Heading into the rest day, Kuwait are on top of the table of the ACC Twenty20 Cup and look to be heading towards promotion after a sensational run chase against the Maldives.

The last time Kuwait met the Maldives was in the Asian Games cricket competition, with the match being decided on the toss of a coin after a wash out. The Maldives would have been wishing for a coin toss after what would transpire in yesterday's match.

Batting first after winning the toss, the Maldives lost both openers cheaply, but recovered with Mohamed Rishwan and Afzal Faiz putting on 62 for the third wicket. Both were removed by Sibtain Raza in the 14th over, who in his next over took a hat-trick. He finished with figures of 5-27, but the Maldives still managed a reasonably competitive 138-9 from their 20 overs.

Sharjah has seen some sensational batting displays in its history, and what then came from Kuwait is right up there with the best of them. They chased down their target in just 8.5 overs to win by 9 wickets. Mohammed Irfan scored 63 from 26 balls, whilst Aamir Javed smashed 55 from just 18 balls, bringing up his fifty in 17.

The run rate for the chase was 16.18 runs per over, faster than the famous chase the Netherlands managed against Ireland in the World Twenty20 last year. The Maldives will be glad of their rest day - they certainly need it after that.

The other match in the morning session saw Singapore bat first after winning the toss against Oman. Arjun Mutreja top scored for them with 79 as they reached 198-9 from their 20 overs. Ajay Lalcheta and Rajeshkumar Ranpura both took three wickets for Oman.

Singapore wouldn't have been too secure with their total though, as Oman had made 192 the previous day. They would have breathed a sigh of relief when both openers were out within the first three overs with 16 on the board. Jatinder Singh scored 70 from just 37 balls as they scored 175-9 from their 20 overs, losing by 23 runs.

The afternoon game at Sharjah was between Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, with the Saudis batting first after they won the toss. Nasir Abbasi scored 65 from 34 balls as Saudi Arabia scored 176-7 from their 20 overs. Hassan Ghulam was the pick of the Malaysian bowlers with 3-22.

Needing a win to stay in with a chance of winning the tournament, Malaysia instead struggled against some tight Saudi Arabian bowling. Shoaib Ali ripped through the Malaysian middle order and finished with 5-19 as they were restricted to 133-9, losing by 33 runs.

Today is a rest day and the tournament will resume on Thursday. Kuwait will take on Malaysia knowing that a win will likely see them secure qualification the the global qualifier. The other matches will see Saudi Arabia play Singapore and the Maldives take on Oman.


Kuwait beat Maldives by 9 wickets
Sharjah Cricket Stadium, 27 January
Maldives 138-9 (20 overs, Sibtain Raza 5-27 inc hat-trick)
Kuwait 143-1 (8.5 overs, Mohammed Irfan 63*, Aamir Javed 55*)

Singapore beat Oman by 23 runs
Al Dhaid Cricket Village, 27 January
Singapore 198-9 (20 overs, A Mutreja 79, A Lalcheta 3-30, R Ranpura 3-38)
Oman 175-9 (20 overs, Jatinder Singh 70, S Vikayakumar 4-20)

Saudi Arabia beat Malaysia by 33 runs
Sharjah Cricket Stadium, 27 January
Saudi Arabia 176-6 (20 overs, Nasir Abbasi 65, Hassan Ghulam 3-22)
Malaysia 133-9 (20 overs, Shoaib Ali 5-19)