Kuala Lumpur retain crown
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