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Cricket: Qatar stretches lead at top, Kuwait wins battle of super bats against Bahrain
January 23, 2019 | 4:48 PM
by Times News Service
Qatar's Inamul Haq receiving his Man of the Match prize. Supplied Photo
 
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MUSCAT: Fancied Qatar has placed one foot in the final with an 8-wicket victory against winless Maldives while Kuwait out-batted Bahrain in what was seen as the battle of batting powerhouses in the ACC T20 Western Region Championship in Amerat’s picturesque twin grounds on Wednesday.

With six points out of three games, Qatar stay on top and look good to reach the final by beating Bahrain in Thursday’s crucial game. The loss against Kuwait makes its match against Qatar a do-or-die affair for Bahrain and fans can expect another thriller on Thursday. In the day’s other match, Kuwait will look to beat Saudi Arabia and strengthen its chances to make it to the final, which may ultimately be decided by net run rate if teams end up with equal number of points in team standings.

Kanak Khimji, Chairman of Oman Cricket (OC), will be the chief guest at the final, which will start at 7 pm on Thursday, and award the winners after the game while Janab Qais bin Khalid Al Said, Vice Chairman of OC, will be the guest of honour.

Boating a strong batting line-up, Bahrain posted a significant 188 for 3 in 20 overs before Kuwait unleashed its equally powerful willow power to steal the game in the final over on Turf 2. Bahrain’s Fiaz remained unbeaten on 62, striking a flurry of big sixes to entertain the spectators on a bright sunny day. Ammad Uddin (40 not out) and Imran Ali (33) were its other notable scorers.



Kuwait’s dashing opener Rajiva De Silva made a big run chase look easy with his immaculate strokeplay, hitting 10 fours and 5 sixes in his superb 103 off only 59 balls. Number three Muhammed Asghar was equally impressive, scoring 45 off 26 that included 4 fours and 2 sixes as Kuwait chased down the total with 5 balls to spare, losing only three wickets in the process.

Brief scores: Bahrain 188 for 3 in 20 overs (Fiaz 62 not out – 1x4, 6x6, Ammad Uddin 40 not out – 3x4, 3x6, Imran Ali 33 – 3x4, 3x6) lost to Kuwait 189 for 3 in 19.1 overs (Rajiva De Silva 103 10x4, 5x6, Muhammed Asghar 45 – 4x4, 2x6) by 7 wickets.



On the adjacent Turf 1, Qatar made its match against Maldives look like a cakewalk with an emphatic 8-wicket victory.

Maldives failed to post a challenging total on the board, scoring only 134 for 9, Ahmed Hassan and Adam Nasif topscoring with 53 and 27 respectively. Taimoor Sajjad was once again the pick of Qatari bowlers, taking 3 for 28 in his 4-over spell.

A 121-run second wicket partnership between opener Inamul Haq (73 off 50) and one drop Kamran Khan (42 off 30) paved the way for a comfortable win for Qatar as it raced to the target in the 15th over, scoring 135 for 2.

Brief scores: Maldives 134 for 9 in 20 overs (Hassan Ahmed 53 – 3x4, 1x6, Adam Nasif 27 – 1x4, 3x6. Muhammed Awais 3-19, Taimoor Sajjad 3-28) lost to Qatar 135 for 2 in 14.5 overs (Inamul Haq 73 not out – 10x4, 2x6, Kamran Khan 42 – 1x4, 5x6) by 8 wickets.

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