Nepali all-rounder Mahaboob Alam, “the best all-rounder in the region” according to Nepal Coach Roy Dias, helped Nepal to a massive Innings and 66-run victory over Malaysia in the latest Fast Track Countries’ Match.
He scored a century, took four top-order wickets and a catch as he, along with his team-mates, never allowed Malaysia to make any inroads into the match.
The home seamers exploited the conditions magnificently and, backed up by their fielders, mowed down Malaysia for 132 before tea on the first day. In reply, Nepal made 300, a 126-run partnership between Shakthi Gauchan (39) and Alam being the crux of the innings. Alam’s 100 came at better than a run-a-ball, and included 12 fours and 2 sixes. The innings was notable for the judiciousness with which he played his stokes, alternating broad-batted defence with powerful drives whenever the opportunity presented itself.
Needing 169 to make Nepal bat again, Alam’s first over ensured Malaysia would be struggling from the onset. He had Rohan Selvaratnam lbw first ball and then two balls later, had Arul Suppiah caught at mid-off. Nepal’s captain Binod Kumar Das then got in on the act, having Shankar Retinam caught behind with his first delivery of the innings.
Malaysia were eventually all out for 102, beaten by a team that were tigers in the field.
Coach Roy Dias was delighted with his team’s performance. "I am very happy - for the players, for Nepali cricket," he said. "To win it in two days is great and it was a result of a great team effort."
Filed October 18 2005