Day 2 saw routine wins for three of the ACC U19 Eastern Region tournament’s fancied sides.
Nepal got its campaign off to a fine start beating China by 10 wickets at Kinrara. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was that China scored 53 runs in 23 overs, almost double their total against Singapore.
This was largely due to an audacious 18-run opening stand between Guohao Gao and Liang Chen who looked relatively comfortable against the Nepali seamers.
As is often the case for teams possessing limited exposure to natural turf, China struggled to adjust to the spin and guile of Nepal’s spinners. Left armer Sagar Dhakal accounted for Gao in his first over, had Wei Guolei stumped in his second and took the last four wickets of the innings to finish with 6-19 off 9 overs. Leg spinner Tilak Raj Bandari also joined the party returning figures of 3-15 off 7.
Experienced hand Pawan Sarraf wasted no time finishing the game on 46 runs of 21 balls as Nepal reached their target in 5 overs.
At Selangor Turf Club (STC) Malaysia’s batsmen were out to prove a point after yesterday’s collapse against Thailand. At 0-116 in the fifteenth over, a score of over 300 looked to be a very possible, however Bhutan’s spinners fought back well to reel in the fireworks as Malaysia found themselves at 7-233 and ultimately 285 all out in 45.4 overs.
Bhutan’s batsmen were never in the game and folded for 28 runs, giving Malaysia a sizeable 260 run victory.
The closest game of the day was between Hong Kong and Thailand at the TPCA Oval. Thailand won the toss and elected to bat, beginning their innings steadily.
At 2-37 in the twelfth over, the game was in the balance, but for a second day running Thailand lost wickets at crucial moments to relieve the pressure off their opponents. At 8-79 the damage was done and 99 all out was unlikely to be enough against a side who scored 5-224 in the last week’s warm up match between these two teams. Vikas Sharma (4-19 off 8 overs) and promising offspinner Raunaq Kapur (5-25 off 7 overs) were the chief destroyers with the ball.
Hong Kong never looked to be in any trouble against the Thai attack cruising to 1-42 at the end of the fourth. Opener and national squad member Nasrulla Rana was in a hurry hitting a brutal 46 runs off 23 balls. Although there may have been one or two wildly optimistic Thai fans thinking the outrageous at 5-91, Hong Kong crossed their target comfortably.
And now for the business end of the tournament. Nepal takes on Singapore on Friday 5 July, and Malaysia faces off against Hong Kong on Saturday 6 July, the loser likely to play Nepal in the semi final on Monday 8 July.
Bhutan and Thailand play for pride and a third place finish in Group A on Saturday 6 July.
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