Batten down the hatches, cricket fans! It’s been a thrilling start to the Asian Cricket Council Premier Cup and now we will talk about the cricket champions!
Winning the first round of the 50-over competition that will determine the last qualifier for the Asia Cup 2023 were Nepal, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Hong Kong.
The United Arab Emirates team came out strong, and the tremendous partnership between Vriitya Aravind and Rohan Mustafa propelled them to a resounding victory over Kuwait.
Each of these two power hitters scored a century, and together they pounded 275 runs in just 42 overs.
Even after losing his partner, Aravind kept the scoring going thanks to the efforts of Asif Khan, who was nominated for ICC Player of the Month for March and blasted 30 runs off of just nine deliveries.
Kuwait was left with slim hopes of catching the UAE after they posted a massive total of 371/6.
Despite a spirited effort by Parvinder Kumar and Sayed Monib, both of Kuwait’s batsmen, who scored rapid-fire fifties, were bowled out for 228 by Junaid Siddique and Karthik Meiyappan, who each took three.
In the meantime, Qatar gave Oman a good fight before ultimately losing by 210 runs despite coming close to reaching their target of 249/8.
Taking off Kamran Khan early, Oman’s Bilal Khan then swept apart the rest of the opposition in impressive fashion, ending with 4/42 (8.2) to further establish himself as a top bowler in the game.
Even though Qatar’s captain, Mohammed Rizlan, scored 43, the team ultimately lost against Oman’s tight bowling.
Nepal’s winning streak continued as they chased down 236 and easily beat Malaysia. Rohit Paudel, the captain, scored 42 runs off of 43 balls, while Bhim Sharki smashed 71 to set the tone.
But it was Kushal Malla who shone brightest, scoring 70* off of only 40 balls and being named the match’s Player of the Match for his efforts. As the top bowler for Nepal, Sompal Kami took 3/40 to help secure the victory.
The difference between the two teams was Hong Kong’s spin-bowling attack, with Ehsan Khan taking 4/24 and Yasim Murtaza grabbing 3/25.
As a result of Hong Kong’s defense, Singapore’s final score was quite low, with Mohamad Ghazanfar contributing 1/39. Then, with the help of Babar Hayat’s scorching century (108* off 94 balls), they easily completed the chase.
More thrilling cricket is on the horizon now that Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have qualified for their first-ever World Cup matches. Ahead are more high-scoring, tense contests, so stock up on the popcorn.