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Adnan Ilyas’s unbeaten 82 helped Oman ease to a comfortable victory over Kuwait at Unity, ensuring Oman hold on to their No. 2 position in Group B. Deep Trividi (4 for 36) led a solid bowling effort from Oman, which halted any hopes of the Kuwait batsmen making the most of a series of good starts. Six passed 20 but Khalid Butt’s dashing 55 was the only score half-century of the innings. At 176 for 7, Kuwait were struggling to post a competitive total but a 47-run eighth-wicket stand between Muhammad Javed and Muhammad Akhudzada helped lift the total 247. Oman were reduced to 72 for 3 in reply but 111-run partnership between Ilyas and captain Sultan Ahmed carried Oman towards touching distance of the target. Ahmed made 52 at almost a run a ball before he fell to Saud Iqbal and Aamir Khaleem and Ilyas ensured there was no slip up and Oman cantered home by five wickets.
Nadeem Ahmed starred with 5 for 35 to help Hong Kong beat Singapore in their bottom-of-the-table match at Hubara. In a day dominated by the bowlers, Hong Kong slipped to a perilous 118 for 8 after 33 overs. It was left to Moner Ahmed and Nadeem to rescue Hong Kong with a crucial 52-run stand. Moner ran well between the wickets during his run-a-ball 44 while Nadeem was content to hang around, making a patient 28 from 43 balls. When they fell in quick succession to the impressive Narender Reddy (4 for 28) Hong Kong were bowled out for 194, 22 balls short of their 50-over quota. What looked a below-par total proved to be enough as Singapore’s batsmen were unable to build on the good work done by their bowlers. Munish Arora did his best to anchor the innings with a patient 52 but regular wickets kept falling as Nadeem completed an excellent all-round game to take his side to a 45-run victory.
Bhutan subsided to their third heavy defeat in a row as Malaysia romped home by 10-wickets at KEC. After UAE and Afghanistan butchered Bhutan’s bowlers in the first two games, Bhutan opted to bat first when they won the toss. However, Ghulam’s 4 for 18 and Shahgul’s 3 for 15 halted any hopes of a competitive total as Bhutan collapsed to 68 all out. Their bowlers promptly picked up from where they left off and Damidh savaged six fours and three sixes on his way to a man-of-the-match earning 53 not out as Malaysia reached the target in 38 balls.
Assistant editor Sahil Dutta grew up supporting England during the 90s. Despite this, he still enjoys the game. His unrequited passions for Graeme Hick and, in latter years, Vikram Solanki gave him a stoicism that guided him through an Economics degree and a stint working at the European Parliament. He maintains the purest love for Tests and the whims of legspin bowling and still harbours hope that he could be the answer to England's long search for a mystery spinner. As it is, his most exciting cricketing experience was planning a trip to Australia for the 2006-07 Ashes with two utterly indifferent friends. Unfortunately his lung collapsed shortly before his planned departure and the pair were left to wander around from Test to Test, unprepared and clueless. Any comparisons with England are far too obvious to make. That cancelled holiday inspired an Ashes blog which led, via some tea-making at the Wisden Cricketer, to the ESPNcricinfo towers.