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

February 27, 2023 | Varun George

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.