All-round Qamar leads Kuwait to title
Kuwait's bowlers, led by Saud Qamar, crowned their consistent domination of opposition batsmen in emphatic style, skittling Germany out for 163 to set up a comfortable six-wicket victory in the final of the World Cricket League Division Eight. Both sides had already qualified for Division Seven by reaching the final.
Opting to bat first, Germany achieved what no other side in the tournament had managed, playing out Kuwait's prolific new-ball pair of Mohammad Murad and Saad Khalid without losing a wicket. Milan Fernando continued his good form, and was supported by Andre Leslie in an opening stand of 49.
However, after having weathered the pacers, the introduction of spin proved to be Germany's undoing as Fernando fell to slow left-arm bowler Azmatullah Nazeer for a brisk 32. That was the opening Kuwait needed, and Qamar capitalised with his offspinners, catching Germany captain Asif Khan and Leslie off his own bowling. From 76 for 1, Germany had slipped to 87 for 3.
Qamar and Nazeer continued to strike, and Germany crawled to 120 for 7 after 40 overs. Rana-Javed Iqbal, the fast bowler, ensured Germany played out the remaining overs, adding 36 with Shakeel Hassan for the eighth wicket. His unbeaten 25 guided Germany to 163. Qamar finished with 5 for 28.
Kuwait's bowlers had hardly allowed their batting to be pushed in the tournament, and the highest they had chased was 76 against Suriname. Irfan Bhatti was in no mood to be pushed today though, hammering five fours and two sixes in his 39 off 25 deliveries. He fell soon to legspinner Kashif Haider, but by then Kuwait had raced to 58 in 6.4 overs.
Qamar, coming in at No. 3, dropped anchor while opener Abid Chaudhry carried on from where Bhatti had left. Chaudhry's dismissal with the score on 94 triggered a mini-collapse, as Haider accounted for Kuwait captain Hisham Mirza and wicketkeeper Mohammad Akhudzada cheaply. However, Qamar found an able ally in Saad, who made up for a rare wicketless display with a breezy knock. The duo added an unbroken 56 runs as Kuwait eased to victory with more than 100 balls to spare.
More to follow ...