September 21, 2000

International: Saudara Cup - Malaysia v. Singapore

Karu Selvaratnam
This was the 31st official series of the Saudara Cup between these two countries

Malaysia v Singapore - 1 to 3 September at Singapore

This was the 31st official series of the Saudara Cup between these two countries. Before this Malaysia and Singapore were playing the three day game as an annual International fixture, which according to our records date back as far as 1954.

Singapore won the toss and decided to bat on a sunny morning. Two quick wickets (both openers) in the first 10 overs for 32 runs put Singapore in a troubled situation. Zubin Shroff, the Singapore captain coming in at 3 had to take an extremely cautious stance in his early overs but soon settled down to playing freely on an easy paced wicket and a fast outfield. Zubin carried his bat almost through the alloted 75 over restriction (first innings only) and was given some useful support along the way by Kiran Dishpande and Zeng Renchun. Zubin finally made 147 runs, smashing 21 fours helping Singapore to a respectable total of 286-9 in their allotted 75 overs, which ended slightly past tea time.

Malyasia, with one full session left, batted well to build a safe foundation for themselves for the next mornings play. At close on the first day, Malaysia were 102 for 2. Skipper Suresh Navaratnam and K. Ramadass at the crease. The following day Malaysia batted past lunch for their 75 overs and amassed a total of 332 for 8 wickets. Main scorers were K. Ramadass ( 74 ), Yazid Imran ( 63 ), Suresh Navaratnam ( 53 ) and Rohan Selvaratnam ( 47 ).

The wicket that started as an easy playing strip on the first day was surely posing a problem to the Singapore batsmen in their 2nd innings. They were 54 for 5 and at close of play, they were 142 for 7. On the final day, the remaining Singapore batsmen put up a spirited fight, aided by some slack bowling and ended up making 170 giving Malaysia a target of 125 to win with two full sessions left.

As expected the wicket was getting treacherous, with the ball rolling and keeping low most of the time. Malaysia were put in precarious situations with the scores reading 57 for 5 and 66 for 7. Big hitting Yazid Imran and Shanker at that crucial time applied themselves well and played very sensibly. Picking the right balls, Yazid in particular sent every loose ball to the ropes. Shanker gave able support and before his wicket fell Malaysia needed only 3 runs to win, which Yazid and Venu Ramadass saw through easily.

A great victory for Malaysia, who now lead the series with 11 wins against Singapore's 5.

Malaysia now is looking forward to the ACC Trophy taking place in Sharjah this November.