END OF PE­NANG FREE SCHOOL’S REIGN

No longer the top team af­ter 14 years fol­low­ing loss to SMKSTSSS

New Straits Times - - Sport - K. KANDIAH nst­sport@nst.com.my

PE­NANG Free School were brought down to earth this time. Af­ter dom­i­nat­ing the Pe­nang Schools boys' Un­der-18 cricket scene for 14 con­sec­u­tive years, they were beaten by un­her­alded SMK Sci­ence Tun Syed Sheh Shah­bud­din in the semi-fi­nals.

In a nail-bit­ing fi­nal at the SK Stow­ell School Oval, Bukit Mer­ta­jam High School (BMHS) crick­eters won the toss and elected to bat against arch ri­vals SMK Sci­ence Tun Syed Sheh Shah­bud­din (SMKSTSSS) and recorded a 101 runs in 20 overs, beat­ing their op­po­nents by 21 runs.

BMHS open­ing bats­man, Dheevash Roshan Ku­marasamy made a good com­bi­na­tion with fel­low bats­man Joshua An­thony who had helped him score 30 runs.

Top bats­man was Dheevash Roshan who scored a fan­tas­tic fig­ure of 55 runs and was ably sup­ported by his vice cap­tain Wan Haziq Zulka­r­nain who reg­is­tered 31 runs.

The top scor­ers for BMHS were Dheevash Roshan scor­ing 55 runs in 53 balls and Wan Haziq Zulka­r­nain 31 runs in 21 balls while the top bowlers for SMKSTSSS were Ah­mad Farhan with two wick­ets in 15 runs and Muhd Az­zam with two wick­ets in 10 runs.

At the sec­ond in­nings, SMKSTSSS went in con­fi­dently chas­ing BMHS’s 101 runs, but were very un­for­tu­nate as they only man­aged to score 80 runs in 20 overs and were dis­ap­pointed with them­selves.

But the spirit of fel­low­ship pre­vailed as af­ter the match they went to hug their op­po­nents and also for be­ing run­ners-up for the first time in many years.

Top scor­ers for SMKSTSSS were Ahamd Farhan who scored eight runs for six balls and Mohd Ir­fan with nine runs for eight balls, while the top bowlers for BMHS were Dheevash Roshan who took two wick­ets in one run, Jaiyadeepan four wick­ets in nine runs with Muham­mad Am­mar Ir­fan Mo­hamed Fa­zlee Kas­madi, Kr­ish Yo­ges, Mar­cus Kam and Jaiyadeepan Ganesh be­ing the other key bowlers.

BMHS skip­per, Dheevash Roshan said the win was very special to his school, es­pe­cially to his team­mates and fel­low crick­eters, present and past who had played a big role in the suc­cess of BMHS.

The win would at least erase the frus­tra­tion of be­ing the sec­ond best, as for the last three con­sec­u­tive years they had played sec­ond fid­dle to Pe­nang Free School, al­ways los­ing out in the fi­nal.

He said the team trained and worked hard to make it pos­si­ble, say­ing: “Ev­ery­one showed great char­ac­ter that made the win pos­si­ble. The win really meant a lot to us and we will cher­ish it the most for many years. I hope this win­ning men­tal­ity would be the step­ping stone and con­tinue to floyr­ish in the com­ing years.”

In the semi­fi­nals, Bukit Mer­ta­jam High School bowled out SMK Bukit Mer­ta­jam for 12 runs not out in three overs with eight wick­ets re­main­ing, while de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Pe­nang Free School were wiped out by SMK Sains Tun Syed Sheh Shah­habudin by six wick­ets.

This has stopped PFS’s dom­i­nance in Pe­nang Schools Un­der18 cricket for the first time af­ter 14 years.

PIC BY K. KANDIAH

Bukit Mer­ta­jam High School play­ers cel­e­brat­ing their vic­tory in the Un­der-18 event af­ter beat­ing SMK Sci­ence Tun Syed Shah­bud­din in Bukit Mer­ta­jam re­cently.

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