Article - Mas Elysa hopes for major boost to Malaysian cricket with her world record feat
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Mas Elysa hopes for major boost to Malaysian cricket with her world record feat

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Mas Elysa hopes for major boost to Malaysian cricket with her world record feat

World record holder Mas Elysa Yasmin Zulkifli returned home with her national teammates in the dead of the night on Sunday, short of the fanfare one would have received had she been from a Test cricket playing country.

But the 17-year-old cricketer is hopeful the profile of the sport in Malaysia will skyrocket following her record breaking performance in Bangkok last week.

Proud family of Mas Elysa (17 years old) a world record holder – Best bowling in an innings, after taking 6 wickets for 3 runs

Mas Elysa set a new world women’s Twenty20 International (WT20I) record of six wickets for three runs off four overs at the Thailand Women’s T20 Smash in Malaysia’s six-wicket win over China.

“I am very proud of setting the record and raising the country’s profile,” said Mas Elysa, one of just four bowlers to claim six wickets in a WT20I although her economic rate puts her top of the list.

Mas Elysa awarded player of the match at the Thailand Women’s T20 SMASH 2019.

“I know cricket here is not as popular as in India or Sri Lanka but I hope this will boost the profile of the sport in Malaysia. I hope more people will pick up a ball or bat and play cricket.”

Greeted on arrival by Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) president Mahinda Vallipuram, her family and MCA staff, Mas Elysa broke into tears during the welcome ceremony at the Kuala Lumpur International Airprort.

Mas Elysa overcome with emotion upon seeing her entire family at the airport.

Mahinda also thanked Malindo Air chief executive Chandran Rama Muthy for their crew’s gesture in announcing Mas Elysa’s achievement during the return flight from Bangkok “which will greatly motivate the team for the future.”

Mas Elysa surprised herself with her feat given as she is remodeling her bowling style from the leg-spin she favoured prior to the match against China.

“I used to bowl leg-spin but the coach said to try something new so I just tried to find the best spots to bowl,” said Mas Elysa, who made her national team debut just before the 2017 Sea Games at a tournament in Thailand.

“I was not aware I had the set the record until the coach told me after the innings. It did not sink in at first as I was focused on batting in the next innings.

“It was only after the match that I realised the significance of my achievement. But I could not have done this without my teammates, who have been supporting me all this while.

Malaysian Cricket National Women’s team back in Malaysia. At the airport to welcome them are MCA President, MCA COO, staff and family of Mas Elysa (with bouquet).

Malaysia finished seventh at the 10-team tournament after beating Thailand A by 84 runs in a playoff on Saturday, thanks to an unbeaten 56 by Winifred Duraisingam.

Mas Elysa recorded her highest score of 30 runs during the tournament against Thailand A in a group stage match, although that game is not recognised as a WT20I.

Her next best was 22 runs against Myanmar in a placing playoff, which Malaysia lost by four wickets from a promising position.

The success against World No 25 China, however, was also notable as 31st-ranked Malaysia’s first win in a WT20I after defeats to Nepal and the United Arab Emirates in the group stage.

National coach Sampath Perera said the national team has been making progress since he first started coaching the squad in November.

Coach Sampath Perera (in white) with the National Women Cricket team.

“Previously, the batting total average was 70 runs and now they are consistently reaching 100 runs,” said Perera. “If not for a fielding collapse against Myanmar, we had enough runs on the board to win that match.”

Malaysia will return to Bangkok next month for the ICC Women’s World T20 Asia Qualifier where seven teams, including Thailand and Nepal, will be competing.

“Things can happen in cricket and I am positive we can do something good there. The team’s batting will take time to improve but they are capable of playing a good game,” said Perera.


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