The ACC Elite Trophy began today in Singapore, and the hosts found themselves on the receiving end of a surprise defeat to Saudi Arabia.
Put into bat by the Saudis, pre-tournament favourites Singapore struggled for the most part. Andre de Lange and Chaminda Ruwan put on 66 for the second wicket, but that was the only partnership of note as Singapore were bowled out for just 149.
In reply, Saudi Arabia lost their first three wickets cheaply, with just 27 runs on the board. But the fourth wicket pairing of Shahbaz Rasheed and captain Afzal Saleem were able to put on a partnership of 102 before Rasheed was dismissed for 66, swinging the game the way of the visiting side.
Singapore gave them a brief scare when they took three quick wickets to take the score from 142-4 to 148-7, but the damage had already been done, and Saudi Arabia secured a reasonably straightforward three wicket win.
On the Padang ground, Kuwait won the toss and put Bahrain into bat. Like Singapore, Bahrain struggled, mostly against Saad Khalid. The right arm pace bowler took 5-26 from his nine overs as Bahrain were bowled out for 147.
Kuwait had little trouble knocking off the required runs, and did so in 31.2 overs to win by four wickets. Captain Hisham Mirza top scored for them with 47.
It was an even more low scoring game at the Kallang Ground, where Bhutan took on the Maldives. After early rain reduced the game to a 47 over contest, Bhutan chose to bat first after winning the toss.
They were promptly bundled out for just 109, with Mihusan Hamid bowling superbly. In his nine overs he bowled five maidens and took 3-15. Sonam Tobgay was the only Bhutan batsman to get any sort of start, top scoring with 28.
The Maldives started their chase rapidly, reach 36 before the first wicket was lost in the fifth over. Rain then drove the players from the field, and the target was reduced to 101 from 39 overs.
The rain break evidently affected the concentration of the Maldives batsmen, as they proceeded to lose wickets rapidly. Ahmed Hassan top scored with 36, but wickets were falling all around him. They did manage to hold on though, and secured a three wicket win with 12 overs to spare.
The tournament continues tomorrow with hosts Singapore playing Kuwait, Bhutan playing Saudi Arabia and Bahrain playing the Maldives.
Singapore lost to Saudi Arabia by 3 wickets
Indian Association, Singapore, 7 June
Singapore 149 (42.4 overs, A de Lange 45, C Ruwan 39, Mohammad Nadeem 3-19)
Saudi Arabia 150-7 (40.5 overs, Shahbaz Rasheed 66, Afzal Saleem 41, Amjad Mahboob 3-29)
Kuwait beat Bahrain by 4 wickets
The Padang, Singapore, 7 June
Bahrain 147 (39.4 overs, Adnan Butt 35, Saad Khalid 5-26)
Kuwait 148-6 (31.2 overs, Hisham Mirza 47)
Maldives beat Bhutan by 3 wickets (D/L)
Kallang Ground, Singapore, 7 June
Bhutan 109 (47 overs, Mihusan Hamid 3-15)
Maldives 101-7 (27 overs, target 101 in 39 overs, Ahmed Hassan 36)