By Richard Lockwood

The third day of the ACC Eastern Region T20 which is being held at TCG in Bangkok could have proved decisive as Malaysia were looking to make it three wins out of three to all but book their place in the next stage of qualification for the Asia Cup which will be played in Pakistan in September.

As things turned out an explosive innings from Tim David brought Singapore to a crushing victory over Malaysia by 128 runs and later in the day Hong Kong overcame Thailand convincingly by eight wickets with 12.2 overs to spare with the result that by the end of the day, Malaysia had been joined at the top of the table on four points by Singapore and Hong Kong.

After Singapore had won the toss and chosen to bat first, Pavandeep Singh, the tall left-arm spinner opened the bowling for Malaysia looking to follow up his man of the match performance against Thailand. Sidhant Singh was also man of the match for Singapore against Thailand with 59 from 50 balls but it was his partner Surendran Chandramohan who hit the first boundary over mid-on in the second over. Pavandeep almost had a wicket but the fielder had to parry a catch back into the field as he prevented a six for Sidhant. Chandramohan was making a fast start by hitting a number of boundaries as he raced to 31 from 18 balls and Singapore were 44 for no wicket from the first five overs.

Pavandeep changed ends but Chandramohan hit him for the first six of the match to bring up Singapore’s fifty as they made the highest powerplay score of the tournament. Shurvin Muniyandy was called into the attack as Malaysia were still looking for their first wicket but Sidhant pulled him through mid-wicket for four and even though Sharvin did induce a false shot with his slower ball, Sidhant then hit him over mid-wicket for six and  then executed a scoop shot as he fell to the ground so Singapore were heading for a big total as they were 91 without loss after 10 overs with both openers in the 40s.

The impressive opening partnership was eventually broken on 96 as Fitri Sham bowled Chandramohan for 47 from 32 balls with 5 fours and a six. Tim David was provided with a perfect platform to show off his Big Bash credentials where he plays for Perth Scorchers and he wasted no time in doing this as he immediately hit two sixes over mid-wicket. Pavandeep returned to bowl his last over but Sidhant cover drove him for four and David hit a pair of boundaries to reach 24 form his first eight balls. A four and two more powerful sixes followed as David brought the Big Bash to Bangkok. He was 43 from 15 balls and Singapore had scored 146 for one from 14 overs. Sidhant Singh had been content to watch from the other end but a single brought him to fifty from 38 balls. David had the strike back and reverse swept Khizar Hayat twice for four as he reached a fantastic half-century from just 17 balls with 5 fours and 4 sixes. With five overs still to go Singapore were 157 for one.

The runs flowed as Sidhant Singh matched David stroke for stroke and Sidhant had something special in mind with two sixes from the first two balls of the 18th over before just failing to hit a third to fall for 77 from 50 balls. David hit another six so that Singapore were 203 for two with two overs left. Aryaman hit 16 from six balls before he was third out but the stage was set for David to try to reach an incredible century but two dots at the start of the last over put paid to that although two more sixes and two fours sailed off his broad bat and David finished on 92 from 32 balls with 9 fours and 7 sixes.

Singapore’s total was a memorable 239 for 3 in 20 overs after we had witnesed some of the best hitting ever seen at the TCG in Bangkok and as if to celebrate the Thai national anthem was ringing out from the Sydney Showground where Thailand were about to play Pakistan in the Women’s World Cup.

Malaysia faced a daunting target of 240 from 20 overs but they got off to the worse possible start as left-hander Anwar Arudin was caught at mid-on off the bowling of captain Amjad Mahboob. Man of the morning Tim David bowled the second over and took a wicket first ball as Virandeep Singh hit his gentle off-spin straight into deep mid-wicket’s hands. Thee third over brought the third wicket as Amjad Mahboob took his second wicket as Khizar Hayat was caught at backward point. Malaysia were 19 for three but David got a taste of his own medicine as Ahmad Faiz hit him for a four and two sixes.

Malaysia’s score in the powerplay was 52 for 3 in six overs so they were already falling behind the rate as well as losing wickets. Ahmad Faiz had done his best in an almost impossible situation but he skied into the covers to be dismissed for 25 from 16 balls as Malaysia lost their fourth wicket on 61. Syed Aziz was fifth out, caught behind for 25 and Malaysia were 90 for five at the halfway stage.

Aminuddin Ramly and Mohamed Arieff were at the crease now and brought the total past the 100 mark in the twelfth over as Malaysia were maintaining a good rate in normal circumstances except that they still required 138 in eight overs.

Malaysia had made a good effort to score as fast as they could in the face of a formidable challenge but left-arm spinner Anantha Krishna finished with figures of four for 28 as Singapore bowled out Malaysia for 111 in 15.1 overs. The margin of victory was 128 runs and there was no doubt who was named man of the match after Tim David had scored 92* from just 32 balls with nine fours and seven sixes. He had reached fifty in just 17 balls and only five men have done so faster and David had matched the fastest T20 International fifty ever scored by the great Chris Gayle.

The afternoon match in the ACC Eastern Division T20 saw hosts Thailand take on Hong Kong. The hosts were looking to emulate the Thailand women who had just scored their highest total in T20 Internationals to light up the Women’s World Cup in Sydney. Thailand’s men had lost their first two matches against Singapore and Malaysia but hoped they would be inspired by the girls’ performance against Pakistan in Australia. Hong Kong had looked good in victory against Nepal and so were hoping for a second win so they could join Malaysia and Singapore on four points at the top of the table. Thailand won the toss and chose to bat first with Ismail Sardar coming into the team.

