The victorious Singapore team with ICC chief executive, Haroon Lorgat

Singapore, 25 February 2012

Host goes 29th in Reliance ICC Global Rankings while runner-up Malaysia goes 30th

Adil Hanif of Bahrain named Player of the Tournament

Singapore was crowned as the champion of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5 (WCL Div. 5) today after the host defeated Malaysia in the final of the event.

Singapore captain Saad Janjua recieves the tournament trophy from ICC chief executive, Haroon Lorgat

By virtue of reaching the final both sides have been promoted to the Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 4 to be played later this year, the two teams will join Nepal, Tanzania, Denmark and the United States of America in the division.

Winning the final of the Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 5 has also ensured Singapore a rise of three places to 29th in the Reliance ICC Global Rankings while runner-up Malaysia has leapt four places from 34th to 30th in the world.

In the other play-off fixtures today, Bahrain defeated Argentina in the fifth/sixth play-off, by winning the match Bahrain now sits 33rd in the world while Argentina has slipped from 30th to 34th after the side failed to win an entire match in the event in Singapore this week.

Meanwhile, in the third/fourth play-off between Guernsey and Cayman Islands, Guernsey came out the victor thus giving the side a new global ranking of 31st and Cayman Islands 32nd.

A consolation for Bahrain’s relegation from the division is that batsman and occasional off-spinner Adil Hanif claimed Player of the Tournament after the 33-year-old amassed 265 runs at an average of 44.16. Hanif was the top run-scorer at the event and the diminutive right-hander also took six wickets during the tournament.

At the marquee fixture of the tournament – Singapore took on local rivals Malaysia in the hotly anticipated final of the event. On the hottest day of the event so far, the teams were watched by at least a 100 supporters of both the local side as well as Malaysia.

Having won the toss, Malaysia captain Suresh Navaratnam elected to bat, a decision he would perhaps later regret after an abysmal batting collapse from the side’s middle order.

Rakesh Madhavan seemed to be the only player to stick around at the crease for some time while his team-mates fell to the Singaporean bowling attack of Chris Janik, Dharmichand Mulewa, Abhiraj Singh and Shoib Razzak.

One of the youngest in the side, Abhiraj ensured Singapore got the start it wanted when the young spinner tempted Malaysian opener Shafiq Sharif to edge the ball into the safe hands of Chetan Suryawanshi.

The visitors struggled against Janik’s legbreak bowling and after Madhavan’s departure the middle-order collapse began with Suhan Alagaratnam, Ahmed Faiz and Anwar Arudin all failing to add to the total. The team ended up being all out for just 159, far too small a total on a ground such as Kallang.

In reply, Singapore always looked confident of chasing down the target and the side had hoped to do so without losing a wicket, but this was not to be with the in-form Suryawanshi departing for 23 after Esrafiq Aziz tempted the player to edge the ball to his counterpart Shafiq in the Malaysia side.

With 46 runs already off the total, Chaminda Ruwan and Anish Param stepped up to the plate, much to the delight of the Singaporean crowd that grew in size post-lunch with the knowledge that the side were set to take home the title.

Chaminda’s skill with the bat was highlighted even more so when the 32-year-old smashed his way to 91 not out in an innings that included 14 boundaries and one six, the man-of-the-match was the second highest run-scorer in the tournament, knocking off some 243 runs during the week. In the support role today after Suryawanshi’s departure was Anish Param, the 21-year-old patiently supporting his senior to guide the team to victory with his 44 not out.

Chaminda Kumarage recieves his man of the match award from Tony Hill

Coach Trevor Chappell was delighted to have worked with the team and once again led them to promotion.

“I am very pleased to have been able to have coached the side to promotion, they’ve worked hard this week and it’s a good group of cricketers from many different backgrounds trying to play as much cricket as they can while also raising families, studying or working full-time.

“There are a few players that have really shone for me this week, looking outside of my own team Jeremy Frith has done well here and managed to score runs against us which he hadn’t been able to do before but obviously I’ve been more focused on my own players performances. I have to say our bowler who has stood out for me is Shoib Razzak, he’s probably my Singapore player of the tournament. Shoib’s worked really hard on his bowling and was one of the top wicket-takers in the whole event.

“The other two that have shone for me are the opening partnership of Chaminda Ruwan and Chetan Suryawanshi – although Chetan needs to work hard on keeping his head out in the middle, it was frustrating today when he got out early and it would have been nice to have not lost a wicket with the win – they both proved very capable batsmen throughout this week and continue to improve in their performances.”

