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In the meantime, here is Jay Dansinghani with his match reports, from Kuala Lumpur. Five days down, two to go!
Singapore 217 for 7 (David 63, Uchil 51*, Obed 2-25, Nalisa 2-33) beat Vanuatu 175 (Nipiko 77, Uchil 4-45, Mahboob 3-20) by 42 runs
Aryman Uchil produced one of the finest all-round performances of the tournament, bagging a 5-fer and a half-century as Singapore triumphed over a spirited Vanuatu.
Earlier in the day, Singapore got off to a rough start with Arjun Mutreja and Surendran Chadramohan edging Patrick Matautaava to Joshua Rasu at slip.
This brought Tim David to the crease. He was at his fluent best once again, regularly piercing the off side field off both the front foot and back foot.
This allowed Rohan Rangarajan to find his feet before the introduction of spin slowed him down. David had no such issues, pushing Singapore’s run rate above 4 by lofting Simpson Obed over his head for six in his first over.
Obed would have the last laugh when David skied one up in the air while attempting another straight six. Three balls later, the off-spinner would trap Rangarajan plumb in front. Teenage leggie Williamsingh Nalisa followed this up with a sustained period of pressure, dismissing Manpreet Singh and Rezza Gaznavi in quick succession.
Just as Singapore’s innings looked to be stagnating, Aryaman Uchil launched 3 sixes in the last two over to push Singapore to a competitive 217, bringing up a powerful half-century in the process.
In reply, Vanuatu seemed like they were headed towards another heavy defeat when they were reduced to 30-4 before Nalin Nipiko stitched together a 109-run partnership with the help of Ronald Tari.
Nipiko was ruthless off the back-foot, favouring cut shots and back foot drives against spinners and fast bowlers alike. Just as it seemed like Vanuatu were favourites to pull off an upset, Nipiko edged an attempted back-foot drive to keeper Manpreet Singh.
The Pacific Islanders never recovered from that, losing their last 6 wickets for 36 runs to hand Singapore their second successive win.
Canada 379-4 7 (Kumar 129, Wijeyeratne 112, Iqbal Hussain 3-88) beat Qatar 264 (Saqlain Arshad 97, Kamran Khan 69, Kumar 5-72) by 115 runs
Twin centuries from Nitish Kumar and Srimantha Wijeyeratne powered Canada to another commanding victory over a hapless Qatar.
Canada’s openers begun well with Navneet Dhaliwal playing a supporting role to the belligerent Rodrigo Thomas. When Iqbal Hussain Chaudhry dismissed both of them in the space of three balls, Qatar would’ve hoped to keep the opposition down to a manageable total.
Kumar and Wijeyeratne were unperturbed, however, as they maintained Canada’s run-rate. At 199-2 after 35 overs, Canada looked all set to launch.
What followed was nothing short of explosive as the pair peppered the region between long-on and mid-wicket. By the time Kumar was dismissed, the pair had put on 230 runs for the third wicket. Ravinderpal Singh then added the finishing touches with Canada scoring a remarkable 180 runs in the last 15 overs.
In reply, Qatar got off to a comparably sedate, yet solid start reaching 29 after 7 overs without losing a wicket. Kamran Khan then kick-started the innings, clearing the ropes with pair of pull shots off Dillon Heyliger.
Kamran then took a back seat as Saqlain Arshad assumed the aggressor’s role. At the halfway mark, despite the opening partnership remaining unbroken, Qatar required a mammoth 232 runs to win.
Canada’s spinners then combined to break the back of the Qatari chase. Saad Bin Zafar trapped Kamran Khan LBW with a quicker yorker before Kumar had Zaheeruddin caught at deep mid-wicket. Arshad hit the very next ball back in the direction of off-spinner, who took an athletic diving catch off his own bowling.
With no choice but to swing for the fences, a top-heavy Qatar quickly collapsed as Kumar picked up three more cheap wickets on his way to five wickets.
Qatar eventually fell 115 short of Canada’s as the favourites picked up another easy two points to remain top of the table.
Denmark 258-8 (Hamid Shah 93, Klokker 80, Zaheeruddin 2-30) beat Qatar 198 (Rizlan 63, Hamid Shah 3-37, Delawar 2-25) by 60 runs
Danish skipper Hamid Shah (main picture) anchored Denmark’s innings with a composed 93 before picking up 3 wickets to derail Qatar’s chase.
It was a sluggish start for the men in red as Jonas Henriksen and Zameer Khan struggled against Qatar’s spinners. The latter’s dismissal brought fan-favourite Freddie Klokker to the crease in the 18th over with the score on 57. The veteran picked up where he left off against Vanuatu, unleashing his trademark scoops, sweeps, and switch hits.
His fluency was desperately required with his partner struggling to find the fence at the other end. That all changed when Hamid deposited Mohammad Nadeem over his head and over the ropes for two massive sixes in the first over of his new spell. Qatar pulled things back with tight bowling and a flurry of wickets before Delawar Khan smash 10 runs off the final two balls of the innings.
Chasing an imposing 259, Qatar began with an explosion of boundaries from Saqlain Arshad, who was especially severe off his pads.
Oliver Hald made the first breakthrough, getting Kamran khan caught behind off a delivery that held its line from around the wicket. Nicolaj Laegsgaard followed up by bowling five consecutive dot balls to Arshad before the opener skied the sixth ball of the over up in the air to leave Qatar 47-2. Jojo chipped in two balls later as Zaheruddin Ibrahim clipped one straight to Klokker at mid-wicket.
Qalandar Khan and Mohammad Rizlan stabilised the innings with a 58-run stand before the former top-edged a paddle to Lucky Malik at short fine leg to give Hamid his first wicket. The skipper doubled his tally three balls later when Dharmang Patel shouldered arms to a regulation off-break that clattered into the stumps.
Another mini recovery followed before Khurram Shehzad ran past a straighter one from Hamid. With wickets falling and the asking rate climbing, a rearguard fight back from Gayan Buddika wasn’t enough to prevent Qatar from succumbing to their second defeat in two days.
Singapore 205-6 (Tim David 95*, Param 66, Fetri 3-43) beat Malaysia 201 (Virandeep 73, Nazril Rahman 31, Bhaskaran 3-32, Krishna 3-41) by 4 wickets
Singapore recorded their third successive victory on the back of another strong showing by their spinners combined with an unbeaten 95 from Tim David.
Malaysia got off to a positive start denying Amjad Mahboob and Aryaman Uchil the early breakthroughs. Having reached 88 before the end of the 20th over, it looked as if they were all set for a score of around 250.
Once again, however, they were held back by the parsimonious duo of Anantha Krishna and Vinoth Bhaskaran, who took 6 of the 10 wickets to fall in the innings.
Virandeep Singh tried to hold the innings together before he ran himself out trying to attempt a quick single to Rezza Gaznavi at backward point. Despite Nazril Rahman chipping in with more crucial late-order runs, Malaysia were unable to bat out their over being dismissed for 201.
To begin the chase, Rohan Rangarajan was dismissed by an absolute peach from Dhivendran Mogan who did for the top of his off stump. After fellow opener Chandramohan was trapped in front by Nazril, Malaysia had their tails up in search of a much-needed win.
However, Tim David continued to be shining star for the Singaporeans, nailing his patented drives through the covers. He was ably supported by a patient Navin Param, whose dismissal sparked a mini-collapse.
Despite another scare, Singapore held their nerve to complete a simple chase with 29 balls to spare, moving to second on the table.