Article - FAIZ CONFIDENT OF GOOD SHOWING BY MALAYSIA AT T20 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
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FAIZ CONFIDENT OF GOOD SHOWING BY MALAYSIA AT T20 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

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07/29/2019

FAIZ CONFIDENT OF GOOD SHOWING BY MALAYSIA AT T20 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

 

Malaysia begin the ICC Twenty20 World Cup Asian Regional Finals on July 22 in Singapore as the lowest ranked team but have put the other four teams in the qualifying tournament on notice.

Two encouraging performances against Nepal, the highest-ranked non-Test team at 11th in the ICC’s Twenty20 rankings, in a Twenty20 International (T20I) bilateral series at the Kinrara Oval last week have given World No 35 Malaysia reason to be confident going into the second stage of the qualifiers.

Qatar (21), Singapore (23) and Kuwait (28) are also ranked higher than Malaysia but team captain Ahmad Faiz Mohammad Noor has played down the importance of the rankings.

“The ranking has only been produced for the last few months and we’ve not played Kuwait and Qatar in recent times. So we cannot use that as a yardstick. The current ranking is not really reflective of the teams’ strengths,” said Faiz.

“If you look at Malaysia and Nepal, the ranking gap between 11th and 35th looks wide but we showed in the bilateral series that we are not far off from them.

“The teams have seen what we can do and are probably trying to figure out a way to overcome us. As the lowest ranked team in the tournament, we almost beat Nepal which is a very good thing.”

Only the winner of the five-team tournament will advance to the T20 World Cup Global Qualifier to be held in the United Arab Emirates on Oct 11-Nov 3. The UAE would have been the sixth team to play in the Asian Regional Finals but have advanced directly to the global qualifiers as hosts.

Seven more teams from the regional finals around the world will join Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Oman, Scotland, UAE and Zimbabwe in the global qualifiers. Papua New Guinea have since qualified from the East Asia-Pacific finals.

Prior to the 2-0 defeat to Nepal, Malaysia beat Thailand twice and Maldives once in a Tri-Series at Kinrara last month to move up one rung in the world rankings. A second match against Maldives was rained off.

In the Asian Eastern Sub Regional Qualifier last October, Malaysia finished third to advance to the regional finals despite losing to Nepal and Singapore.

“Our recent performances, especially against Nepal, have given us a boost for the coming games. The unity of team is getting stronger, we have prepared early through motivational camps. We are ready and hope to do well in Singapore,” Faiz.

“It’s better to be the underdogs than to be overconfident but we want to go there to show what we can really do. The players and management all believe we have come a long way as we showed against Nepal. There are a lot of positives we can take away.”

Malaysia’s batting performance improved significantly against Nepal with Virandeep Singh and Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak each scoring a fifty while Faiz scored 45 in the first match. Virandeep and Syed Aziz could open the batting for Malaysia, as they did in the second match against Nepal when they put on a 75-run partnership. Fitri Sham led the bowlers with a total of four wickets.

Led by captain Paras Khadka, Nepal start the tournament as strong favourites after defeating Malaysia 2-0 last week, having also won 2-1 against 16th-ranked UAE in both a one-day international and T20I series in January-February.

Nepal are bidding to qualify for the T20 World Cup for a second time following their maiden appearance in 2014 when they defeated Hong Kong and Afghanistan in the first group stage.

But the main attraction will be the Causeway rivalry between Singapore and Malaysia with the hosts claiming the upperhand after winning the past five meetings since the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Sea Games final.

This match on July 26 will be the penultimate fixture for each time and will have a crucial bearing on which team remains in the running for the sole qualification berth going into the last round of matches.

Malaysia open against Kuwait on July 22 before facing Nepal, who Malaysia have not beaten in 10 years, two days later. After playing Singapore, Malaysia end their campaign against Qatar on July 27.

Malaysia have not beaten Kuwait in any format since a five-run win at the ACC Trophy in 2000, including two T20 matches. The last time the two teams met, Kuwait edged to a two-wicket win in a 2015 ACC Twenty20 Cup match in Sharjah in which Pavandeep Singh took four wickets.

Qatar and Malaysia have not met for 10 years and the two teams split their two previous meetings.

All matches take place at the Singapore Indian Association ground.

SQUAD

Ahmad Faiz Mohammad Noor (capt), Shafiq Sharif, Virandeep Singh, Anwar Rahman, Syahadat Ramli, Anwar Arudin, Fitri Sham, Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak, Pavandeep Singh, Sharvin Muniandy, Nazril Abd Rahman, Pasha Syafiq Ali, Aminuddin Ramli, Neville Liyanage.

PREVIOUS T20 MEETINGS

v Kuwait (0-2)
2015 Kuwait beat Malaysia by 2 wickets – ACC Twenty20 Cup (Sharjah)
2009 Kuwait beat Malaysia by 97 runs – ACC Twenty20 Cup (Sharjah)

v Qatar (1-1)
2009 Malaysia beat Qatar by 16 runs – ACC Twenty20 Cup (Abu Dhabi)
2007 Qatar beat Malaysia by 8 wickets – ACC Twenty20 Cup (Kuwait)

v Nepal (1-5)
2019 Nepal beat Malaysia by 6 runs – Bilateral series (Kinrara)
2019 Nepal beat Malaysia by 7 wickets – Bilateral series (Kinrara)
2018 Nepal beat Malaysia by 8 wickets – ICC T20 World Cup Asian Eastern Sub Regional Qualifier (Bayuemas)
2013 Nepal beat Malaysia by 19 runs – ACC Twenty20 Cup (Kathmandu)
2009 Malaysia beat Nepal by 6 wickets – ACC Twenty20 Cup (Sharjah)
2007 Nepal beat Malaysia by 21 runs – ACC Twenty20 Cup (Kuwait City)

v Singapore (4-5)
2018 Singapore beat Malaysia by 40 runs – ICC T20 World Cup Asian Eastern Sub Regional Qualifier (Bayuemas)
2018 Singapore beat Malaysia by 6 wickets – Stan Nagaiah Trophy (Singapore Indian Association)
2018 Singapore beat Malaysia by 4 wickets – Stan Nagaiah Trophy (Singapore Indian Association)
2018 Singapore beat Malaysia by 2 wickets – Stan Nagaiah Trophy (Singapore Indian Association)
2017 Singapore beat Malaysia by 3 wickets – Sea Games final (Kinrara)
2016 Malaysia beat Singapore by 62 runs – Quadrangular series (Kinrara)
2016 Malaysia beat Singapore by 83 runs – Stan Nagaiah Trophy (Kinrara)
2015 Malaysia beat Singapore by 6 wickets – ACC Twenty20 Cup (Sharjah)
2013 Malaysia beat Singapore by 6 wickets – ACC Twenty20 Cup (Kirtipur, Nepal)

FIXTURES

July 22 – Singapore v Qatar (10am)
July 22 – Malaysia v Kuwait (2.30pm)
July 23 – Qatar v Nepal (10am)
July 23 – Singapore v Kuwait (2.30pm)
July 24 – Nepal v Malaysia (10am)
July 26 – Qatar v Kuwait (10am)
July 26 – Singapore v Malaysia (2.30pm)
July 27 – Kuwait v Nepal (10am)
July 27 – Malaysia v Qatar (2.30pm)
July 28 – Singapore v Nepal (10am)


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