Saudi Arabia’s cricket team clinched a victory over Maldives on Monday in the first match of a quadrangular T20 series in Thailand, following their triumph in the ACC Men’s Challenger Cup less than 24 hours earlier.
The Greens, along with Maldives, Thailand, and Bhutan, are participating in the tournament, where each team will play four matches over five days, culminating in the third-place play-off and final on Friday.
This series serves as crucial preparation for Saudi Arabia before they head to Malaysia for the ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League playoff, featuring eight teams competing in List A matches to determine qualifiers for the next World Cup.
Saudi Arabia made several changes to their winning Challenger Cup team to face Maldives, achieving an impressive 98-run victory after setting a target of 187. Faisal Khan scored 37 runs from 21 balls, partnering with Kashif Siddique, who top-scored with 51 from 37 balls. Manan Ali’s unbeaten 47 from 24 balls ensured a competitive total.
In response, Maldives struggled, with Usman Najeeb taking two early wickets. Despite Yoosuf Azyan’s resilient 44 from 50 balls, Saudi Arabia’s bowling attack, led by captain Hisham Shaikh and leg-spinner Imran Yousaf, limited Maldives to 88 runs.
Next, Saudi Arabia will face Thailand, who displayed dominance in their earlier match against Bhutan, bowling them out for 70 and securing victory without losing a wicket.