta was out from the last ball of the innings as the final total reached 332 for 6.

Myanmar began their chase of 333 in 50 overs with little realistic hope of achieving their target and they soon began to lose wickets. Pengkumta bowled Ko Ko Lin Thu with his third ball and followed with two more wickets in a useful opening burst. New ball partner Mahsid Faheem also claimed a wicket as Myanmar were 24 for 4 in eight overs.

Bobby Raina collected the fifth wicket and Nopphon Senamontree took the sixth with his left-arm spin before Raina struck again to dismiss Swan Htet Ko Ko who had hit 3 fours in his 22. Myanmar were 50 for 7 at the end of 17 overs.

Thailand were closing in on victory fast as they needed just one more wicket to bowl out their opposition. Sittipong Hongsi had claimed the eighth wicket and Vichanath Singh became the sixth bowler to take a wicket when he struck in his first over.

Myanmar were 59 for 9 and it was Hongsi who took the final wicket as Myanmar were bowled out for 60 in 24.3 overs. Thailand had won by 272 runs after a dominant display built on man of tbe match Daniel Jacobs’ epic innings of 152.

Thailand had managed to overtake Saudi Arabia at the top of the table in Group B thanks to their margin of victory but tomorrow sees the return to matches in Group A as the two unbeaten teams Bahrain and Maldives play at AIT and Bhutan face Iran at TCG.

ACC Men’s Challenger Cup 2023 | Match 6 | Bhutan vs Iran

Match Result: Iran Won by 50 Runs (Winners)

ACC Men’s Challenger Cup 2023 | Match 5 | Bahrain VS Maldives

Match Result: Bahrain Won by 292 Runs

ACC Men’s Challenger Cup 2023 | Match 4 | Thailand VS Myanmar

Match Result: Thailand Won by 272 Runs (Winners).

ACC Men’s Challenger Cup 2023 | Match 3 | Saudi Arabia vs Indonesia

Match Result: Saudi Arabia Won by 8 Wickets.

ACC Men’s Challenger Cup 2023 | Match 2 | Maldives vs Iran

Match Result: Maldives won by 27 runs.

ACC Men’s Challenger Cup 2023 | Match 1 | Bahrain vs Bhutan

Match Result: Bahrain won by 7 wickets.