Hong Kong thrash the Maldives, Kuwait beat Oman
After the Maldives recorded an upset win against Singapore the other day, they would have been a bit more confident going up against Hong Kong, one of the favourites for the two global qualifier places available for teams from this tournament.
But that confidence was shattered by Waqas Barkat, who smashed 109 from 71 balls as Hong Kong made 198-4 in their 20 overs.
The target was way out of reach for the Maldives, who were bowled out for 45 to lose by 153 runs. Hassan Haziq was the only batsman to make double figures, whilst Irfan Ahmed and Tanwir Afzal took three wickets each.
The other match today, between Kuwait and Oman, was a little closer. Kuwait batted first after winning the toss and opener Yasar Idrees set the pace by scoring 71 from just 39 balls. His team went on to score 187-7 from their 20 overs, Aamer Ali the pick of the bowlers with 3-27.
Oman's reply got off to a bad start when Zeeshan Maqsood - who some may remember scored 199 on debut last year - was dismissed for a duck in the first over. Ghazanfar Iqbal and Zeeshan Siddiqui then put on 39 for the second wicket in 3.1 overs.
Other batsman scored quickly, but most were unable to. Despite a fighting 28 from 13 balls by number 11 batsman Rajeshkumar Ranpura, Oman were bowled out for 161, losing by 26 runs. Syed Rizwan Ali was the pick of the Kuwait bowlers with 3-16.
Four games will be played in Nepal tomorrow. In Group A, Hong Kong will play Singapore, safe in the knowledge that a tie at least will put them through to the semi-finals, and Nepal will play Malaysia in a match that could well decide the other semi-finalists from the group.
In Group B, the two favourites to reach the semi-finals, Afghanistan and the UAE, will play tomorrow, whilst Bahrain and Oman will both be looking to record their first win when they play each other.