Malaysia cruise to victory over Fiji
Malaysia cruised its way to a eight-wicket victory over Fiji at Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur. The hosts side never looked truly troubled by the men from the South Pacific and finished proceedings with 15 overs to spare.
Meanwhile, Guernsey beat Kuwait at Bayeumas Oval to continue its winning ways while Selangor Turf Club saw heavy rains today and forced Jersey's match against Nigeria to be abandoned after 44 overs with the men in red having scored 218 runs before the downpours ruined the day's play.
At Kinrara, Malaysia won the toss and Suhan Alagaratanam made what proved to be the right decision by fielding first against Joe Rika's men from Fiji. The day proved to once again belong to Eszrafiq Azis, who alongside Hammad Ullah Khan, set about cleaning up the Fijian top order with some ease.
Hammad took first honours with the ball, dismissing captain Rika after 10 overs and medium-pacer Eszrafiq made sure none of Fiji's middle order made more than 13 runs as Malaysia's superior fielding skills saw the side limit Fiji to just 129 all out in less than 50 overs, Eszrafiq claiming five wickets in the process.
After lunch, Malaysia made light work of the total, taking just 35 overs to make the target and losing just Rakesh Madhavan and Ahmad Faiz to the bowling of Mohammed Khan of Fiji.
Opening batsman Shafiq Sharif stuck out the innings to finish 55 not out accompanied by Suhan who completed the day with 54 runs to his name, both were contenders for Man of the Match, however Eszrafiq walked away with the honours once again.
Malaysia captain Suhan said: 'I think today we played a really good all-round game. We were on the mark with our bowling and fielding in the first innings and credit should really go to Eszrafiq again who performed really well for us.
'In the batting department the top order contributed and it feels good to have won by a big margin to improve our run-rate even further in the points table. It's by no means a done deal for us, we need to keep winning every game to secure ourselves promotion.'
Fiji's Joe Rika was obviously disappointed to have lost out to Malaysia and paid compliment to Eszrafiq's strong bowling performance. 'It was another disappointing performance by us with the bat and our batsmen have failed to live up to our expectations. We'll have to improve a lot if we want to win our last two matches.
'Eszrafiq bowled a really strict line which definitely restricted us from scoring runs and he created a lot of pressure and we never seemed to get on the front foot and struggled to contain him.'