Kuala Lumpur re­tain crown

New Straits Times - - Sport -

NA­TIONAL cap­tain Ah­mad Faiz Mo­ham­mad Noor paid tribute to his Kuala Lumpur team­mates af­ter re­tain­ing the Pre­mier Cup with a five-wicket win over Se­lan­gor in the fi­nal at Kin­rara Oval yes­ter­day.

Af­ter scor­ing cen­turies in his last two matches, Vi­ran­deep Singh belted his fifth bound­ary of the in­nings to bring up KL’s to­tal of 214 runs for five with 19 balls to spare and sur­pass Se­lan­gor’s 213 for eight.

Vi­ran­deep’s knock of 64 came as part of two half-cen­tury part­ner­ships with K. Si­vanan­tha (27) and Faris Al­mas-Lee Ros­man­izam (26) and won him the best bats­man and man-of-the-se­ries awards.

Win en­sured KL added the Pre­mier Cup to the Pre­mier League ti­tle to com­plete the 50-overs dou­ble for a sec­ond year in a row and ex­tend their win­ning run to 18 matches over the two cam­paigns.

“It was a fun out­ing and I’m proud to have helped KL win back-to-back dou­ble hon­ours,” said Faiz. “This league and cup tri­umph is a re­sult of team work, and in par­tic­u­lar, the form of Vi­ran­deep who has been out­stand­ing since the first match.

“This is a mem­o­rable win for Vi­ran­deep and KL and good for the na­tional team’s prepa­ra­tion be­fore we go to Uganda for the World Cricket League Di­vi­sion Three.”

Pak­istan Test bats­man Sami As­lam laid the foun­da­tion for KL’s vic­tory as he scored 45 runs off 47 balls and, to­gether with Faizal Abu Hassan (16), set a quick early pace as KL reached 30 runs in just four overs.

Ear­lier, Se­lan­gor were hand­ily placed un­til opener Moaz­zam Hayat was bowled by Neville Christie Liyanage, who was named best bowler, for 77.

That re­duced Se­lan­gor to 192-5 with less than five overs re­main­ing and were only able to added 21 more runs de­spite the best ef­forts of M. Kogi­lan (50) with Pa­van­deep Singh and Si­vanan­tha tak­ing two wick­ets each.

“We man­aged to re­strict Se­lan­gor to a man­age­able to­tal thanks to the spin­ners Pa­van­deep and Sami, which oth­er­wise would have let to a big­ger score,” said Faiz, who scored 17 runs. “In the first 10 overs of our in­nings, the new ball trav­elled fast and far so we took ad­van­tage of scor­ing quick runs early be­fore slow­ing down and man­ag­ing the run rate.” By Devin­der Singh

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