ACC Twenty20 Cup 2009 DAY 2 - CHINA PUT UP A FIGHT

China's Wang Lei celebrates a 4

China came back well from their thumping 9-wicket loss to Afghanistan on the first day with a gutsy performance against Saudi Arabia at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

They lost but "we also played well and I was very proud of the way we bowled and fielded," said their coach Rashid Khan.

China's team is the youngest in the competition in years and experience. Today they made that energy and experience count, racing to the ball in the field, the bowlers unflagging and holding some terrific catches.

Saudi Arabia have some young players of their own. "How do they hit so hard?," said China's manager Zhang Tian. Saudi Arabia's Mohammad Abdullah, almost twice the age of some of the Chinese, hit some thunderous drives in reaching his 50 off 40 deliveries. The tournament marks Abdullah's debut for Saudi Arabia and he should be scoring plenty of runs for the Kingdom in the future. He was out for 63 off 49 balls with seven 4s and a 6.

Around. Abdullah, the other batsmen were kept honest by China's bowlers of whom little Li Jian was the pick. He may be small but he has the heart of a dragon and his three wickets, just as Saudi Arabia were looking to accelerate, did much to keep Saudi Arabia's total down to 155 for the loss of 7 wickets.

Three good catches by Wang Lei, skyers taken Aussie-style running in, underlined the fact that China have the basics.

Saudi Arabia's fastest, Rizwan Mansoor

Saudi Arabia are the better side no doubt but China gave them a good fight. After 10 overs China were 37 for 0, Li Jian and the captain Wang Lei the not out batsmen not setting the crowd alight but raising murmurs of appreciation from them nevertheless.

Scoring another 120 or so runs off the remaining 10 overs wasn't really going to happen given the limited armoury of strokes of the Chinese batsmen but they weren't all dismissed. The good balls were kept out and the loose ones clipped away with the tall, broad-shouldered Wang Lei hitting some thunderous drives on both sides of the wicket.

The Saudis tried pace, they tried spin, they tried everything they could to win. Reaching 100, China lost but they weren't losers.

Saudi Man of the Match v China Mohammad Abdullah with Match Referee Mansoor Pasha

Group B
China v Saudi Arabia at Sharjah C.S.
SAUDI ARABIA WON BY 55 RUNS
China won the toss and elected to field
Saudi Arabia: 155 for 7 off 20 overs (M.Abdullah 63; L.Jian 3-19)
China: 100 for 7 off 20 overs (J. Shuyao 24, W. Lei 25;S.Ali 2-17, H.Anwar 2-23)
Man of the Match: Mohammad Abdullah (Saudi Arabia)

Scorecard

ACC Twenty20 Cup 2009

Filed Nov 23nd, 2009