Muscat – Vihaan Maheswari struck a century and Aaryan Modi’s half-century powered Singapore to a five-wicket win over Hong Kong to emerge champions of the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup (CWC) Division – 2 Asia Qualifier at the Oman Cricket Academy (OCA) grounds on Friday.
Hosts Oman defeated Bahrain by 187 runs to finish third in the other match of the day at the OCA 2 ground.
Both the finalists, Singapore and Hong Kong, had already secured a berth in the 2023 ICC U19 CWC Division – 1 Asia Qualifier on Thursday.
An unbeaten Singapore stamped their authority in the tournament with five victories on the trot and yet another all-round team efforts in the final at the OCA 1 ground.
Chasing 202 to win, Singapore struggled early on as they lost the opening pair for just seven runs in the third over. A lot rested upon the shoulders of Sidhant Srikanth and Vihan Maheswari and the duo counter-attacked.
Srikanth, who had hit the only century (122 vs Qatar in group stage) of the tournament ahead of the final, was dismissed in the 12th over by Ahan Trivedi to apply brakes on the run-chase.
Aaryan Modi joined Vihaan and took the attack to the rival camp with a range of strokes around the park. Both dominated the Hong Kong bowlers for the next 18 overs with Vihaan showcasing his strokepaly with some lusty hits as he reached his century with two successive fours and a six. His 100 came off 90 balls and was studded with eight boundaries and three maximums.
However, Vihaan returned to the pavilion in the same over he reached his landmark. Aryan Chandiramani broke the partnership in the 31st over with Singapore on course of a well-deserve win, requiring just 21 off 19 overs.
Modi went on to reach his personal milestone with a half-century in the 35th over. He along with his skipper, Jeevan Santhanam, led the team to victory in 37.2 overs with the captain reaching the victory with a six.
Man of the tournament and Singapore skipper Jeevan Santhanam said: “For me and my team, the tournament was fantastic. We got to know our strengths and weaknesses and really enjoyed the atmosphere while playing here.
“In Division -1, we hope to see a similar level of our competitiveness if not even more. If all goes well, we will reach the World Cup.”
Man of the match Vihaan Maheshwari said: “When I came in to bat, the team was struggling with two early wickets and didn’t have too many runs on the board. It was important to build a partnership and I and Sid [Sidhant Srikanth] did manage but unfortunately, he got out. After that it was important not to lose focus in these hot conditions. But Modi [Aaryan] and I came up with a very good stand as we started with singles and doubles. Once those came easily we accelerated and the momentum shifted into our hands and we took it.”
Singapore’s Sidhant Srikanth emerged as the tournament’s highest run-getter with 261 runs while Santhanam was the highest wicket-taker with 15 wickets.
Oman’s Aryan Bisht was the second highest-run scorer with 248 and also claimed seven wickets.