Thailand started well with nine runs off the first over thanks to three wides and a confident boundary over mid-off from Daniel Jacobs, but Wanchana Uisuk was caught at extra-cover off left-arm spinner Kinchit Shah. Henno Jordaan had batted sensibly against Malaysia after Thailand had been reduced to 12 for 3 after the powerplay but he was beaten by a slower ball From Haroon Arshad and spooned the ball to cover. Jacobs hit a second boundary and with Naveed Pathan joining him at the crease Thailand were 30 for two after five overs.

Thailand have not been at their best in the powerplays in this tournament and Jacobs was caught behind as Kinchit took his second wicket. Bobby Raina had come to the crease at 18 for 4 in the previous match and had shared in a partnership of 51, and similar was required today. Thailand were 31 for 3 after six overs and Aftab Hussain, another left-arm spinner, came on to bowl a maiden as Thailand were getting tied down despite Hong Kong contributing a high proportion of extras. Raina swept Kinchit for four in his final over but the spinner finished with four dots to record figures of 4-1-9-2. He was replaced by off-spinner Ehsan Khan who turned a couple past the bat of the left-hander. Thailand had limped to 41 for 3 in 10 overs with only three boundaries.

Naveed looked to have broken the shackles as the ball appeared to sailing over the mid-wicket boundary but Ehsan Khan kept his balance well on the edge of the boundary to claim the catch to reduce Thailand to 43 for 4. Something had to give and unfortunately it was the patience of Bobby Baina who was stumped off Aftab Hussain for eight off 30 painful balls. Incredibly worse was to follow against some tidy Hong Kong spin bowling as Ismail Sardar, on his international debut, first swiped across the line then was stranded way down the wicket to be stumped off the off-spinner. Thailand were 52 for 6 from 14 overs, Ziaul Hoque was still there and perhaps he could prevent total capitulation as he hit Waqas Barkat for the first six of the innings. With five overs to go Thailand were 59 for 6.

Ehsan Khan took the next wicket as he bowled wicket-keeper Piriyapong to finish with figures of 4-1-9-2 on a great day for Hong Kong’s spinners. Zia hit a boundary off Aizaz Khan as he was playing each ball on its merits but Nopphon Senamontree was lbw as the eighth wicket fell on 69. Captain Vichanath Singh took a single from the last ball of the over but was then all at sea against the wiles of Haroon Arshad, a true end of innings specialist.

Hong Kong look to have all bases covered with their array of spinners and death specialists as Thailand could manage only seven runs from the last three overs to finish on a disappointing 77 for 8. Ziaul Hoque scored an unbeaten 23 from 26 balls but even he struggled to lay a bat on some impressive variations from Haroon Arshad

Hong Kong had shown Thailand the blueprint of how to bowl in T20 Internationals with a variety of spin options and a number of variations from their seam bowlers, so what could they do with bat in hand? Nopphon Senamontree bowled a tidy first over of left-arm spin but Nizakat Khan hit two fours and a six off the off-spin of Ziaul Hoque. Shahid Wasif was bowled by the left-arm spinner as Hong Kong lost their first wicket on 18.

Nizakat was undaunted by the loss of the early wicket as eight runs came from the fourth over as Mahsid Faheem replaced Zia and then the opener hit Senamontree for four over cover and then swept him for six as Hong Kong were 43 for 1 from five overs. The next bowling change saw the medium pace of Naveed Pathan intorduced which Nizakat guided over backward point before getting carried away and was caught at long-off for a whirlwind 36 from 19 balls. Hong Kong scored 52 in the powerplay and Kinchit Shah played an exquisite cover drive for four as Vichanath Singh brought himself on in the seventh over, while Jamie Atkinson hit a quality back foot drive to the boundary and a six into the sightscreen as Hong Kong were now in sight of an emphatic victory.

Kinchit completed Hong Kong’s second win in two matches as he hit a two and two boundaries to bring the scores level and then edged a single to bring his side home by eight wickets in 7.4 overs, so 12.2 overs were left unbowled on a day that the Thailand men’s team will do well to forget. Thailand stand in fifth place in the table after three defeats with Nepal still to play, but Hong Kong joined Singapore and Malaysia on four points and improved their net run-run rate in the process.

A disappointing day for Thailand, but with three teams level on four points and Nepal still able to fight back, we are in for an exciting finish to the ACC Eastern Region T20 competition.

Tue 3-Mar

Malaysia v Singapore at TCG
Singapore won the toss and chose to bat
Singapore: 239 for 3 off 20 overs (Siddhant 77, S.Chandramohan 47, T.David 92*)
Malaysia: 111 all out off 15.1 overs (A.Krishna 4-28)
Man of the Match: Timothy Hays David (Singapore)

Hong Kong v Thailand at TCG
Thailand won the toss and chose to bat
Thailand: 77 for 8 off 20 overs
Hong Kong: 78 for 2 off 7.4 overs (N.Khan 36)
Man of the Match: Kinchit Shah (Hong Kong)

Photos by Peter Lim


Tournament page

Filed March 3rd, 2020