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In a game of firsts, Iran won their first international cmatch, beating debutants China by 307 runs in Chiang Mai, Thailand in the ACC Trophy Challenge.
The Iran captain Narian Bakhtiar (120 off 66 balls) and Shirmd. Baloochnezhad (119 from 115 balls) propelled Iran to 369 for 6 in 50 overs. But the focus was on the much publicised Chinese who, while conceding over seven runs per over, bowled 17 wides, by no means a record for an Affiliate nation.
When China crashed to 19 for 5, it seemed they were set to replicate their Under-17 team and be dismissed for less than 30. (The U-17s were shot out for 17 in the equivalent under-age ACC Trophy Challenge). However, Dong Chao ground out the highest score of the innings (16 from 47 balls) and combined with Li Jian for a 21-run partnership for the eighth wicket. Extras (20) provided the greatest contribution to the Chinese total. China were eventually out for 62 off 23.5 overs.
In today's other match, Myanmar, 152 for 9, lost to Brunei Darussalam, 156 for 3.
The tournament opened yesterday with the favourites, Oman, overtaking Bhutan's 111 by eight wickets. In the other match, hosts Thailand batted first, scored 165, and then dismissed the Maldives for 159.
In Wednesday's matches, Bhutan will meet Brunei while the Maldives play Iran, a game which may put the result against China into perspective.China's next match is against Thailand on Thursday.
Senior sub-editor While teachers in high school droned on about Fukuyama and communism, young Jamie's mind tended to wander to Old Trafford and the MCG. Subsequently, having spent six years in the States - studying Political Science, then working for an insurance company - and having failed miserably at winning any cricket converts, he moved back to India. No such problem in Bangalore, where he can endlessly pontificate on a chinaman who turned it around with a flipper, and why Ricky Ponting is such a good hooker. These days he divides his time between playing office cricket and constant replenishments at one of the city's many pubs.