Qatar qualify for World Cricket League Division 5
Qatar have won the Asian regional qualifier for World Cricket League Division 5 after beating Saudi Arabia in their final tournament match today in Thailand.
Saudi Arabia were unbeaten going in to today's game, and their net run rate was such that Qatar needed a big win if they were to secure WCL5 qualification. Remarkably, Saudi Arabia were bowled out for just 94 when batting, with Mohammed Nadeem and Inam-ul-Haq both taking three wickets.
Qatar had a scare when they batted, losing their first four wickets (and having one batsman retire hurt) for 24 inside seven overs. A 41 run partnership for the fifth wicket between Tamoor Sajjad and Zaheer Ibrahim got things back on track and Qatar managed to chase down their target in 18.1 overs for a five wicket win.
The net run rate calculations showed that Qatar had indeed done enough to secure qualification to WCL 5, where they will play Jersey and Italy, who were relegated from Division 4, Guernsey, who stayed in Division 5 after last year's tournament, along with African qualifiers Ghana, Americas qualifiers Cayman Islands, East Asia Pacific qualifiers Vanuatu and a European qualifier yet to be decided. It will be Qatar's first World Cricket League tournament.
Bahrain finished third in the tournament, whilst Kuwait took fourth on net run rate from hosts Thailand. Bhutan finished sixth whilst China were last having lost all their matches convincingly.
The development of men's cricket in China certainly seems to be going a lot less well than women's cricket. When fielding first China conceded 418 against Saudi Arabia, 460 against Kuwait and 339 against Qatar. In those matches they were bowled out for 28, 57 and 74 respectively. Batting first they scored 56 against Bhutan, 55 against Thailand and 65 against Bahrain.