Singapore off to winning start
Hosts Singapore got off to a winning start in the World Cricket League Division 6 with a seven-wicket win over Guernsey thanks to fifties from Buddika Mendis and Narender Reddy, and six wickets from Mulewa Dharmichand, in the opening match at The Padang. Dharmichand, the Man of the Match, ripped through Guernsey with 6 for 55, restricting them to a below-par 169, a total they achieved largely thanks to 58 from their wicketkeeper, 19-year-old Tom Kimber. Dharmichand fell for a fourth-ball duck in Singapore's chase of 170, but the hosts were never in any real danger thereafter owing to Mendis and Reddy's second-wicket partnership of 89. Both fell in quick succession, but Monish Arora saw them home with 29 from 54, with more than 17 overs to spare.
"It's obviously great to start the tournament this way and to secure a first match win, but we must not get ahead of ourselves, we have plenty more matches to play," said Dharmichand.
A pair of scorching 70s from Zaheer Ashiq and Shahid Ahmed and 6 for 56 from Aamer Waheed led Norway to an impressive 19-run win over Botswana at The Kallang Ground. Set a very testing 271, Botswana were reduced to 158 for 5, but James Moses gave them hope with a tremendous 101 from 103 balls. Unfortunately, there was little else of substance from his team-mates, and Waheed mopped up the tail to record a solid 19-run win. Norway's 270 for 9 was set up by the captain, Ashiq, who cracked nine fours and two sixes in his 75, while Shahid's 75 came at a run-a-ball.
Solly Chotia, the Botswana coach, commented: "We really tried very hard today and we just didn't quite make it. This is the first of six matches we'll be playing and we must take the positives and look now to beating Singapore tomorrow."
Bahrain's bowlers held their nerve in the tournament's first tense encounter, holding off a strong late challenge from Malaysia who couldn't quite reach their target of 238 at the Indian Association Ground. Malaysia's chase was anchored by Ahmed Faiz's 62 and 58 from Suhan Alagaratnam, who set them on course, but a middle-order collapse allowed Bahrain, the Division 7 champions, back into the game. Muthuraman Sockalingam cracked 11 from 8, but with the No.10 for company, Nik Azril Arivin, he wasn't able to see them over the line, falling two runs short. Bahrain's innings fell apart, too, collapsing to 108 for 6, before Qamar Saeed thrashed 75 from 69 to help them post a very competitive 237 for 8.
"It was our match to lose, and we did that," Malaysia coach, Rajiv Seth, said. "It's not a great feeling but we must try our hardest to do well for our next game which is against Norway who secured a good victory today over Botswana."