February 22, 2012

World Cricket League

Malaysia stay top after tense win

Andrew McGlashan

Malaysia stayed top of the table in the World Cricket League Division Five after a tense four-run victory against Guernsey in a match that seesawed, at the Kallang Ground in Singapore. A poor finish meant Malaysia ended with 194. Guernsey were on track in their chase at 109 for 3, but five wickets fell in ten overs, three to medium-pacer Hiran Brahman Ralalage, and Malaysia seemed to have sealed victory. There was to be yet another twist: Nos. 9 and 10, Jamie Nussbaumer and Stuart Bisson, strung together a partnership and got Guernsey to within six runs of the target with seven balls remaining, before Bisson was run out. Nussbaumer managed two off the first ball of the final over but was bowled by Ralalage with the second to give Malaysia the win.

Ross Kneller's 47, and contributions from GH Smit and Jeremy Frith, seemed to have put Guernsey on the way to a third win in the tournament, but Ralalage's 4 for 28 was the deciding factor in keeping Malaysia's 100% record in the tournament intact. Malaysia had seemed set for a bigger total after most of the top order got starts. A flurry of wickets saw them slip to 115 for 5, but Suresh Navaratnam got 31 at No. 7 to revive the innings. Another collapse towards the end meant Malaysia were bowled out in their 50 overs. Medium-pacer Nussbaumer took 3 for 27 in his 10 overs. His heroics with the bat were almost enough to complete the job for Guernsey.

Hosts Singapore stayed in touch with Malaysia on the points table by beating Bahrain easily at the Padang to move to six points. Slow half-centuries from Chaminda Ruwan and Anish Param got Singapore to 205 for 8 in their 50 overs. It was more than enough as medium-pacers Shoaib Razzak and Saad Janjua took four wickets each to skittle Bahrain for 103. Adil Hanif fought to get 57 but only two other Bahrain batsmen reached double figures. Razzak did the early damage before Janjua ran through the lower order.

Argentina's wait for a first win in the tournament continued after they were thrashed by Cayman Islands at the Indian Association Ground. Argentina were shot out for 93 and Cayman Islands chased the target for the loss of no wickets in 22.1 overs. Medium-pacers Conroy Wright and Ryan Bovell ripped through the Argentina line-up, with Bovell finishing with 5 for 9 in his seven overs. Ainsley Hall got a quick 62 in the chase to ensure the match finished early.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew McGlashan
Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.

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