Singapore take title with 68-run win
Singapore 242 for 8 (Arora 52, Param 41, Sadeq 3-35) beat Bahrain 174 (Dar 73, Ahmed 31, Janjua 3-19) by 68 runs
Singapore emerged triumphant in the World Cricket League Division 6 after notching up their sixth consecutive win by beating Bahrain in the final at the Kallang Ground by 68 runs. It was a collective effort from the hosts with the batsmen chipping in with important contributions to take their team to a challenging score of 242, and the bowlers rallying around medium-pacer Saad Janjua, who took 3 for 19.
Like most teams in a pressure game, Singapore opted to put the runs on the board but faltered early, losing captain Chetan Suryawanshi in the first over. But the others stepped up to the task. Buddika Mendis (32) and Narender Reddy (27) put together 65 for the second wicket, and the pair of Monish Arora (52) and Anish Param (41) consolidated further, adding 74 for the fourth. Bahrain, though, struck back, with spinners Qamar Saeed and Fahad Sadeq sharing five wickets between them. At 191 for 7, the hosts were in danger of being bowled out under 200, but the tail resisted well, led by Christopher Janik's 19-ball 39, to reach a total that eventually proved adequate.
Bahrain were shut out of contention fairly early in their chase, as the Singapore bowlers kept chipping away, reducing them to 60 for 7. Singapore's victory would have proved more comprehensive had it not been for a rearguard eighth-wicket stand of 95 between Tahir Dar (73) and wicketkeeper Shahzad Ahmed (31). But the damage had been done, and the asking rate had crept up to over 10-an-over. Once Tahir fell with the score on 155, victory for Singapore was inevitable and they didn't take too long to wrap it up.
But the disappointment of defeat for Bahrain will be assuaged somewhat by the fact that both teams have qualified for Division 5 of the World Cricket League.
"We've had a really great tournament and all our skills have improved greatly, especially in the fielding, thanks to our coach Trevor Chappell," Singapore captain Chetan Suryawanshi said. "We're now really looking forward to Division 5 in Nepal where we hope we can be as successful as we have been here in our own backyard."
3rd place play-off
Guernsey secured third place in the World Cricket League Division 6 by winning a thrilling contest against Malaysia by two runs at The Padang. Jeremy Frith scored a century and James Warr contributed 69, after Guernsey were asked to bat, to lead their team to a competitive score of 264 for 8. The innings got off to a poor start when Ross Kneller was dismissed with the score on 5 but Frith and Warr added 157 for the second wicket. However, there were no more substantial contributions from the middle and lower order and Suresh Navaratnam and Hassan Mohammed finished with 3 for 48 and 4 for 53 respectively. Malaysia's top-order batsmen weighed in with useful contributions during the run chase but only Ahmed Faiz, who made 67, went past fifty. The periodical fall of wickets - Frith took 2 for 44 to go with his century - hampered Malaysia's momentum and they fell agonisingly short of victory in the final over.
5th place play-off
Botswana took fifth place in the league after Norway's spirited chase of 346 runs ended 23 runs short at the Indian Association Ground. Karan Kapoor's quickfire century and Abdul Patel's 53, before he retired, took Botswana to an imposing total. Kapoor 119-ball 139 included 14 fours and three sixes at a strike-rate of 116.8. He was finally dismissed by Iram Dawood with the score at 264. Karobo Modsie (44 off 21 balls) and Omar Ali (25 off 13) took Botswana past 300. Norway used eight bowlers out of whom Dawood was the most successful with 3 for 93. Norway's chase began positively, with the openers Umran Shehzad and Zaheer Ashiq adding 77. Ashiq added another 68 with Iftikhar Hussain before they fell in quick succession. While the other batsmen chipped in, Norway were hurt by the lack of a big score like Kapoor's. They lost their eighth wicket soon after passing the 300-mark and the last two added 18 before folding in the final over. Botswana also used eight bowlers, four of whom picked up two wickets each.