Malaysia has claimed the first ever SEA Games cricket gold medal after a stunning individual performance from captain Anwar Arudin put Indonesia to the sword in the final 50 Over match of the tournament at Kinrara Oval.
The hosts entered the game with the gold medal all but in their hands after yesterday triumphing over their main rival Singapore, but refused to lay back until the task was complete, ending the competition as the only undefeated side.
The Tigers were merciless in their decimation of the visitors and were led by Anwar Arudin’s 162 to set the biggest total of the tournament of 320, before tearing through Indonesia’s batting order to have them all out for 69.
The scenes of jubilation from the Malaysia team were heartfelt, as was the applause the players gave the home crowd as they took a victory lap around the boundary and the sense of pride when receiving their medals during the post-match ceremony.
Captain Anwar Arudin suggested there would be a certain intent to Malaysia’s innings when he won the toss and elected to bat, instead of putting in a side his bowlers were always likely to overcome inside 50 overs.
That intent was quickly laid bare. When Malaysia lost its first wicket with the fall of Fikri Makram for seven, it was already 81 after just eight overs – meaning Anwar Arudin had punished the Indonesian attack in an almost solo effort.
The skipper bludgeoned his century off just 66 balls and carried on to a commanding 162 from 108 balls, with 21 fours and four sixes, before holing out to long on off Gede Darma Arta with his side 214-2.
The gulf in skill level between the two sides was apparent, but Indonesia’s cause was not helped by some sloppy fielding that often turned what should have been in-field dot balls into boundaries.
Malaysia was aided by another strong contribution from Virandeep Singh Jagjit Singh (58) and, despite falling to be all out for 320, the dismissals mostly came in the final 10 overs, when the hosts were risk-taking their way to the largest total of the tournament.
Indonesia entered its chase full of determination, bolting at a run rate of about 10 an over before opener Muhaddis was bowled for 11 by Muhammad Anwar A.Rahman.
Fellow opener Anjar Tadarus was positive in his approach, but when he fell for 29 to Anwar Rahman (29-5), the Indonesians simply did not have the firepower to continue the chase.
The best score of the remaining batsmen was just five, as an attack led by the punishing Anwar Rahman homed in on the gold medal, eventually claiming a memorable and historic victory for Malaysia.