Singapore’s Under-16 team will play Hong Kong U-16 in the semi-final of the Asian Cricket Council U-16 tournament being played in Thailand after they finished top of Group B with an eight-wicket win over China U-16 in Chiang Mai on December 14.
The other semi-final will be played between Nepal U-16, who finished top of Group A, and Malaysia U-16, who were second in Group B.
Nepal U-16 incredibly bowled out Myanmar U-16 for 13 runs in 11.3 overs at the Terdthai Cricket Ground in Bangkok on December 14 and won the match by 337 runs.
Both semi-finals will be played on December 16 in Bangkok. Singapore U-16, who won all their three matches in Group B, take on Hong Kong U-16 at the Asian Institute of Technology ground, while Nepal U-16 and Malaysia U-16 square off at the Terdthai Cricket Ground. The final and the third-place play-off are scheduled for the next day.
At the Royal Chiang Mai Golf Club ground, China U-16 decided to bat after winning the toss. Opener Gao Guohao hung around to make a patient 18 runs off 60 balls as the top-order collapsed to leave the China U-16 on 50-5 after 16.4 overs.
Captain Wang Zihao (18/32) and Chen Zhuoyue (17/18) were the other significant contributors as China U-16 could muster only 87-9 in 35 overs.
Left-arm spinner Ishaan Sawney (3-26) and leg-spinner Aryan Berry (3-6) were the main wicket-takers for Singapore U-16.
In reply, Singapore U-16 reached 88-2 in 11.5 overs, with Ishaan, the man of the match, remaining unbeaten on 35 from 33 balls. His innings included three boundaries and two sixes.
“Our chances in the semi-final are good as all our players are showing good form,” said Singapore U-16s’ coach Chetan Suryawanshi. “We have been batting and bowling well and the fielding has been outstanding.”
A slight concern is the form of captain and opener Aman Desai, who got out cheaply in all the three innings he played.
Chetan, though, observed that Aman was unlucky as he got a poor decision and fell to a full toss in another innings. “Aman is our best player and it is only a matter of time when he will shine again,” said the coach. “If he clicks, he is capable of taking us through the semi-final and final.”
Aman himself pointed out that there are several players in the Singapore U-16 team who can do the job. “We have been playing well as a unit,” he said. “If we stick to our game plan, we should have no problem beating Hong Kong”.
A big booster for the Singapore U-16s is that they have never lost to Hong Kong U-16s at this level.
Other scores on December 14
Malaysia U-16 222-9 in 35 overs. Bhutan U-16 51 all out in 21.1 overs. Malaysia U-16 won by 171 runs.
Thailand U-16 44 all out in 26 overs. Hong Kong U-16 45-1 in 10.1 overs. Hong Kong U-16 won by nine wickets.
Nepal U-16 350-6 in 35 overs. Myanmar U-16 13 all out in 11.3 overs. Nepal U-16 won by 337 runs.