Saudi Arabia secured a dominant 10-wicket victory over Japan in the semi-final of the Asian Cricket Council Men’s T20I Challenger Cup, setting up a final clash with Cambodia on Sunday.
The match at the TCG in Bangkok showcased stellar performances from Saudi Arabia’s Ishtiaq Ahmad and Usman Najeeb, as well as a blistering innings from Faisal Khan, who scored an unbeaten 72 off just 33 balls.
Opting to bowl after winning the toss, Saudi Arabia’s Ahmad made an immediate impact, dismissing Lachlan Lake for a duck. Japan struggled early, with captain Kendel Fleming falling for just one run. Despite Koji Abe’s efforts, Japan could only reach 97 for eight in their 20 overs, thanks to Ahmad’s 3 for 15 and Najeeb’s 3 for 13.
In response, Saudi Arabia’s openers steadily chased down the target. Khan’s explosive innings, including 10 fours and four sixes, propelled Saudi Arabia to victory in just nine overs. Khan’s 50 off 20 balls and ultimate 72 earned him the title of leading run-scorer and six-hitter in the tournament.
Najeeb was named the player of the match. Both Saudi Arabia and Cambodia, who defeated Singapore in the other semi-final, have qualified for the Twenty20 version of the Premier Cup in Oman in April.