Surprise win for Maldives on day two in Nepal
Day two of the ACC Twenty20 Cup in Nepal saw a surprise win for the Maldives over Singapore. Hosts Nepal lost to Hong Kong, with the UAE and Kuwait also winning.
The Maldives won the toss and put Singapore in to bat. Their first wicket fell in the first over, and they continued to lose wickets throughout their innings, with only Kshitij Shinde getting a start with 33. Singapore made 132-9 from their 20 overs.
The Maldives, lacking the now retired Moosa Kaleem, would not have been expected to chase down that total, but they did with time to spare thanks to Mohamed Rishwan's 48 from 37 balls as they won by five wickets in the 17th over.
In the other Group A match of the day, hosts Nepal, in front of their passionate home supporters, took on Hong Kong. Batting first, Nepal's often inconsistent batting line-up could only manage 115-9 from their 20 overs, Gyanendra Malla top scoring with 38.
Nadeem Ahmed was the pick of the Hong Kong bowlers with 3-18, and his brother Irfan got their reply off to a flying start with 30 from just 16 balls. His opening partner Waqas Barkat played a much more patient 39 from 60 balls, and he shared in a 70 run partnership for the third wicket with Nizakat Khan.
Khan stayed in until the end of the innings, scoring an unbeaten 42 to lead his team to a six wicket win in 16.3 overs.
In Group B, UAE made it two wins from two with a thumping win over Oman. The Omanis batted first, with captain Vaibhav Wategaonkar top scoring with an unbeaten 40. Only one other batsman was able to reach double figures though, and Oman were bowled out for just 82.
The run chase was little problem for the UAE, and they secured a 7 wicket win in just 12.3 overs, Bakhtiyar Hamid top scoring with 28.
In the other Group B match, Bahrain batted first after winning the toss against Kuwait and scored 132 before they were bowled out, Anasim Khan top scoring with 27. Captain Hisham Mirza was the pick of the bowlers with 4-13.
In reply, Kuwait collapsed to 54-6, before a 65 run partnership for the seventh wicket between Saad Khalid and Sibtain Raza got their run chase back on track. Saad Khalid scored 43 before he was dismissed, whilst Sibtain Raza scored an unbeaten 33 to help lead his team to a three wicket win with five balls to spare.
Just two matches take place tomorrow, with Afghanistan taking on Bahrain in Group B, and Malaysia taking on old rivals Singapore in Group A.