Malaysia were close to stack up their biggest victory in their cricket history. But they fell one run short.
On the day affected by rain, Malaysia — ranked 31st in the world — tied their match against Netherlands, the team with a haul of experience playing in the Twenty20 World Cups and winners of 2019 ICC Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers.
The history would have been on Malaysia side but couldn’t manage to get seven runs from the last over from Vivian Kingma who had also gifted two wides.
Malaysia had their big-hitting Sharvin Muniandy in the crease needing two runs from one ball but they only managed a bye. Everyone is shocked and a bit disappointed. We were on the top of Netherlands but unfortunately we couldn’t finish in the last three balls,” said Faiz.
Malaysia’s biggest win in the format so far have been against Nepal and Hong Kong and a victory over Netherlands would have topped their recent glorious history.
Rain intervened twice in the day, first being a one and half hour interruption where Netherlands scored 107-4 from 13 overs. Malaysia got revised target of 120 from 13 but another rain delay saw them set for a target of 92 in 10 overs.
A day after Netherlands chased down Nepal’s 205-6 for their biggest chase in Twenty20 International history, it was Malaysia who seized the early initiative reducing Netherlands to 22-3 after Pavandeep Singh began with the fourth-ball dismissal of Tobias Visee.
Vikramjit Singh, playing his first match in place of Max O’Dowd who slammed Netherlands first Twenty20 International century against Malaysia, fell to Muhammad Wafiq who also sent back Tuesday’s hero Bas de Leede for duck in a space of three balls.
Ben Cooper and skipper Pieter Seelar added 66 runs for the fourth wicket and in between rain interruped after the second ball of 11th over. Netherlands collected 43 runs from the 16 balls they got to play after resumption.
Cooper was unbeaten on a 32-ball 54 hitting seven fours and two sixes. Seelar chipped in 37 off 31 with five boundaries.
Syed Aziz and Anwar Arudin (23) gave Malaysia a solid start adding 56 runs from first six overs before rain interrupted again. Had the game finished there, Malaysia would have been the winners by nine runs under Duckworth/Lewis method.
Netherlands had things under control after the resumption leaving Malaysia with 32 to get from last three. Virandeep Singh brought Malaysia back in the game smashing three boundaries of De Leede in the eighth over.
The momentum swung back to Netherlands when Sebastian Braat conceded just a single and picked up a wicket in the first three balls of the 19th but Aminuddin Ramly hit a six in the fourth ball and Malaysia got three more runs as they needed seven from the last six deliveries.
Kingma, however, held nerves to deny Malaysia the victory and send them out of the final race. Nepal and Dutch will play the final on Saturday. On Thursday, Malaysia will play Nepal in the last league game.