ACC Trophy Challenge - Day One
Hosts Thailand started their ACC Trophy Challenge campaign with a disappointing defeat to Iran, just the third win for Iran in 14 internationals. But what happened after the game had more impact on the result than what happened during it.
Iran batted first, and did well to recover from 96-6 to 174-8 from their 50 overs, Abdolvahab Ebrahimipour top scoring with 36. Thailand fell just short in reply, scoring 170 in 45.4 overs. Masood Jayezeh was the pick of the Iranian bowlers with 3-29.
But the following morning, it was discovered that two of Iran's players were ineligible. The ACC ruled that Iran had now forfeited the match. Good news for Thailand, but questions need to be asked as to why the eligibility checks weren't carried out when Iran named their squad.
The other matches in Group A saw Thailand's neighbour Myanmar come up against Qatar, one of the tournament favourites. Myanmar have a poor international record - they were without a win in eight internationals - and today was no exception.
They were bundled out for just 38 in 26.4 overs, the bulk of those runs coming from extras, with 23. Six of their side were out for ducks. Omran Hussein was the pick of the bowlers with 5-7. Qatar had little trouble reaching their target, losing one wicket as they chased it down in 6.5 overs.
In Group B, China had to adjust to the 50 over game against Saudi Arabia after their Twenty20 experience at the Asian Games. They were, as is often the case, outclassed. Saudi Arabia scored 283-9 from their 50 overs, Amir Sajjad top scoring with 81 made from just 74 balls. Zhang Yufei was the pick of the Chinese bowlers with 3-65.
A tough target, but China didn't even attempt to try their usual tactic of batting out the overs for a low score, and were bowled out for 49, 23 of those runs in extras. The Saudis shared the wickets around, with four bowlers taking two wickets each.
The other match in Group B was just as uncompetitive. Brunei struggled in their innings, making a slow 117 from 40 overs. The Maldives eased to their target in 12.3 overs to win by eight wickets. Abdulla Shahid scored 40 from just 24 balls, whilst top scorer was the experienced Moosa Kaleem. He has a double century against the same opponents, also in Thailand, but in this match scored just 51 from 40 balls.