Singapore: United Arab Emirates (UAE) set about its defence of the ACC Trophy on Wednesday with a methodical win over a Oman in a rain-shortened opening day of Asia's premier tournament for non-Test playing nations.
With the match reduced to 38 overs, UAE won the toss and rattled up 196 for nine and then quickly dismissed Oman for 58 to win by 138 runs. "Despite the wet outfield, it was a good toss to win and bat first. There was a lot of topsoil on the wicket and it did not look like it would stay firm very long," UAE coach and former Indian star Abid Ali said. A commanding innings from captain Khuram Khan with 76 and Arshad Ali's 45 anchored the UAE score in the first international between the two neighbouring countries. Oman and Qatar are making their international debuts at the 10-nation ACC Trophy tournament, which draws the non-Test playing nations from Asia and the Middle East. The first day's honours in the tournament, meanwhile, went to Yazid Imran from Malaysia and Singapore captain Zubin Shroff, who both hit centuries. Shroff brought up his ton on the last ball of the match against Hong Kong to finish on 101 not out as the host side fell six runs short of its target. Hong Kong, runners-up in the last ACC Trophy tournament, piled on 222 for five in a match reduced to 36 overs, with the score later reduced to 212 for a slow over rate. For Hong Kong, Rahul Sharma finished on 43 not out, while Ravi Sujanani also scored 43. Bowling for Singapore, Sundermani took two for 36. Imran's whirlwind 109 came as Malaysia set about humbling a hapless Thailand by 194 runs. With the morning storm reducing that match to 40 overs, Malaysia posted 271 for six with Eszrafiq Aziz playing a key suporting role to Imran with 44 and Suresh Navaratnam finishing on 37 not out. Malaysian captain Navaratnam then took three for seven and Chew Pok Cheong finished with four for 17 as the Thailand batsmen were routed for 77 in 26 overs. Malaysia and UAE both finished the opening day with a bonus point. With UAE in Group 'A' are Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Nepal, while in Group 'B' are Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Maldives. The top two teams from each group will go through to the semi-finals on July 19 with the final to be played on July 21.
Thatsspecial: English Summer