Today's action saw China take on Myanmar, Bhutan take on the Maldives, Saudi Arabia take on Iran and Qatar play Brunei.
China's match against Myanmar was the first official representative match by a Chinese team. They batted first, scoring 125 from 34 overs. No Chinese batsman really got a start, and they owed much of their total to a last wicket partnership of 32. Myanmar weren't quite as abject as their senior side in August's ACC Trophy, but still batted poorly, and were bowled out for 78, Chen Xieudong taking a fine 5/11 to win the man of the match award as China won by 47 runs.
This Chinese team is worth keeping an eye on. The Chinese Cricket Assocation has set its sights on playing in the 2019 World Cup, and as the players in this team will be in their late 20s by then, it is a safe bet that they will be the backbone of the Chinese team come 2019.
Bhutan batted first in their match against the Maldives, scoring 154/8 from their 40 overs. Jigme Singye top-scored with 45, and he was matched by the extras given up by the Maldives. Singye won the man of the match award for this innings along with his three wickets for just eight runs as the Maldives were bowled out for 105.
In Iran's match against Saudi Arabia, the Saudis struggled to 97/9 with one player absent hurt. Extras was their top-scorer with 25, and Abdoolvahab Ebrahimi Pur was the pick of the Iranian bowlers, taking 3/27 from his seven overs. Iran raced to their target in 20 overs for the loss of just two wickets with Mansur Raaeesi picking up the man of the match award for his unbeaten 58.
Perhaps the most remarkable match of the days play was between Brunei and Qatar. Qatar batted first and scored a huge total of 425/5 from their 40 overs. Tamoor Sajjad marked himself as one to watch for the future with a remarkable innings of 221 from just 132 balls featuring 27 fours and one six. Shahbaz Khan contributed down the order with a 25-ball innings of 56 whilst the Brunei bowlers did themselves no faovurs giving up 45 extras.
In reply, no Brunei batsman reached double figures as Qatar acheived a 387 run win. Ali Ishitaq finished off the Brunei innings with a hat-trick in his only over. The margin of victory would have been even bigger had it not been for 24 extras in the Brunei innings. Tamoor Sajjad was the obvious choice for the man of the match prize.
All in all, and interesting days play as we saw a 10 run an over display from Qatar and the emergence of China onto the international cricket scene. Tomorrow we will see Oman and hosts Thailand play their first matches against Bhutan and Iran respectively. The other two matches will see Saudi Arabia play Myanmar, and the Maldives play Qatar.
Photos courtesy of Asian Cricket Council.