Muscat – Singapore’s winning streak continued as they defeated Hong Kong by 58 runs to top Group B in the ongoing ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Division -2 Asia Qualifier at the Oman Cricket Academy grounds on Tuesday.
In another Group B match, Qatar beat Thailand by five wickets to record a consolation win as both the teams had already bowed out of contention for the knockout stage.
Singapore’s win at the OCA 2 ground set up their semifinal date with Group A runners-up Bahrain while Hong Kong will take on hosts Oman in the other semifinal. Both matches will be played on Thursday.
Electing to bowl first, Hong Kong’s attempts to keep the Singapore batters at bay met with early success as the rivals were pegged down to 29/2 by the 12th over. With Singapore made to work hard, the run rate dipped and were 69/4 in 23 overs as Vihaan Maheswari got out for 24.
However, a 76-run fifth-wicket partnership between inform Sidhant Srikanth, the tournament’s only centurion so far, and Aaryan Modi, put the team back on track.
However, Srikanth was run out for a 66-ball 45.
Modi batted till the last over for a responsible 72-ball 51 and shared a crucial 47-run eighth wicket stand with from Venkatesan Thiyanesh (32) to lead the team past 200-mark. Singapore were bowled out of the last ball of the 50th over for 209.
Muhammad Mudassar Khan was the most successful bowler with 4/29.
Chasing a challenging total, Hong Kong got off to a forgettable start as they lost opening batter Jayden Botfield for a duck, leg before to Adwitya Bhargava in the first over.
A 41-run stand between Daksh Mangkukia (22) and Ansh Doshi raised hopes but Mangkukia’s run out dismissal applied brakes on the run chase. Doshi departed a run later, becoming Bhargava’s second victim. Hong Kong were soon 44/4 as Parth Bhagwat became first of the three wickets of Singapore skipper Jeevan Santhanam (3/32). A fifth-wicket 46-run partnership between Abdul Samad Khan and Mohammad Zahir put up a semblance of fight but Khan’s exit led to another mini collapse. Hong Kong were soon reduced to 108/7. Zahir top-scored with 50 as the team was bowled out for 151 in 48.3 overs.
Besides Santhanam’s three-for, Bhargava and Vihaan Hampihallikar picked two wickets each.
Aaryan Modi, man of the match, said: “We are all very happy to have won the match and top the group. We followed our coaches’ instructions and game plan, which was to play our natural game. We executed the plan well to win.”
Qatar recorded their maiden win in the tournament as they cruised to a five-wicket win over Thailand at the OCA 1 ground.
Qatar put Thailand to bat first and bowled out their opposition for 170 in 48.4 overs.
Siriphum Sonthi was the main run-getter with 29 while the other notable scorers were acting captain Mohak Dugar (28 n.o) and Danuphon Fuangyotpinit (25). For Qatar, Luqman Mehmood and Sreenivas Venkatakrishnan took three wickets each while Niranjan Muthusawamy dismissed two.
In reply, Taha Shahbaz’s solid 60 helped Qatar reach the target with an over to spare. Skipper Jack Joseph (34) and Hetul Patel (23) also made useful contributions. Thailand’s Anucha Kalasi was the most successful bowler with 3/37.