Malaysia clinches Pepsi World Cricket League Division 4

Mon, Jun 30, 2014 10:40 AM

Malaysia clinches Pepsi World Cricket League Division 4
Khizar Hayat and Suharril Fetri produced brilliant all-round performances to help Malaysia beat Singapore by 57 runs to secure the ICC World Cricket League Division 4 (WCL Div. 4) title in Singapore on Saturday.

After being put into bat by Singapore, the Malaysia batsmen put up a total of 235 runs in 50 overs. Runs came from the whole line up as everyone chipped in. Man of the final Khizar Hayat provided the impetus towards the end, with a brisk 63 off 48 balls (three fours, four sixes).

Singapore’s chase started in familiar fashion, with early wickets. Run-scoring machine Chaminda Kumarage bagged another half-century (54) but he did not receive much support from the other batsmen, and the side was bowled out for 178 in the 47th over.

By virtue of reaching the final, both Malaysia and Singapore will now join Bermuda, Nepal, Uganda and USA in WCL Div. 3, which will take place from 26 October to 2 November 2014 in Uganda.

Malaysia captain Ahmed Faiz believes his team’s journey is not over yet: “We have been working hard since last October and our target is WCL Div. 2 qualification. The preparations did matter and now we have to work even harder.”

The skipper said the team’s coach, Bilal Asad, has been instrumental in his side’s recent run of form: “We have never had someone like him. So we are very lucky to have someone with so much experience. He has helped us a lot, tactics-wise and all.”

Singapore captain Saad Khan Janjua, who scored 26 and took one wicket in the final, was happy to be promoted but disappointed not to have won the tournament: “Winning an event is important. It’s a different feeling when you’re called champion. So I can’t say we are entirely satisfied.”

He said the team would now turn its focus directly to WCL Div. 3: “I have a plan. I want to go to South Africa for a development tour. That should help us getting used to the conditions there.”

In the third-place play off, Denmark beat Italy by 35 runs. Hamid Shah (52) and Zameer Khan (54) put up a solid opening stand as Denmark accumulated a massive total of 275. In its chase, Italy never looked comfortable, losing wickets at regular intervals, except for a partnership of 97 runs between Alessandro Bonora (52) and Michael Raso (56). Denmark’s Hamid Shah was named the man of the match.

Oman claimed fifth place after beating Jersey by 36 runs in the third and final match of the day. Man of the match Jatinder Singh top-scored with 90 runs to help Oman post a competitive total of 246 runs in 49 overs. Though Jersey was off to a steady start of 87 runs for the first wicket, the side faltered and eventually fell 37 runs short of victory, dismissed for 210 in the 46th over. Ajay Lalcheta for Oman picked up three wickets, finishing the tournament with 12 wickets.

Singapore’s Chaminda Ruwan Kumarage was named player of the tournament, having scored 343 runs at an average of 85.75, with three fifties and the sole century of the tournament.

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