Major blow to promotion hope
POOR batting has left Malaysia’s hopes of winning promotion from the World Cricket League Division Three in tatters after two opening defeats in Kampala, Uganda.
A seven-wicket defeat to archrivals Singapore on Tuesday was followed by a six-wicket loss to the United States on Wednesday to leave the national team rooted to the bottom of the six-team standings with no points.
Malaysia now have no choice but to beat Canada, Uganda and Oman to finish second at the very least and even that may not be enough.
The national team paid a heavy price with the bat against Singapore after slumping to 121 all out in 35.3 overs, losing their last four wickets for just three runs.
The top order of Fikri Makram Rosdi (six), Ahmad Faiz Mohammed Noor (one) and Anwar Arudin (21) departed early to leave Malaysia at 30-3 as Khizar Hayat Durrani emerged the top scorer with 32 runs.
Singapore’s Anish Paraam hit 50 runs to lead a comfortable chase to finish on 123 for three in 31.2 overs as Neville Liyanage, a late replacement for the injured Derek Duraisingam, took two wickets for 26.
The pattern was repeated against the US when Malaysia tumbled to 117 all out in 40.5 overs with Liyanage’s 30 runs the best by a Malaysian batsman.
Again the top of order of Anwar (three), Faiz (two), Fikri (14) and Virandeep Singh (14) crashed out early as Malaysia reeled at 40-4 inside 15 overs.
Liyanage and Aminuddin Ramly (20) put on a 48-run partnership for the fifth wicket in a bid to rebuild the innings but Malaysia lost three wickets while stuck on 117 to all but concede defeat.
Ibrahim Khaleel finished unbeaten on 49 to lead the US to 118-4 in 28.1 overs for their first win after an opening four-wicket loss to Oman while Pavandeep Singh took two wickets for 34.
Malaysia face Canada in Entebbe today needing a win desperately to at least stave off the danger of relegation.