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February 24, 2012
Malaysia slipped to a two-wicket defeat at the hands of Bahrain at the Indian Association Ground in Singapore but they managed to gain a promotion to Division Four of the World Cricket League after winning their first four matches in the round-robin stage. Bahrain, despite the win, were relegated to Division Six. They finished with the same number of points as Cayman Islands, but with a lower net run-rate.
Malaysia, who chose to bat, were bowled out for 195, collapsing from 129 for 2. Suhan Alagaratnam and Anwar Arudin, who hit half-centuries, took Malaysia to a strong position at one stage but the medium-pace of Rizwan Baig - he picked up four wickets - restricted them.
Adil Hanif led the way for Bahrain in the chase, making 65 off 80 balls, including two sixes and received support from the middle order. Ashraf Yaqoob, Baig and Tahir Dar chipped in with useful contributions and helped Bahrain seal victory in 41 overs after losing eight wickets.
"We are disappointed, today we played the cricket we should have played all week and we knew we could win this match," Bahrain captain Yaser Sadeq said. "We had hoped for promotion to help us to improve even further as a side and help us to push the youth through this team since it's now in need of some fresh faces.
"We'll go back to Bahrain, regroup and hopefully we can improve and come back stronger next time we compete and regain promotion."
Malaysia play Singapore in the final on Saturday for the title. "We've won promotion out of this division which is what we ultimately wanted to do. We're excited to be facing up to sides like Nepal, Tanzania, Denmark and USA - some of whom we haven't played at all or in quite some time," Suresh Navaratnam, the Malaysia captain, said.
"Tomorrow's game is going to be a big one no matter what for us - we may play Singapore five or six times a year, but we want to come out the winners of this event and walk away with the trophy."
Guernsey beat Cayman Islands by six wickets at the Kallang Ground, and both teams kept their place in the division. After opting to bat, Cayman Islands were bowled out for 164, the only respectable contribution coming from opener Steve Gordon. GH Smit picked up three wickets, and Gary Rich and Jamie Nussbaumer bagged two wickets each. The score was chased down with ease. Openers Smit and Tim Ravenscroft struck half-centuries and added 107. And Jeremy Frith made an unbeaten 33 to guide his team home in the 44th over.
"I am happy that we have maintained our position in Division 5, however I did come here with the belief we could have won promotion back to Division 4. Now it is about regrouping as a team and looking to the younger players and seeing how we can develop and improve the game further in the Cayman Islands," Cayman Islands coach Theo Cuffy said.
"The whole side is disappointed that we have lost out on promotion from the event but we are content that we have cemented our position in the league," Guernsey coach Andy Cornford said. "We came here to be promoted but we haven't played out best cricket this week and it has showed."
The two teams will play each other again for the third place play-off on Saturday.
The round-robin stage ended in disappointment for Argentina and elation for hosts Singapore at The Padang. Argentina lost their fifth game in a row and Singapore won their fourth game, taking the top spot in the points table and securing their promotion to Division Four. They'll play Malaysia in the Division Five final on Saturday.
Thanks to half-centuries from opener Chaminda Ruwan and Kshitij Shinde and useful contributions from the middle order, Singapore reached a competitive 239 for 8 and it proved more than adequate. The medium-pace of Shoaib Razzak was too hot to handle for Argentina, who were skittled out for 93. Razzak took four wickets and the highest score for Argentina was 20. The game was over in the 31st over of the chase.
"We are disappointed at being relegated out of Division 5, however we knew this week was going to be tough for us and it's shown us where we are struggling," Argentina captain Esteban MacDermott said. "We need to go back to Argentina, to look at our cricket and see how we can improve and bring new faces and youth into the game and continue to develop and grow as a side."
Singapore captain Saad Janjua said: "Firstly, I'm pleased we have secured promotion to Division 4 which was our main goal of this tournament.
"I was pleased with our bowling today, I think Shoib once again showed how important he is in the Singapore bowling line-up. Shinde and Chaminda scored runs today but we all need to pull together ahead of tomorrow when we face Malaysia. It would be a great end to the tournament if we were to win at home and to beat Malaysia, especially having lost to them in the league stage of the tournament."
Argentina play Bahrain for the fifth-place play-off on Saturday. Argentina allrounder Matias Paterlini will not be available for the match, having been suspended for showing "serious dissent" at the umpire's decision.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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