On the opposite side of the coin, Malaysia’s coach Roy Dias said poor batting had let the side down in the event even though it had secured promotion.

“There have been few players that have really performed this week with the bat for us and in my opinion we did well to win the first four matches with the performances we put in.

“I am disappointed we lost today but our batting and bowling wasn’t up to the mark this week at all and I want to go back to Malaysia and look at the pool of players on offer and start to phase out some of the older members of the squad to help the team develop.

“I really expected more from the likes of Suhan Alagaratnam and Ahmed Faiz but perhaps they didn’t have enough match practice ahead of the event. I was pleased with how Sharif Shafiq has performed this week making runs for the side and doing well behind the stumps.

“I’m looking forward to Division 4 and facing my former team Nepal, the whole division is going to be tough for Malaysia but I believe we have got what it takes to be there,” said the former Sri Lanka international batsman turned coach.

In the other fixtures of the day, Guernsey defeated Cayman Islands in a last over thriller that saw the Channel Island come out the victor by just one run despite a valiant effort by Cayman Islands’ Pearson Best.

Guernsey’s only real run-making skills came from stalwart Jeremy Frith today, after Cayamanian fast bowler Troy Taylor had worked his magic through the struggling batting line-up of the Division 6 qualifiers. Taylor combined with Ryan Bovell and Conroy Wright to dismiss the side for 186 runs, a total that should have been far less had the Caribbean side not given away some 49 extras.

In reply, under the afternoon sunshine at Singapore Cricket Club watched by a smattering of travelling and local support, Cayman Islands attempted to chase down the target but young David Hooper of Guernsey had other ideas despite Best’s attempt.

The 20-year-old medium pacer snaffled five wickets to make him the top wicket-taker of the event with 17 wickets at an average of 9.94 0 his best figures coming today when he took 5-47 including three top order batsmen. The task of dismissing Best, who ground out 79 runs in 97 balls fell to veteran bowler Gary Rich who tempted the all-rounder into hitting the ball into the safe hands of Tim Ravenscroft.

After Best’s departure Wright, Bovell and the bottom order tried its hardest to grind out the victory but Hooper had other plans – clean bowling Taylor with one ball to go and delivering another loss to Cayman Islands.

In the fifth/sixth play-off Argentina took on Bahrain for the global ranking positions of 33 and 34 in the Reliance ICC Global Rankings.

The day was to belong to Bahrain with the side comfortably winning the game by five wickets after Argentina were bowled out for another low total, 139. The side featured some of the reserves who had not played in the tournament this week but the team still struggled to make runs against a strong bowling line-up.

Hanif proved one of the pick of the bowlers from the Bahrain side claiming 4-30 while team-mate Zafar Zaheer also claimed four wickets.

In reply, Hanif contributed 38 runs with the bat before departing the crease after edging the ball to Argentine ‘keeper Hernan Williams. Hanif’s departure wasn’t too much of a worry for the Bahrainis with Ashraf Yaqoob contributing runs as did Shahzad Ahmed and Azeem ul Haq.

Hanif’s heroics with the ball earned him the Man of the Match award and ultimately the accolade helped him to secure the Player of the Tournament trophy too.

Bahrain's Adil Hanif recieves his man of the tournament award from tournament ref, Graeme Labrooy

The results table can be viewed here.

Scores in brief (Final Day)

Kallang (1st/2nd play-off)
Malaysia 159 all out, 47 overs (Madhavan 48, Hassan 33; Janik 3-17)
Singapore 164-1, 26.4 overs (Chaminda 91 not out, Param 44 not out)
Singapore won by nine wickets
Player of the Match: Chaminda Ruwan (Singapore)

Singapore Cricket Club (3rd/4th play-off)
Guernsey 186 all out, 47.2 overs (Frith 57; Taylor 4-50, Bovell 3-41)
Cayman Islands 185 all out, 49.5 overs (Best 79, Wright 39; Hooper 5-47)
Guernsey won by one run
Player of the Match: David Hooper (Guernsey)

Indian Association
Argentina 139 all out, 43.3 overs (Siri 26; Hanif 4-30, Zafar 4-32)
Bahrain 141-5, 20.4 overs (Ashraf 34, Hanif 38; Musiani 2-40)
Bahrain won by six wickets
Player of the Match: Adil Hanif (Bahrain)

Tournament page

Filed February 27th, 2012