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In the ICC U19 Men’s Asia Division 2 Qualifier semi-finals in Bangkok, Hong Kong, China, and Oman emerged victorious, setting up an exciting final showdown. Hong Kong defeated Kuwait by 33 runs, while Oman overcame Malaysia by 19 runs. Both teams have now qualified for the Asia Division 1 Qualifier.

Hong Kong, China, aimed for a total close to 200 against Kuwait and got off to a solid start. Arya Panjwani and Taran Lungani formed a formidable opening partnership, with Panjwani hitting early boundaries and Lungani supporting well. Despite a slowdown in the run rate due to Kuwait’s bowling changes, Hong Kong reached 41/0 in 10 overs and maintained steady progress. The openers brought up their 50 partnership in the 13th over and continued to build on their innings.

Panjwani reached his 50 from 80 balls, showcasing his skill with seven fours. The partnership was eventually broken at 139 runs when Panjwani was dismissed for 65. Shiv Mathur then joined Lungani, and together they accelerated the scoring. Mathur played an aggressive innings, hitting a six and four to quickly move to 40 runs.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong, China, finished their innings strongly, posting a total of 234/3. Taran Lungani batted through the innings, ending with an unbeaten 85 from 138 balls. This performance set up a solid foundation for Hong Kong, China, leading them to a victory against Kuwait and propelling them into the final against Oman.

In a gripping semi-final of the ICC U19 Men’s Asia Division 2 Qualifier in Bangkok, Hong Kong, China, showcased their bowling prowess to secure a victory over Kuwait by 33 runs, advancing to the final. Kuwait’s cautious start, with only 17 runs in the first eight overs, set the tone for their innings. Rishan Shah of Hong Kong, China, made the initial breakthrough, dismissing Melrick thanks to a catch by Shiv Mathur.

Kuwait

Despite Hinshu’s efforts at the crease, including three fours and a six, Kuwait struggled to build momentum, losing Shaies Ali to a run-out without scoring. At the drinks break, they were reeling at 35/2. The spin duo of Shayan Puri and another spinner for Hong Kong, China, tightened the screws, with Puri taking the crucial wicket of Arsh Sahil. Kuwait restricted to 51/3 after 20 overs.

Shayan Puri ended his spell with impressive figures of 10-2-27-1, and his replacement, Mathur, continued the pressure, capturing the fifth Kuwaiti wicket. At this point, Kuwait faced an uphill battle at 79/5. However, they attempted a comeback, reaching 135/5 in 40 overs, needing 100 runs in the last 10 overs.

Jay Mehta’s half-century from 70 balls ignited hope for Kuwait, but his subsequent retirement hurt due to cramp hindered their chase. Despite a brave effort and Mehta returning to bat, scoring a valiant 77 not out off 90 balls, Kuwait could only manage 201/9 in their 50 overs.

Hong Kong, China’s disciplined bowling and strategic field placements were key to their victory, earning them a spot in the final of the Asia Division 2 Qualifier and promotion to Asia Division 1.

Qualifier

In the ICC U19 Men’s CWC Asia Division 2 Qualifier semi-final, Oman emerged victorious against Malaysia in a closely contested match. Oman, batting first, faced tight bowling from Malaysia and managed to score 154 runs before being bowled out in 47.2 overs. Despite a slow start and losing wickets at regular intervals, Oman’s determination saw them through to a defendable total, with Dinesh contributing 28 runs.

Malaysia’s chase was off to a rocky start, losing two key wickets within the powerplay, including Muhammad Akram, who had previously scored a century against Thailand. The Malaysian team found themselves struggling at 47/4 after 20 overs, as Oman’s bowlers evenly shared the wickets. Despite a stabilizing effort that brought the score to 105/4 in 40 overs, Oman’s bowling attack, led by Prathiesh with figures of 3/26, proved too strong. Malaysia eventually fell short, being bowled out for 135 in 46.5 overs, 19 runs behind Oman’s total.

This victory secured Oman’s place in the Asia Division 2 Qualifier Final, demonstrating the high level of competition and the ability of young players from leading Asian sides to excel in 50-over cricket.

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