Malaysia and Saudi Arabia start with wins
All four matches of the opening day followed a similar theme: the team batting first made a middling score before pulling off fairly comfortable victories. Hosts Malaysia posted 267 after choosing to bat against Bahrain in their match at Kinrara Academy Oval, thanks to sixties from middle-order batsmen M Krishnamurthi and Eszrafiq Azis. The other major contributor was No. 3 Suhan Alagaratnam, who made a patient 46. Bahrain looked on target for a win as opener Imran Sajjad cracked five sixes and seven fours in a 53-ball 73 but were derailed by legspinner Dinesh Sockalingham's four wickets. Azis followed up his whirlwind batting effort with a tight spell of 10-0-28-1 as Malaysia completed a 33-run victory.
In the other Group A encounter, Saudi Arabia opened their campaign with a 29-run win over UAE at the Royal Military College. On being sent in, their openers had contrasting fortunes: Hammad Saeed was dismissed for a duck in the first over while Khalid Butt laced a 96-ball 110, featuring 14 fours and 5 sixes, to power Saudi Arabia to 228. Despite needing to chase a modest total, the UAE batsmen set off as if needing to overhaul a massive score. Manic cameos from Mohammad Iqbal (14 off 5), Amjad Ali (38 off 22) and Saqib Ali (48 off 42) kept the asking rate in check but wickets were falling with alarming frequency. UAE kept attacking to the end, being dismissed for 199 after facing just 30 overs.
Despite being sent in on a damp pitch at the Selangor Turf Club, Nepal trumped Hong Kong by 44 runs. Measured forties from Paresh Lohani and Sharad Vesawkar, and a more cavalier 81 from Paras Khadka lifted them to 245. They were helped along by a couple of dropped catches and an over-attacking field. Early blows from medium-pacer Binod Das left Hong Kong stuttering at 35 for 3. Their top scorer was Butt Hussain, who crawled to 52 off 123 balls, but with none of his team-mates crossing 25, Hong Kong slumped to a loss.
Medium-pacer Chaminda Ruwan took five wickets as Singapore completed a 35-run win over Qatar at the Bayuemas Oval. A team effort from the batsmen, with five of them making more than 26, lifted Singapore to 227. Qatar looked in control as half-centuries from captain Omer Taj and Tamoor Sajjad left them needing 98 off the last 20 overs, with seven wickets in hand. Ruwan, though, ripped through the middle order - four wickets falling in the space of six runs - to consign Qatar to defeat.