Asia Cup 2018 qualifiers: Round up of day 2
The 2018 Asia Cup qualifiers saw its second round of fixtures taking place today. The winner of the competition will be pitted against India and Pakistan in the main tournament commencing from 15th September 2018.
The second day of Asia Cup qualifiers saw UAE defeating Nepal, Hong Kong registering their first win over Singapore and Oman defeating Malaysia in a low scoring thriller.
In the first match of the day, United Arab Emirates took on favourites Nepal at Kinara Academy Oval, Malaysia. It was a great performance by the UAE squad, who won their match against Nepal by 78 runs.
Nepal captain Paras Khadka won the toss and decided to field first. The opening pair of Chirag Suri and Ashfaq Ahmed again provided a brilliant start, adding 70 runs for the first wicket. Chirag Suri made 65 while Ashfaq Ahmed mustered 45. Continuous fall of wickets in the middle overs saw UAE's run rate slow down.
A late cameo of 57 runs off just 46 balls from Adnan Mufti propelled UAE's score past 250 with the Gulf nation ending up with 254 for 9 in 50 overs. For Nepal, Sandeep Lamichhane was the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 24 in his allotted quota of 10 overs.
Chasing 255 to win, only opener Subash Khakurel (50) and middle-order batsman Dipendra Airee (40) contributed to the scoreline as the rest of Nepal batsmen failed and were bowled out for 176 in 48.5 overs. For UAE, Ahmed Raza was again the pick of bowlers with 4/37, while Mohammad Naveed scalped up 3 Nepali batsmen.
In the other game, Hong Kong defeated Singapore by 5 wickets which was played at Bayuemas Oval, Pandamaran. Hong Kong captain Anushman Rath won the toss and decided to field first.
The Hong Kong bowlers put up a spirited show, bowling out Singapore for 150 in 41.2 overs. Abhiraj Singh top-scored for the small island nation with a knock of 42, while Nadeem Ahmed was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4 for 30 in 8.2 overs.
Despite losing the openers cheaply, the middle-order held their nerve as Hong Kong chased down the target with 5 wickets and 94 balls to spare. Kinchit Shah remained not out at 47, as his unbeaten 44-run stand for the 6th wicket with Aizaz Khan saw the small nation through.
Perhaps, in the most exciting game of the day, Oman registered their 2nd successive win with a thrilling 2 wicket win over hosts Malaysia. Oman captain Zeeshan Masqood won the toss and decided to field first.
An unbeaten knock of 74 by middle-order batsman Virandeep Singh steered Malaysia to a decent score of 198 for 8 on a tough wicket. Bilal Khan and Ahmad Butt, each scalped 3 wickets to restrict the hosts to a chasable total.
In reply, Oman lost wickets at regular intervals but a brilliant 44 not out by Ajay Lalcheta and useful contributions from Vaibhav Wategaonkar (39) and Mohammad Nadeem (28), helped them to reach the target with 2 wickets and 4 balls to spare.
Oman and UAE, both registered their 2nd successive wins of the tournament and currently hold the top two places in the table, with UAE currently pipping Oman on the basis of a higher net run rate.
The 3rd round of matches will be played on 1st September with Oman taking on Singapore, Malaysia taking on Nepal and UAE taking on Hong Kong.