Lakra knocks Bahrain for a six in ACC Under-19 Western Region Tournament
UAE Under-19 medium pacer Alishan Sharafu bowls against Bahrain on Saturday. - ACC Twitter
The UAE Under-19 team have more or less booked a berth in the semifinals of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Under-19 Western Region Tournament following two comprehensive wins over the weekend.
After walloping Saudi Arabia by 173 runs in their opening Group A fixture at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday, the UAE colts ran out nine-wicket victors against their Bahraini counterparts at The Sevens on Saturday.
Captain Aryan Lakra, who has been in the midst of a purple patch right from the ICC Asia Division 1 Qualifiers held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, earlier this month, was the architect of the victory, returned with envious figures of 6-16.
The win put the UAE top of the pile in Group A with four points and with a great net run rate of 3.699, the hosts have one foot in the last four.
After a rest day on Sunday, the UAE take on Iran in their final group fixture at the Dubai International Stadium on Monday.
Opting to take first strike, Bahrain were laid low by a fantastic bowling performance by Lakra. The left-arm spinner punched holes in the Bahrain batting line-up by snuffing out six batsmen at the cost of just 16 runs in a little over six overs.
That meant Bahrain were shot out for paltry 88 in 41.2 overs with opener Rishabh Ramesh showing some sort of resistance with a pain-staking 29 from 103 balls.
Bahrain had a good start by removing opener Anand Kumar off the third ball of the first over but that was as good as it got for them as Mohammed Faraazuddin and the other opener Ashwanth Valthapa saw the UAE home with 33 overs to spare.
One-down batsman Farazzuddin struck an unbeaten 47 from 57 deliveries with the help of seven boundaries, while Valthapa made an unbeaten 35 from 47 balls with two boundaries and a six.
Earlier on Friday, Vriitya Aravind Rudhravel stroked 117 from 122 deliveries as the UAE defeated Saudi Arabia by a whopping 173 runs. Ansh Tandon made a 47-ball 52, while Niel Rohan Lobo scored 39.
Lakra, who was Player of the Tournament in Malaysia, scored 20 and took 2 for 28.
In other matches on Saturday, Oman beat Maldives by 49 runs, while Kuwait defeated Qatar by 126 runs. Saudi Arabia scored a 153-run victory over Iran.
The winners of the Western Region will qualify for the ACC Under-19 Asia Cup to be held in July and August in Sri Lanka.
Bahrain Under-19: 88 all out in 41.2 overs (Rishabh Ramesh 29, Aryan Lakra 6-16) lost to UAE Under-19: 91-1 in 17.5 overs (Mohammed Faraazuddin 47 not out, Ashwanth Valthapa 35 not out) by 9 wickets.
Oman Under-19: 155 all out in 39.5 overs (Muhammad Muzahir Raza 35, Azam Ali 34, Amanpreet Singh Sirah 29, Mohamed Rayan Tholal 4-16, Rauf Ali Raafil 2-30) beat Maldives Under-19: 107 all out in 35.1 overs (AF Yoosuf 43, Jeel Yagnesh Tanna 5-4, Yash Mehta 2-13, Arjun Saritha 2-15) by 49 runs.
Kuwait Under-19: 258-5 in 50 overs (Gokul Sunil Kumar 104, Govind Sunil Kumar 81, Shubh Agarwal 3-38) beat Qatar Under-19: 132 all out in 37.2 overs (Hussain Khan 68, Abdul Sadiq 2-27, Jandu Hamoud Amanullah 2-34) by 126 runs.
Saudi Arabia Under-19: 252-7 in 50 overs (Mohamed Nawazish Jezuli 76, Farhan 51 not out, Ahmed Abdul Waheed Baladraf 43, Abbas Ali Raeisi 2-30, D Ahmed 2-47, A Amir Hamza 2-63) beat Iran Under-19: 99 all out in 43.4 overs (Abbas Ali Raeisi 48 not out, Ahmed Abdul Waheed Baladraf 3-14, Khalid Wasim Mushir 2-9, Farhan 2-18) by 153 runs.