Fast Track Countries Tournament

Emirates vs Malaysia, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, October 2-4, 2004

Two weeks after playing them in that must-win game in Kuala Lumpur, the Emirates host Malaysia in a Fast Track Countries fixture at Sharjah.

Sometimes it takes just a couple of things to fall into place and you have a team that can compete. Malaysia are that kind of team. In their past two performances against the UAE and Nepal at home, even though they came second best, there were enough signs of promise to lead one to believe better results are just around the corner. As the UAE captain, Mohammed Tauqir confirms, “overall Malaysia is a well balanced side and have always given us tough competition. Both the opening bats ( Rakesh Madhavan and Rohan Selvaratnam) are technically sound and score their runs fast.”

Vishnu Suppiah, the Malaysian off-spinner got a five-for against Nepal and conditions in Sharjah should suit him. Ironically, it is Malaysia’s captain, fast-bowling all-rounder Suresh Navaratnam who has yet to take any wickets in the competition. But he remains upbeat about his team’s prospects. “We have been bowling and fielding well and if we can get our batting act together, I am positive we can come out with a draw at least.”, says Suresh.

The Emirates will be without leading all-rounder Khurram Khan which is a significant loss. They remain a formidable team however, and have home advantage. A defeat for them is unlikely. As Tauqir confirms: “anything is possible, but I believe its not going to be easy to beat us.”

Were Malaysia to play to their potential and even draw with the UAE, it would throw the whole group wide open as the UAE have yet to play Nepal in Kathmandu.

FTCT Points Table : 1st October 2004

Team
Played
Won
Lost
Draw
Total Points
Asia
U.A.E
1
1
0
0
31
Singapore
2
0
1
1
27.5
Nepal
2
0
0
2
26
Malaysia 1 0 0 1 10.5
Hong Kong 0 0 0 0 0

Filed October 1st 2004