Regional 50 over tournaments are a rare beast these days. There's only been one outside of Asia since July 2010. So it's always a refreshing sight when one is played, especially coming after a surplus of Twenty20 over the last 8 weeks or so.
The latest is the ACC Premier League in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, involving six teams in a newly restructured ACC tournament system. The three Asian associates with ODI status, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and the UAE, are joined by the hosts, Nepal and Oman, the latter of whom are currently seeking associate membership.
The matches between the three ODI nations will be full ODIs, and one of them was played today with Afghanistan taking on Hong Kong at the Bayuemas Oval, which became the 192nd ODI venue in the process.
After winning the toss, Afghanistan, fielding a slightly weakened squad for this event, chose to put Hong Kong into bat. Hong Kong started well, with the opening pair of Irfan Ahmed and Skhawat Ali - playing his first official game for Hong Kong in over 5 years - putting on 60 before Ahmed was out for 37, scored from 36 balls.
That was the highest individual score for Hong Kong in their 5 ODIs to date, but Ahmed didn't hold the record for long as Babar Hayat made their first ODI fifty later in the innings, scoring 53 before he became one of three wickets taken by Dawlat Zadran.
Dawlat finished with 3-36, and Amir Hamza also took three wickets, taking 3-30 from his ten overs. Hong Kong were bowled out for 216, three balls short of their full quota of 50 overs.
Afghanistan had little trouble chasing that target, and their innings was led by debutant Usman Ghani. The 17 year old - who played in the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year - scored 70 from 68 balls to get their reply off to a great start.
Samiullah Shenwari and Hashmatullah Shaidi put on 64 for the fourth wicket before Shenwari was out for 43. Shaidi finished unbeaten on 38 to take his team to a six wicket win with 6.5 overs to spare.
Over at the Selangor Turf Club, Nepal put the UAE into bat after winning the toss. Nepal had a terrible time in their last 50 over tournaments - the World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand - and were hopeful of putting that tournament behind them and performing well in this one.
The UAE's innings started badly as they found themselves on 15-2 and 37-3 early on. Shaiman Anwar and Swapnil Patil got the innings back on track with a 44 run partnership for the fourth wicket, which ended when Anwar was out for 14.
Patil then put on 72 for the fifth wicket with Krishnachandran Karate, eventually getting out for 76. Karate and Mohammad Shahzad then took the total to 185-5. Karate's dismissal for 36 sparked a UAE batting collapse as they lost their last five wickets for just six runs and were bowled out for 191. Sompal Kami and Mahaboob Alam - returning to the Nepal team for the first time in over two years - took three wickets each.
Nepal lost Naresh Budayair early on with the score on 6, but the second wicket pairing of Subash Khakurel and Gyanendra Malla were able to put on 66 before Malla was out for 47, scored from just 37 balls.
Khakurel then put on 59 for the third wicket with Paras Khadka and 58 for the fourth wicket with Sharad Vesawkar before he was finally out having made 71. His innings - and the three partnerships he contributed to - had put Nepal in a great position to win the game.
After Khakurel's dismissal, Nepal lost two more wickets in the next 5 overs, and only added nine runs to their total. A batting collapse that might have happened in the past never came though, and Binod Bhandari and Basant Regmi guided their team home to a four wicket win.
At the Kinrara Academy Oval, hosts Malaysia took on Oman. Unlike in the other two matches, Oman elected to bat first after winning the toss, and the opening pair of the two Zeeshans - Siddiqui and Maqsood - got them off to a good start with a 68 run partnership, which ended when Siddiqui was out for 28.
Maqsood then shared in a 94 run partnership with Arif Hussain for the second wicket which ended when Hussain became the first of four wickets for Hassan Ghulam, out for 44. Maqsood was the next wicket to fall having scored 77.
Aamir Kaleem gave the Omani innings a lift late on with an unbeaten 41 ball knock of 42 which helped take Oman to 269-6 from their 50 overs.
Malaysia's innings started with Anwar Arudin getting out for a duck in their first over. The second wicket pair of Nasir Shafiq and Ahmed Fiaz put on 63, but Malaysia were never really in the hunt for victory.
Fiaz continued his fine recent form with a well made 70, but his dismissal saw Malaysia go from 160-5 to 170-9 in two and a half overs. The last wicket pair of Shahrulnizam Yusof and Pavandeep Singh hung on for a little, but Malaysia were bowled out for 195, losing by 74 runs.
The big win by Oman ensured that they top the table on net run rate after the opening day, but they will have their work cut out to stay there. They take on Hong Kong tomorrow. Hosts Malaysia will play Nepal, but the game of the day is likely to be the ODI between Afghanistan and the UAE. In seven previous one-day encounters between the two sides, the UAE have won every one. It has been a losing run that Afghanistan have been determined to put to an end, and their fans will be hoping tomorrow is the day it finally happens.
Afghanistan beat Hong Kong by 6 wickets
Bayuemas Oval, Kuala Lumpur, 1 May 2014
Hong Kong 216 (49.3 overs, Babar Hayat 53, Irfan Ahmed 37, Amir Hamza 3-30, Dawlat Zadran 3-36)
Afghanistan 218-4 (43.1 overs, Usman Ghani 70, Samiullah Shenwari 43, Hashmatullah Shaidi 38*)
Nepal beat UAE by 4 wickets
Selangor Turf Club, Kuala Lumpur, 1 May
UAE 191 (48.1 overs, S Patil 76, K Karate 36, M Alam 3-21, Sompal Kami 3-39)
Nepal 195-6 (39.5 overs, S Khakurel 71, G Malla 47)
Malaysia lost to Oman by 74 runs
Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur, 1 May
Oman 269-6 (50 overs, Zeeshan Maqsood 77, Arif Hussain 44, Aamir Kaleem 42*, Hassan Ghulam 4-72)
Malaysia 195 (40.2 overs, Ahmed Fiaz 70, Zeeshan Siddiqui 3-24, Aamir Kaleem 3-37)