Ahsan stars in astonishing Kuwait win
Kuwait's No. 9, Mohammad Ahsan, scored an unbeaten 91 and added 96 runs with last man Saad Khaliq, who stuck it out for 32 balls to score a run, to take them to an astonishing one-wicket win over Singapore at the Kinrara Academy Oval. Singapore had relied on half-centuries from Chetan Suryawanshi (65 off 68) and Monish Arora (62 off 124), and some generous bowling from Kuwait's bowlers, who conceded 32 extras, to post 237 for 9. Kuwait stuttered to 70 for 5, but a 64-run stand between Hisham Mirza (47) and Mohammad Javed kept them in the hunt. Singapore then grabbed four wickets for eight runs to leave then just a wicket away from victory. But the late-order heroics from Ahsan, who smashed seven sixes and eight fours, took Kuwait to an unlikely triumph.
Unbeaten half-centuries from Gyanendra Malla (76 not out) and Sharad Vesawkar (51 not out), and their 126-run stand, took Nepal to a comfortable seven-wicket win against Qatar at the Royal Military College ground. Choosing to bat, Qatar began slowly, making just 46 in the first 15 overs. Their captain, Omer Taj, made 48 off 77 balls, but did not receive much support from the middle order. Rusharat Ali, the wicketkeeper, struck an unbeaten 40 as Qatar were eventually bowled out for 171. Shakti Gauchan, a legspinner, and seamer Basata Negmi took three wickets each. A double-strike from Abbas Khan gave Nepal early jitters as they fell to 46 for 3, but Malla and Vesawkar combined to dash Qatar's hopes.
UAE, led by a three-wicket haul from the legspinner Riaz Khaliq, bowled well to restrict Afghanistan to 214, a score they overhauled in 47.1 overs to register a three-wicket win at the Bayuemas Oval. Nowroz Mangal, the Afghanistan captain, led the way with a 67-ball 55, adding 74 runs for the first wicket with Karim Khan (33). Mohammad Nabi, the No. 5 batsman, also contributed with an aggressive 40. UAE suffered an early setback when they lost opener Mohammad Iqbal for 8, but Arshad Ali's patient 127-ball 62, and a 61-ball 42 from Khurram Khan put them on track for victory. With wickets falling regularly toward the end, Mohammad Tauqir blitzed five fours in an unbeaten 24 to finish off the match.
Bahrain built on Azeem-ul-Haq's 79 and some telling contributions from the lower order to amass 335, before skittling out Saudi Arabia for just 137 in their crushing 198-run win at the Selangor Turf Club. Saudi Arabia's decision to field first seemed to have worked when Bahrain collapsed to 77 for 3, but Imran Sajjad blasted 62 off 54 balls to reclaim the initiative. Bahrain kept up a good run rate, but they had lost half their side by the 27th over with 159 runs on the board. Azeem partnered Tahir Dar (35) and Akmal Malik (23) take them past 300. Saudi Arabia were completely undone in their chase, with the only resistance coming from Suhrab Kilsingatakam, who made 52. The pick of the Bahrain bowlers were Halal Abbasi and Fahad Sadeq, who took three wickets apiece.