Malaysia stunned Hong Kong by three wickets while the United Arab
Emirates and Oman also posted wins on the opening day of the ACC Asia
Cup Qualifier in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.
UAE, one of the favourites to reach the final on Sept 6, routed Singapore by 215 runs while Oman edged a dramatic match against Nepal by seven wickets with 12 balls to spare.
But it was the hosts nation which produced the surprise of the day
against higher-ranked Hong Kong, who arrived in Malaysia three weeks
early to acclimatise.
However, Hong Kong found the going tough at a sun-bathed Kinrara Oval
when they were bowled out for 161 in 46.4 overs with Pavandeep Singh,
Syazrul Ezar Idrus and Suharril Fetri Shuib snarring three wickets each.
Malaysia overcame the blow of losing two early wickets with a patient
approach to reach the target of 162 for the loss of seven wickets off
The win was Malaysia's first over Hong Kong in the 50-overs format since July 2002 at the ACC Trophy in Singapore.
Following a failure to secure promotion from Division 4 of the World Cricket League in May, Ahmad Faiz Mohammad Noor was restored as Malaysian captain but he may have wished to mark this occasion
differently after being stumped for four.
Malaysia had by then lost Anwar Arudin (10) after just four balls and
Suharril (four) and were precariously positioned on 37-3.
But Shafiq Sharif led the fight back with 49 runs off 63 balls only to
be denied his fifty after being trapped leg before by Nadeem Ahmed, who
finished with 4-25.
Malaysia's middle and lower order responded in fine fashion led by Syed
Aziz Syed Mubarak (25), aided ably by Syahadat Ramli (23), Sharvin
Muniandy (21) and Virandeep Singh (16).
Earlier, man-of-the-match Pavandeep took three top-order wickets for 13
runs as Hong Kong slumped to 72-4 with Suharril (3-24) and Syazrul
(3-37) chipping in later on in the innings.
Babar Hayat hit a run-a-ball 58 to top score for Hong Kong while Scott
McKechnie added 22 to give Hong Kong a lifeline.
UAE made short work of Singapore to win by 215 runs despite a delayed
start due to a wet outfield at the UKM Oval in Bangi.
Man-of-the-match Chirag Suri made 111 runs, featuring 12 fours and two
sixes, off 124 deliveries to lead UAE to 312-8 in a match reduced to 49
Ahmed Raza grabbed six wickets for 20 as Singapore were dismissed for 97
in 25.4 overs.
Suri put on a 105-run stand with fellow opener Ashfaq Ahmed (64) before
Shaiman Anwar belted 75 off 62 to set UAE to their big score.
Six Singapore batsmen failed to get off the mark as Raza ran through the
order with only captain Chetan Suryawanshi putting up resistance after a 51.
At the Bayuemas Oval in Klang, Oman chased Nepal's total of 221-9 by
reaching 224-3 on the back of Khawar Ali's unbeaten 84.
Ali and Zeeshan Maqsood (45) finished the fourth wicket with a
partnership of 77 runs as Nepal's bowlers toiled without success.
Jatinder Singh (31) and Vaibhav Wategaonkar (40) made valuable
contributions to the Oman total.
Nepal relied heavily on Sagar Pun, who featured for champions Kuala
Lumpur in the Malaysian Premier League recently, to rebuild their
innings after falling to 80-4.
Pun hit six fours and two sixes in his 83 runs while Aarif Sheikh added
36 as Nepal set Oman a challenging chase. Opener Gyanendra Malla scored