News - Malaysia tie Netherlands in last ball drama at Tri-Nations Series
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Malaysia tie Netherlands in last ball drama at Tri-Nations Series

21/04/2021POSTED BY Malaysian Cricket Association Admin

Malaysia tie Netherlands in last ball drama at Tri-Nations Series

MALAYSIA nearly shocked the Netherlands as the two sides battled to a tie in a match shortened by rain at the Bajaj Pulsar Tri-Nations T20I Series in Kirtipur, Nepal on Wednesday.

The result ended Malaysia's hopes of reaching the final with the Netherlands and Nepal guaranteed to play in Saturday's showpiece even though Nepal and Malaysia still have to play one more preliminary round match on Friday.

Despite getting a first point after three matches, Malaysia cannot overtake the Netherlands (five points) and Nepal (four) in the standings following Malaysia's first tie in 27 T20I matches.

Malaysia appeared set for a first-ever win over the Netherlands, who have qualified for the T20 World Cup in India later this year, in any format but a second rain interruption ruined the national team's momentum.

Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak and Anwar Arudin were well set after steering Malaysia to 56 for no loss from six overs at the Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground but Malaysia still fell one run short of their revised target.

The weather also reduced the Dutch innings with the Netherlands ending on 107-4 after 13 overs thanks to Ben Cooper's unbeaten 54. The Malaysian bowlers, who had only taken three wickets from the first two matches, came to life this time to keep the Dutch under pressure as Wafiq Irfan Zarbani grabbed two wickets after Pavandeep Singh made the early breakthrough.

"We gave a good fight early on. Full credit to our bowlers Wafiq and Pavandeep as they restricted the Netherlands from scoring runs. We started the batting well but unfortunately, we couldn't get the two runs from the crucial last ball," said Malaysia captain Ahmad Faiz Mohammed Noor at the post-match presentation.

On the second rain break, Faiz said: "We were on top at the time and we felt we could still do it in the last over when we needed eight runs. But they bowled very well and we got a tie so we can still be happy with that.

"We are looking forward to playing Nepal in a new game with new balls and new conditions."

Malaysia made two changes from the side which lost by nine wickets to Nepal on Monday with bowler Wafiq regaining his place while all-rounder Fitri Sham was given his first start of the tournament. The two players were included at the expense of Syazrul Ezat Idrus and Khizar Hayat Durrani respectively.

Max O'Dowd, who scored a century against Malaysia on Monday, was not selected by the Dutch, who instead gave 18-year-old Punjab-born opener Vikramjit Singh his second T20I start.

Captain Ahmad Faiz Mohammed Noor won the toss and elected to field against the Netherlands, who moved up one rung to 17th in the latest ICC T20I men's team rankings following their win over Nepal, who dropped one place to 15th, while Malaysia remained in 31st spot.

Set a revised target of 120 runs, Malaysia got off to a hot start in their run chase as Syed Aziz opened with a huge six over point with Anwar Arudin getting in on the act in the next over as he top-edged the ball over the wicketkeeper for six.

Syed Aziz smacked another six over cover as he danced down the track to help Malaysia reach 56 and to ensure they stayed ahead on the DLS method in case the rain returned and ended the match.

A second rain interruption did come and the target was revised again to 92 off 10 overs which meant Malaysia needed 36 runs from 24 balls. However, Anwar Arudin fell soon after, failing to make contact with a Sebastiaan Braat delivery and was bowled for 23 off 17 balls.

Syed Aziz was next to go for 30 after smashing two sixes and two fours when he was caught at deep cover off de Leede, leaving Malaysia at 66-2 and needing 26 off 14 balls.

Up stepped Virandeep Singh, who scored a career-high T20I 87 runs against the Dutch on Sunday, as he blasted back-to-back boundaries off de Leede to reduce the asking rate to 17 from 12.

After Braat dismissed Virandeep for 14, Shafiq Sharif smashed a huge six with seven needed off the last over. Vivian Kingma, however, sent Shafiq (9) back leg-before on the penultimate ball before Sharvin Muniandy could only manage a leg-bye off the final delivery to leave the scores tied.

Earlier, Pavandeep Singh got the early breakthrough after just three balls when he induced a leading edge from Tobias Vissee for a duck as Syed Aziz took a simple catch at cover.

Wafiq then reduced the Dutch to 22-3 with two wickets in three balls, the first wickets taken by a Malaysian pace bowler this week. First, Wafiq trapped Vikramjit (1) leg-before with Bas de Leede, scorer of an unbeaten 81 against Nepal a day earlier, edging to Virandeep at first slip for nought.

Cooper and Peter Seelar set about rebuilding the innings before the players were forced off by rain with the Netherlands on 68-3 after 10.2 overs. When played resumed - and reduced to 13 overs per side - the pair plundered 15 runs from the next four balls off Anwar Rahman to accelerate the run rate.

But Seelaar went in the next over when he was bowled by Virandeep after scoring 37 runs off 31 balls, including five fours, after the fourth-wicket stand produced 66 runs.

The Netherlands added 18 runs from the last over off Sharvin Muniandy as Cooper ended unbeaten on 54 off 32, having hit seven fours and two sixes.

Netherlands 107-4 in 13 overs (Ben Cooper 54 not out, Petr Seelaar 37, Wafiq Irfan 2-13, Virandeep Singh 1-6, Pavandeep Singh 1-26)
Malaysia 91-4 in 10 overs (Syed Aziz 30, Anwar Arudin 23, Virandeep Singh 14, S Braat 2-14)

Match tied.

Apr 22 – Nepal v Malaysia (3.30pm)
Apr 24 – Final (3.30pm)

(Matches at Tribhuvan University Ground in Kirtipur, start times are Malaysian)
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(Courtesy of CAN)

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