Captain Aryan Ashwin scored a fluent half-century and spin twins Shashank Shukla and Nadith Tennakoon combined to pick up seven wickets as Bahrain beat Bhutan by 169 runs yesterday in their second Group A match of the eight-team 2024 ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Asia Division 2 Qualifier at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Oman.
Bahrain’s comfortable win – their second in two games – means that they have qualified for the semi-finals from their group, along with hosts Oman, who defeated Saudi Arabia by six wickets, also yesterday, for their second successive triumph.
Batting first after Ashwin won the toss, Bahrain notched up 244 for nine in their allotted 50 overs with their captain top-scoring with 56.
Needing 245 to win, Bhutan crumbled to 75 all out in 33.1 overs. Left-arm spinner Shukla was the chief destroyer, finishing with 4-25 off his 10 overs. Leg-spinner Tennekoon added to Bhutan’s torment, picking up 3-23 off 5.1 overs.
Bahrain and Oman, level on four points each, will now meet tomorrow in the final Group A match with the winner heading to the top of the table and the losing team securing second place.
Two teams from Group B, which features Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Qatar, will face off against Bahrain and Oman in the semi-finals.
The finalists of the Asia Division 2 Qualifier will head to the Asia Qualifier in 2023. Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal and the UAE have already qualified for that event.
The ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup will be held in 2024, with the host country yet to be decided.