Singapore and Bahrain remain unbeaten
Mulewa Dharmichand starred with bat and ball as hosts Singapore recorded their second win in Division Six of the ICC World Cricket League, beating Botswana by 55 runs at the Indian Association Ground. Dharmichand made 39 at the top of the order before Narender Reddy (40) and Anish Param (47) helped steady a shaky middle-order. But it was Saad Janjua's entertainingly free-spirited 51 which gave Singapore the momentum they needed, an innings which included five fours and two sixes. Set 246 to win Botswana began nicely with Faisal Rana (53) and Shah Zaib Khan putting on 77 for the opening wicket but there was little fight from the middle and lower order, as Dharmichand (3 for 49) and Reddy (3 for 25) stifled their run-chase.
Singapore captain Chetan Suryawanshi said he was looking forward to the next game against Bahrain. "It's going to be a good match because we've both won two games but we have previously played them in an Asian Cricket Council event and both times we beat them convincingly so I'm confident."
His counterpart Omar Ali reflected on the positives after the defeat. "Those positives include the fact that the top order did particularly well today and our bowlers managed to make some good breakthroughs," Omar said. "I feel with tomorrow's game against Malaysia, we can definitely put up a fight against them. It's obviously going to be tough, especially since they have come off such a commanding victory over Norway, but I'm not going to let that daunt any of my team."
Bahrain outplayed Guernsey with Adil Hanif cracking 92, to win by 62 runs at the Kallang Ground. Guernsey began strongly, however, when Blane Queripel's two quick wickets left Bahrain limping on 39 for 3. But Hanif soon took command with 92 from 123, while their innings was given a major late boost by Azeem ul Haq's thrilling and unbeaten 72 from 71 balls. Guernsey set off in pursuit of a tricky 252 but their top-order, like Bahrain's, struggled to be reduced to 98 for 4. Unlike Bahrain, however, they couldn't mount a strong enough counterattack despite 56 from Jeremy Frith and 36 from Ben Ferbrache, and they fell 62 runs short. Fahad Sadeq was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 47.
It was Guernsey's third defeat to Bahrain in the last four months, and the coach Andy Cornford obviously wasn't pleased. "Bahrain are very positive when they bat," he said. "They bat well and they bat deep which is something we just weren't able to combat today. It's something we spoke about before the match but not a plan that came off when we were out there.
"We're in a bit of dogfight now to stay in Division 6 and tomorrow's game against Norway is going to be crucial for us, so we've got to go in there with a good attitude despite the loss today."
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Over at The Padang, Malaysia completely outplayed Norway, beating them by nine wickets with more than 18 overs to spare. Norway could only manage 188 in their innings, Adeel Ibrar top-scoring with 66 from 100 balls, while Shahid Ahmed made 41. Malaysia lost Shafiq Sharif† early for 8 before Rakesh Madhavan (95*) and Ahmed Faiz put on an unbroken second-wicket stand of 167 to seal the match in emphatic style.
Malaysia captain Suhan Alagaratnam was happy with the way his players carried themselves in the field. "I'm really happy with the way my team came through today and the boys really played well," Alagaratnam said. "I think we just played more freely today and enjoyed ourselves out in the field. We showed everyone that we can bounce back from defeat by winning by nine wickets and I hope we carry this momentum through to the next matches."