ACC Fast Track Countries Tournament - Singapore Start a Revolution

Singapore won their first senior match against Hong Kong in 35 years with a remarkable eight-wicket victory in the latest Fast Track Countries fixture. Hong Kong may be on the decline but they still possess some talented players and Singapore’s win against them could be the sign of a serious upturn in the city state’s cricket. A mixture of thrusting youth and seasoned campaigners, Singapore now look to be gelling into a truly fine, competitive unit.

The ACC are delighted to have received a Match Report from the Singapore captain, Zubin Shroff on the game, which is here reproduced in its entirety.

Zubin Shroff: “The thing I like most about the game of cricket is the fact that it is far greater than the sum total of all its variables that make the game - namely players, records, history, grounds, statistics. This game is far bigger than them all. It is a game that rewards you for effort as long as the one you make is genuine and the best that you can give.

The boys from Singapore were playing for a lot more than just a cricket match in this game. They were playing for pride and self belief and the one thing they were all keen to do in this match is to prove that they were more than capable of just putting up a good fight. I have been involved in numerous matches for Singapore where we have led for 3/4ths of the game only to finish second....but this one was going to be different.

I was personally delighted when I was asked to bowl on what looked like a wicket that was about to offer assistance to seamers for at least the first hour or two on the first day. And immediately our seam bowlers led by Pramodh Raja and Chaminda Ruwan got into the act with Arun Vijayan joining the party a little later to pick up 3,4 and 2 wickets each. Were it not for the heroics of the eventual Man of the Match Afzaal Haider, Hong Kong could well have been skittled out for a score of far less than a 100. He made a dashing half century when he came in at 47 for 6 and was involved in two key partnerships of over 40 runs each for the 8th and 9th wicket as Hong Kong finally were all out for 159.

Hong Kong’s Afzaal Haider

The wicket had eased out considerably by now compared to the morning and Singapore looked to be settling into a good start but it was that man Afzaal Haider for Hong Kong who was bowling at a pace of well over 80 miles who started getting the breakthroughs accounting for myself and Riaz Hussein in quick succession with excellent deliveries. Chaminda Ruwan is fast settling into his role of the all rounder for Singapore and he showed his strong ability with the bat to notch a well made half century before getting out to a soft dismissal, mistiming a pull shot to fine leg. Christopher Janik in meanwhile showed excellent temperament and technique at the other end to spend valuable time at the crease. One can almost feel that the big scores for this young lad are round the corner and can only hope that they keep coming in bigger form and more frequently. He combined with Buddhika Mendis who looked very determined to get a big score too and they had added almost 40 for the 4th wicket before end of play on the first day.

Next Page “We were ready to be patient, persevere and wear the opposition down.”