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Kuwait Starts with A Bang in ASIA Cup Qualifiers

Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Kuwait Starts with A Bang in ASIA Cup Qualifiers

Edson Silva Declared Man of the Match Against UAE for his Quickfire 25 in the run chase.

Kuwait continued its flourish and determination on the big stage by announcing their presence in style as they upset UAE in a nail-biting thriller in the Asia cup qualifiers match number 2 at the Amerat Stadium in Oman.

On winning the toss, Kuwait decided to bowl first. UAE openers Chirag Suri and Mohammad Waseem showed their quality and class with an opening partnership of 78 runs in 8.4 overs. After the fall of Waseem for a brisk 35 runs off 23 balls, Chirag Suri continued his march with the support of Vriitya Aravind and they added another 81 runs partnership as UAE stared at posting a mammoth total with enough wickets in hand.

However, as Chirag Suri perished by a moment of brilliance from Ravija Sandaruwan as his direct rocket throw from third man boundary dislodging the stumps, UAE batsmen couldn’t take full advantage. Suri scored an elegant 88 off 61 balls. Smart bowling by Kuwaiti bowlers in the last few overs put the brakes effectively on UAE scoring. Looking for quick runs, UAE lost a couple more wickets in the last over, but managed to cross the 170-run mark. UAE ended up with scoring 173 for the loss of 5 wickets. For Kuwait, Shafeeq, Monib and Shiraz claimed one wicket each.

Chasing a competitive target, Kuwait got off to an excellent start, adding 53 runs for the opening wicket as Meet Bhavsar and Ravija Sandaruwan went after the UAE bowlers. As Kuwait openers looked cruising, the fielding side hit back with fine bowling from Basil striking twice off consecutive deliveries in the seventh over. Basil Hameed had Bhavsar stumped for 27 and clean bowled Adnan Idrees on duck the very next ball.

Left Arm spinner Ahmed Raza picked up Ravija Sandaruwan as he looked set on 34 runs as Kuwait were 79 for 3. Usman Ghani and Shiraz Khanstarted to build and consolidate in the middle order, however Zahoor Khan got rid of threatening Usman (21 runs off 14 balls). UAE pegged Kuwait back as they picked up another 2 quick wickets as Kuwait were looking down at 110 for the loss of 6 wickets in 13.5 overs.

Skipper Aslam took the charge and scored a quick 19 of 11 balls by going after Rohan Mustafa in the 15th over. Kuwait’s chances suffered a blow when Aslam was run out at the end of the 16th over. Edson continued the march and kept Kuwait in the hunt by smacking quick runs off Zahoor’s over. As Edson perished in 18th over, he had gotten the required rate in control for Kuwait as Kuwait needed 17 runs in 13 balls but Kuwait had only 2 wickets remaining.

Kuwait needing 9 off the last over were slightly under pressure. Yasin Patel released the pressure in style as he smoked a mighty six off Kashif Daud’s first delivery in the last over. The thriller reached climax as Monib was run out as the scores were tied with 1 needed off last 2 balls when the last man Shafeeq walked in. He confidently smashed an elegant boundary off Daud and took Kuwait over the finishing line. For his brisk 25 runs in 14 balls Edson Silva was awarded the man of the match.

In it’s quest to compete for the penultimate Asia Cup spot with the likes of five test playing nations (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan), Kuwait is off to a good start by winning the first big game by creating an upset, throwing the tournament wide open. Kuwait now take on Hongkong and Singapore on 23rd and 24th August respectively.

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