The ACC Under-19 Challenge Cup started in Thailand yesterday. The tournament was originally planned to have up to ten teams taking part, but in the end only four teams are playing, Iran pulling out just two days before the start of the tournament. Whether this is due to the age problems that blighted last years ACC Under-15 Elite Cup is another matter though.

In the first match, China made their debut at Under-19 level, having previously only played at Under-15 level and in women's cricket. Their opponents were Bhutan, who chose to bat after winning the toss.

The match started well enough for China, with You Guangsheng taking a wicket from the second ball of the match. But the Bhutanese batsmen recovered from that poor start to put on 280/3 from their 50 overs. Jigme Singye (86) and Sonam Tobgay (51) were the top scorers, unbeaten at the end for a 132 run partnership. Guangsheng particularly came in for some treatment, going for 81 runs from his ten overs.

China started their chase reasonably, with a second wicket partnership of 54 taking them to 80/1. But they then collapsed, losing their remaining wickets for the addition of 40 runs, losing by 160 runs after being bowled out for 120. Sushil Luitel was the pick of the bowlers, taking 5/31 in his five overs.

The first day's other match between Saudi Arabia and the Maldives was a much closer affair. Batting first, the Saudis scored 169 before being bowled out in the 41st over, Muhammad Imran top-scoring with 55. Mohamed Akram (4/28) and Muaviath Ganee (3/27) were the principle wicket takers for the Maldives.

The Maldives did get close to their target, but they owed much of their total of 151 to the 46 extras given away by the Saudis, which was the top score of the innings. They were bowled out in the 44th over to lose by 18 runs.

Day One Results

Bhutan beat China by 160 runs
Prem. School, Chiang Mai
Bhutan 280/3 (50 overs, J Singye 86, S Tobgay 51, S Guring 48)
China 120 (28 overs, S Luitel 5/31)

Saudi Arabia beat Maldives by 18 runs
Gymkhana Club, Chiang Mai
Saudi Arabia 169 (41 overs, Muhammad Imran 55, Mohamed Akram 4/28, M Ganee 3/27)
Maldives 151 (43.4 overs, H Ibrahim 38, Waqas Obeidy 3/13)