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March 22, 2000
Namibia and Bangladesh A will go into tomorrow's final of the Malaysian Cricket Challenge without either having established any sort of psychological advantage over the other.
This is despite today's completion of preliminary round matches.
For the second time in two scheduled group matches, rain prevented a result as Namibia sought to reply to Bangladesh 'A's' 159-7 off 41 overs. It had struggled to 4-40 from 14 overs when its batsmen's appeal against bad light was upheld.
Mehrab Hossain had earlier top-scored for Bangladesh with 41, while Bjorn Kotze 2-25 and Lenny Louw 2-26 were the pick of the Namibian attack.
Namibia will go into the final buoyed by an apparent win over the host Malaysia today.
At the time of writing the Africans had recovered from 47-3 from 20 overs to reach 120-4 off 38, with Gavin Murgatroyd leading the fightback with 37 not out.
This was in reply to Malaysia's 136 all-out in 46.3 overs. Local skipper, Suresh Navaratnam, fresh from a stint with Melbourne club side, Mulgrave, top-scored for Malaysia with 48, receiving support from Rakesh Mahdavan (30) and Rohan Selvaratnam (28). No bowling details were available for Namibia.
At one stage Malaysia was coasting at 80-2.
The middle order collapse was a repeat of the Malaysian batting performance in the Monday's match, against Bangladesh 'A', with the visitors scrambling home by a single wicket at the Royal Selangor Club.
The Malaysian openers, Madhavan and Muniandy, had cruised to 40 without loss from the first 10 overs, helping the home team to a relatively comfortable 64-2.
The loss of the third wicket on 70 triggered a middle-order collapse which saw five wickets fall for as many runs.
Late-order batsmen, Ramesh Menon and Vishnu Suppiah, rescued the situation slightly, putting on 44 runs for the eighth wicket.
Malaysia eventually reached 143 in 43.4 overs.
It was a thrilling win for Bangladesh 'A', losing its ninth wicket at 142 before Malaysian wicket-keeper, Shankar Ratnam, dropped a catch behind.
Bangladesh 'A' then scored the necessary runs to be spared an embarrassing loss.
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