Maldives win the first match of the SAARC Twenty20 Cup beating Bhutan by 6 runs. Maldives captain Shafraz Jaleel won the toss on a bright sunny morning in the newly constructed Ahmed Ali Didi Cricket Ground in Fuvahmulah. Shafraz decided  to send in the Bhutanese team to bat, hoping that the newly laid artificial wicket would throw up a few surprises early in the morning.  He was rewarded early as Bhutan lost their first wicket for 22 runs.  Manoj Adhikari was caught by Shafraz off the bowling of Ahmed Umar who went on to take 4 wickets for the young Maldivian side.  After some stability Bhutan lost their second wicket for 67 runs.  Thinley Jamtsho batted with authority making 45 for 28 runs before being  stumped by Shafraz Jaleel off the bowling of Mihusan Hamid. The Bhutanese team collapsed after their good start loosing quicks wickets in the 90s. Ahmed Umar was the strike bowler taking 4 wickets for 20 runs in his 4 overs.  Ace spinner Mohamed Mahafooz took 3 wickets for  23 runs.

In reply, Maldives paid the price for starting too eagerly loosing three  early wickets; Mohamed Rishwan (0), Shafraz Jaleel (3) and Mihusan Hamid (3).   However, two good partnerships, first between Hassan Hazig and Muaviath Anwar and secondly between Muaviath A. Ghanee and Mohamed Azzam took the Maldivian team over the target line with 4 overs to spare. Muaviath, the man of the match, made an unbeated 49 runs and Azzam made 20 run.

Courtesy: Maldives Cricket Board


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