Article - Faiz seals series for Malaysia with third win over Hong Kong
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Faiz seals series for Malaysia with third win over Hong Kong

Malaysian Cricket Association Admin (Malaysian)

Faiz seals series for Malaysia with third win over Hong Kong

An impressive all-round display saw Malaysia battle to an eight-run win over Hong Kong in the third Twenty20 International match at the Kinrara Oval on Sunday for an unassailable 3-0 series lead.

The nerve-wrecking win came on the back of victories by 21 runs and 35 runs in the first two meetings as World No 39 Malaysia belied their lower ranking to shock Hong Kong, who prior to this series had won both T20 meetings between the two teams.

Malaysia captain Ahmad Faiz Mohammad Noor had more than one reason to celebrate as he struck his first half-century in 13 T20I matches, surpassing his previous highest of 45 against Nepal in July last year.

Faiz and Sharvin Muniandy's 48-run stand for the fifth wicket paced Malaysia to 152-9  before Syazrul Ezat Idrus bagged three wickets to restrict Hong Kong to 144-7 despite Waqas Khan also scoring his first T20I half-century for the visitors.

"We still have two more games to play and just because we have won the series it does not mean we take our foot off the pedal," said man-of-the-match Faiz, who scored 58 despite being troubled by back pain.

"Today was a great team effort, and credit to Waqas, even though Hong Kong tried to target our bowlers later in the innings. They started slow but tried to finish strong, just as we did."

Of his own display, Faiz said: "I'm happy to get my first T20I fifty because I've done it a few times in 50-over games. This was the one I've waited for a long time. Now I hope to build on this performance, as well as the team."

Malaysia made one change from Friday's match with injured opener Bhushan Save replaced by Nazril Rahman in the line-up.

That meant Virandeep Singh had a new opening partner in Arief Jamaludeen, who was promoted up the order but lasted four deliveries in scoring one run after getting out leg-before when he slipped attempting a sweep shot off Kinchit Shah.

Spinner Aftab Hussain bowled Virandeep for 19 before enticing Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak (11) to hit to long-on for his second wicket and leave Malaysia at 54-3 after nine overs.

Faiz maintained his composure as wickets kept tumbling around him with Aminuddin Ramly (8) becoming Hussain's third victim after a 27-run partnership

The captain brought up his fifty off 39 balls with a double as 20 runs came from the 16th over bowled by Waqas Barkat.

Sharvin fell when he was bowled for 25 off 16 balls, hitting a six and two fours, by Aizaz Khan after a failed reverse sweep shot with Malaysia reaching 129-5 after 17 overs.

Haroon Arshad ended Faiz's stay after facing 46 balls and smashing five fours and a six before Nazril exited three balls later without scoring.

Arshad then picked up the wickets of Fitri Sham and Syazrul in the final over to finish with 4-12 as the hosts added an ultimately valuable 23 runs off the last 18 balls.

Pavandeep Singh rattled Hong Kong early as opener Shahid Wasif was caught by wicketkeeper Virandeep after three deliveries and Syazrul had Kinchit trapped leg-before as the visitors fell to 17-2 inside four overs.

Syazrul struck again to remove Nizakat Khan (10) lbw before Fitri Sham bowled Barkat for two as Hong Kong slipped to 34-4.

But Waqas Khan and Scott McKechnie gave Hong Kong hope with a 73-run stand until Syazrul broke up the partnership by having the former caught by Sharvin going for one boundary too many. Waqas, who reached his fifty off 39 balls, exited having hit three fours and two sixes off 47 deliveries for 60 runs.

Hong Kong battled on till the last ball to keep the hosts on tenterhooks until McKechnie had his stumps knocked off by Sharvin to spark cheers among the home team and crowd.

The series continues with the fourth T20I at Kinrara on Monday (Feb 24) at 2pm.

Malaysia 152-9 in 20 overs (Ahmad Faiz 58, Sharvin Muniandy 25, Virandeep Singh 19, Haroon Arshad 4-12, Aftab Hussain 3-
Hong Kong 144-7 in 20 overs (Waqas Khan 60, Scott McKechnie 38, Syazrul Ezat 3-17, Fitri Sham 2-31)
Result: Malaysia won by 8 runs
Series: Malaysia lead 3-0

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