Afghanistan and Nepal start with big wins in Asian Under-19 qualifier
The ACC Under-19 Elite Cup started today in Thailand, and Afghanistan and Nepal look set to be the favourites to reach the global Under-19 World Cup qualifier later in the year after big wins in their matches.
Afghanistan came up against the hosts in Bangkok. Thailand, who were promoted from the Challenge division last year, started well enough when Aman Dubey trapped Hashmatullah Shaidi lbw in the second over of the match. But it went downhill from there as the other opener, Afsar Khan Zazai, scored an impressive 134 from 119 balls.
Later in the innings, Aftab Alam smashed a brutal 58 from 28 balls before he was stumped from the last ball of the innings to take Afghanistan's total to 326-8. The Thais were then bundled out for 55 to lose by 271 runs, with only two batsmen reaching double figures. Aftab Alam was the pick of the Afghan bowlers with 3-18.
In the other match in the Bangkok group, Nepal put the UAE in after winning the toss. Nepal, disappointed to miss out on the last Under-19 World Cup after a run of remarkable success in the tournament are hoping to bounce back in this tournament and they've got off to a great start.
The UAE struggled with the bat, scoring just 87 in 47.2 overs before they were bowled out, Rahul Viswakarma being the pick of the bowlers with 3-18. Nepal lost a wicket early in their reply, but the second wicket put on an unbroken 80 to secure the nine wicket win.
In the Chiang Mai group, Hong Kong look to be the team to beat. They have two players from their WCL3 winning team (though not 16 year old Mark Chapman) and scored 274-9 in their match against Bahrain, Nizakat Khan scoring 110. They then bowled Bahrain out for 165, Niaz Ali taking 4-34, to win by 109 runs.
In the days other match, Tamoor Sajjad, who made his debut for the full Qatar team in 2006 aged just 14, scored 95 to lead his team to 241-7 in their match against Malaysia. He then completed a fine all-round performance by taking 5-25 to help bowl the Malaysians out for 179, Qatar winning by 62 runs.
In tomorrow's matches in Bangkok, the hosts will take on the UAE and Nepal will play Oman. In Chiang Mai, Qatar will play Singapore, whilst Bahrain will play Malaysia.