MUSCAT: Oman will take on fancied Kuwait in the first semifinal of the ACC Under-16 Western Region tournament at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday. Favourites UAE will play Saudi Arabia in the second semifinal at Eden Garden, Ajman the same day.
The final will be played in Sharjah on Friday. Winless Bahrain and Maldives exit the six-team tournament as the bottom-placed sides.
The mood in the Oman camp is quite upbeat despite a big 8-wicket loss to UAE on Monday after handing Maldives a big thrashing a day earlier.
“We are pretty confident going into the last four stage. Kuwait is a strong and experienced side but our morale is high. Our boys are raring to go as it’s a knockout stage now,” said team manager Dad Mohammed al Balushi from Sharjah.
He said the team could not perform to its potential against UAE due to rain under tough batting conditions which eased out in due course of time and UAE found a dry wicket to bat on.
“Our team is working hard in the nets. I am pleased to see the high spirits in our camp and all the boys are confident of giving a good account of their talent and skill in the vital game against Kuwait on Thursday,” added Al Balushi.
Earlier, having a bad day on the field of play, Oman lost to UAE by 8 wickets in its second match of the ACC Under-16 Western Region tournament here at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.
UAE won the toss and decided to bowl first in a game curtailed to 23 overs a side due to rain. Oman batted painfully slow and could manage only 101 for 5 in its quota of overs.
Rushil Dadwal topscored with 36 but consumed 61 balls before he was run out. Prathamesh Santhosh was the other notable scorer with 24 off 36. Chathiya Dashan, Aryan Lakra and Yuvraj J took one wicket each.
UAE raced to the target in the 19th over, scoring 104 for only two wickets. Ansh batted brilliantly to score 49 off 40 while Mohammed A contributed vital 22 off 23 balls. Parathamesh and Udana Palihawadana bagged one wicket each.
Brief scores: Oman Under-16 101 for 5 in 23 overs (Rushil Dadwal 36 – 3×4, Prathamesh Santhosh 24 – 1×4) lost to UAE 105 for 2 in 18.2 overs (Ansh 49 – 4×4, 3×6, Mohammed A 22 not out – 1×4, 1×6) by 8 wickets.