Asian Cricket Council Challenge, 5th day January 16, 2009

Thailand and Oman on course for final

Cricinfo staff

Thailand and Oman maintained their unbeaten records on the fifth day of the Asian Cricket Council Trophy Challenge in Chiang Mai, Thailand, ensuring they remain on course to meet in next Wednesday's final.

The victories, over second-placed Iran and Brunei, mean that both win their groups and so avoid clashing in Monday's semi-finals. The losers, barring some upsets in tomorrow's final round of games, will miss out on the semi-finals.

Thailand were stuck in by Iran, and the move appeared justified after they were restricted to 63 for 3 in the 17th over. But Anil Tanwani (54) and Zeeshan Khan (63) added 77 for the fourth wicket and enabled them to reach 230. Iran deserved full credit for bowling out the tournament favourites inside their allocated overs, with Atnan Zehi the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 31. Iran lost wickets from the off and were never really in the hunt, finally being dismissed for 133 in the 43rd over.

Brunei opted to bat against Oman but always struggled, and their 141 never looked enough, especially once Adnan Ilyas had started to cut free. His unbeaten 89 guided Oman to a nine-wicket win off only 14.5 overs.

Group A    P   W   L   NR  Pts  
Oman       3   3   0   0   6  
Brunei     3   1   2   0   2   
Bhutan     2   1   1   0   2
Myanmar    2   0   2   0   0

Group B P W L NR Pts Thailand 3 3 0 0 6 Iran 3 1 2 0 2 Maldives 2 1 1 0 2 China 2 0 2 0 0