A barnstorming run-chase late on the final day saw Malaysia race to a valuable three-wicket victory against Hong Kong in the latest Fast Track fixture.
Malaysia’s win sees them leap to the top in the 2005 Fast Track table and thus all but guarantee them a place in next year’s ICC Intercontinental Cup qualifiers.
In an evenly-contested match throughout, with solid contributions from all players it took an enterprising declaration by Hong Kong midway through the third day to bring the match to life. Both sides were very conscious of the importance of a victory and the resultant 14 Fast Track points which would do so much to secure their cricketing futures next year.
Hong Kong’s declaration on 210, set Malaysia a target of 227 in a minimum of 57 overs. As declarations go it was very fair, giving both teams a chance of victory.
Malaysia have been distinguished this year by a better attitude than in years gone by and the players have become fighters. Their captain, Suresh Navaratnam can always be relied upon to lead from the front, but this year much of Malaysia’s success is due to the solidity of their openers Rohan Selvaratnam and Rakesh Madhavan who have over 400 FTCT runs between them so far.
Chasing 227, Selvaratnam fell early to Afzaal Haider but Madhavan soldiered on. He was joined by Navaratnam with the match in the balance, Malaysia at 75 for 3 in the 21st over. They played close to immaculate cricket thereafter, and put on 86 in just 106 balls to give Malaysia the ascendancy. The team worked together to ensure that on this occasion they didn’t let a winning position slip from their grasp.
Filed September 13 2005