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Meet Bhavsar Hits Classy Century as Kuwait Outplay Maldives

Meet Bhavsar Hits Classy Century as Kuwait Outplay Maldives
Meet Bhavsar Hits Classy Century as Kuwait Outplay Maldives

Kuwait’s opener Meet Bhavsar made a splendid century against Maldives at the David Buck Cricket Oval at Prem in Chiang Mai to light up the third day of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier Asia Division 2.

Kuwait scored 302 for 8 in their 50 overs and bowled out Maldives for 111 in 25.2 overs to win by an imposing 191 runs.

Oman were the day’s other winners as they claimed victory by seven wickets, dismissing Qatar for 59 at TCG in Bangkok with their spinners sharing seven wickets. Both Kuwait and Oman claimed their second victories of the tournament and joined Bahrain and Saudi Arabia on four points in their respective tables.

Kuwait beat Hong Kong in their opening match of the tournament and confidently chose to bat first on winning the toss. They looked intent on building a good score against Maldives even after losing an early wicket as Gokul Kumar skied a pull to be out without scoring. Left-handed opener Meet Bhavsar and captain Nomaan Sidique completed a fifty partnership for the second wicket with Nomaan the aggressor as he hit two fours and a six.

Kuwait soon took control of the match as their top order batsmen continued to keep the scoreboard moving. Nomaan was second out for 30 from 57 balls but Bhavsar completed his fifty from 76 balls with just a single boundary, but with plenty of elegant shots that helped the score tick over at a rate of four runs an over up to the 30-over mark.

14-year old Bhavsar is clearly a prodigious talent for one so young, and he became the second batsman to score a century in this Asia Qualifier, reaching his hundred from 114 balls with seven fours. Kuwait were on course for a very big total as they reached 218 for 3 after 40 overs.

Kuwait finished on the highest total of the competition so far as they scored 302 for 8 in their 50 overs. Bhavsar was finally out for 105 from 120 balls as tiredness took its toll and he was caught at long on. Maldives bravely persevered in the field and were rewarded with five wickets in the space of 22 runs but Hamza Qureshi hit an unbeaten 42 from just 20 balls to ensure his team reached the 300 mark in the final over.

Maldives were soon struggling with the bat as they attempted to chase Kuwait's outstanding total. Kuwait’s opening bowlers had impressed against Hong Kong in their previous match so it was no surprise to see them in the wickets once again.

Hamza Qureshi took a wicket in his first over for the second match in succession, as he yorked Ali Ivan for nought. Akhil Sajeev Nair, Player of the Match against Hong Kong, again bowled impressively as he had Mafaaz Hussain lbw, Fareed Shius caught fending off a short ball and Hassan Shaorf caught behind by Nomaan – standing in as wicketkeeper for Bhavsar who was off the field following his century in the morning. First change bowler Zeeshan Jilani also claimed two wickets as Maldives looked to be on their way to a heavy defeat at 64 for 6 in 14 overs.

Ajeev Nair's opening spell finished after seven overs with him recording figures of 3 for 17, taking three wickets for the second time in two days. Kuwait's spinners came on to bowl and Hamoud Amanullah and Faez Qureshi each took a wicket as Maldives slipped to 83 for 8 after 20 overs. The game was in its final stages but the Maldives tail-enders still tried to bat out as many overs as possible.

Maldives were finally bowled out for 111 in 25.2 overs as Kuwait won by 191 runs, a victory which took them to the top of Group B ahead of Bahrain on net run-rate with both teams having won their first two matches.

In the Group A match that was played at TCG in Bangkok, Oman won the toss and sent Qatar into bat. Both teams had won their first match in the competition but it was Oman who took control once they turned to spin.

Qatar had looked to be in a comfortable position at 52 for 3, but with the dismissal of captain Hussain Khan for 25 everything changed thanks to the intervention of Kevin Kattokaran and Amanpreet Singh Sirah. The two spinners shared seven wickets for the addition of just seven runs as Qatar were bowled out for 59.

Bismullah Khan took two early wickets to give Qatar hope but Oman completed a comprehensive victory by seven wickets just before the scheduled lunch break, as they finished on 60 for 3 in 19.4 overs. Oman moved to the top of Group A ahead of Saudi Arabia who also have four points.

Four more matches are being held on Wednesday with Group A table toppers Oman and Saudi Arabia meeting at TCG in Bangkok, and Bahrain looking for their third win in Group B when they face Hong Kong at Gymkhana Club in Chiang Mai.

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