Hong Kong and Malaysia win on day three
Just two games were played on day three of the ACC Twenty20 Cup in Nepal today, with Hong Kong and Malaysia both recording their first wins of the event.
In Group A, Malaysia were put into bat by Maldives captain Moosa Kaleem. Opening batsman Hammad Ullah Khan laid the early foundations of the innings, scoring 54 from 40 balls before he was trapped lbw by Mohamed Mahfooz with the score on 91-5.
Suharril Fetri, playing just his second match for Malaysia, then took over the scoring, making an unbeaten 42 from 37 balls to take Malaysia to 147-8 from their 20 overs. For the Maldives, Hassan Ibrahim and Moosa Kaleem both three wickets.
In reply, the Maldives got closer than many would have expected, with Moosa Kaleem completing a fine all-round performance with 47 before he was bowled by Hammad Ullah Khan. They made 128-7 from their 20 overs, losing by 19 runs.
In Group B, Hong Kong captain Jamie Atkinson chose to bat first after winning the toss. His team initially struggled, first at 8-2 and then 44-4. A 49 run partnership for the fifth wicket between Courtney Kruger and Munir Dar got the innings back on track before Kruger was out for 38.
Dar then put on 58 for the sixth wicket with Waqas Barkat and went on to score an unbeaten 54 from just 28 deliveries to take his team to 151-6 from their 20 overs.
In reply, one Saudi Arabian batsman stood head and shoulders above the rest. Kashif Shafiq scored 70 from 46 balls, but no other batsman reached double figures and the Saudis were bowled out for 107, losing by 44 runs.
Tomorrow's matches in Group A will see Malaysia play Oman in a match that could well decide one of the three places in the global qualifier and Afghanistan play Bhutan. In Group B, Hong Kong will play the UAE and Nepal will play Kuwait, with organisers hoping to avoid a repeat of yesterday's unruly scenes at Nepal's match against the UAE.