Oman remain unbeaten
Oman are the front runners after the third round of matches in the Asia Cup Qualifiers, now having three wins from three games as the six participants look to join the Asian full members later this month.
Oman's third win came against Singapore today at the Kinrara Academy Oval, with Singapore batting first after winning the toss. The pair of Rohan Rangarajan and Anish Paraam put on 106 for the second wicket, but at a rate just under five an over. After the former was out for 68, Paraam hung around to reach 77 before he was caught and bowled by Bilal Khan.
Khan finished with 4-40 from his ten overs, helping restrict Singapore to 215-8 from their 50 overs. That total is rarely enough these days, but Oman made pretty light work of it, an innings of 108 from 71 balls by Aqib Ilyas helping them chase down the target in just 26.4 overs to win by 8 wickets.
Oman have the UAE and Hong Kong still to play, and those two sides faced each other today in Bangi. UAE captain Rohan Mustafa won the toss and put Hong Kong into bat, who promptly showed what they can do when both Anshuman Rath and Babar Hayat both come good. The pair put on 180 for the second wicket before Rath was trapped lbw for 102.
Hayat batted on to score 107 before he was out, but there was no other notable performances with the bat, the next highest score being Kinchit Shah's 16. Hong Kong reached 275-8 from their slightly rain curtailed quota of 49 overs. They then fired with the ball, particularly Ehsan Khan who took 4-17 as the UAE were bowled out for just 93, losing by 182 runs, their first defeat of the tournament.
While the UAE had their first defeat, their fellow ODI status team Nepal picked up their first win when they took on hosts Malaysia at the Bayuemas Oval. Heavy rain saw the game reduced to a 30 over contest, with Malaysia putting the visitors into bat when they won the toss.
Nepal found themselves well on the back foot when they were reduced to 60-5 in the 13th over, but Dipendra Singh Airee and Aarif Sheikh managed to put on 101 for the sixth wicket before Airee was bowled by Syazrul Idrus for 54. Sheikh finished the innings unbeaten on 64 as Nepal scored 188-7 from their 30 overs.
Malaysia got close in reply, but were unable to have a key partnership like that of Airee and Sheikh. Basant Regmi was the pick of the bowlers for Nepal with 3-36 as Malaysia were kept to 169-9, losing by 19 runs.
The tournament continues tomorrow with Oman looking to secure their place in the final if they can beat Hong Kong. Singapore will hope that they can get their first win when they take on Nepal, whilst hosts Malaysia will come up against the UAE.