Guernsey and Malaysia secure promotion to Division Five
Hosts Malaysia today secured promotion to WCL Div. 5 alongside Channel Island team Guernsey. Despite losing its fixture today against Guernsey, both sides will still be travelling to Singapore in February to take part in Division 5.
Jersey and Kuwait will remain in Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 6 (WCL Div. 6), while Fiji and Nigeria have been relegated into Division 7. Nigeria failed to win one game in the round-robin section of Division 6 in Malaysia while the Fijians managed just one victory during the tournament.
Tomorrow will see Malaysia take on Guernsey for the title of Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 6 winners at Kinrara Oval, while Jersey will play Kuwait for 3rd/4th place and Fiji will play Nigeria for 5th/6th place. The abandoned game between Nigeria and Guernsey will not be replayed, since the fixture's result would have no bearing on the final promotion or relegation of any side involved in the competition.
Under bright blue skies at Kinrara Oval, hosts Malaysia took on fellow top of the table side Guernsey, captain Suhan Alagaratnam took the decision to bat first, which saw the side slump to 170-9 in its 50 overs,
Stuart Bisson and Lee Savident started well with the new ball for the Channel Island side, combining to dismiss the Malaysian top three with ease. Savident sent both Rakesh Madhavan and Ahmad Faiz on their way in the fourth over, with the latter departing for a duck after Savident tempted the 23-year-old to edge the ball to wicketkeeper Tom Kimber.
It was then up to Suhan to come in and lead the team by example, which the 25-year-old did, completing the innings on 68 not out while the rest of his team fell in the morning sunshine to a variety of bowlers. All-rounder Jeremy Frith provided his useful slow left-arm spin clearing up the lower order in the form of Aminudin Lamly who departed also for a duck while Suresh Navaratnam and Nik Arfin managed to add just 21 runs to the total.
Guernsey set about the task of chasing down the target in the afternoon heat with GH Smit and Savident combing to knock some 50 runs off the target before Smit departed in the ninth over as in-form bowler Eszrafiq Azis had the 35-year-old right-hander caught by Navaratnam.
Navaratnam, just a few overs later, departed the field after fracturing his finger while attempting to catch a ball off his own bowling leaving the Malaysians without one of their star bowlers for the remainder of the match.
Jeremy Frith failed to fire today, dismissed for a duck, so it was up to Tim Ravenscroft and Ross Kneller to ensure the runs were made for Guernsey and after Ravenscroft's departure along with his captain, Stuart Le Prevost, soon after, it was up to Kneller and Ben Ferbrache to steer the side to victory as the sun began to set over Kuala Lumpur.
Captain Le Prevost said: ' It obviously feels fantastic to be promoted to Division 5 and to have all our hard work pay-off. I think we've had a really good all-round week with both our batting and our bowling - Jeremy Frith has been great as usual plus Lee Savident and Ben Ferbrache have also shown great stuff out in the field for Guernsey.
'I think we still have plenty we can work on ahead of Singapore in February but I'm extremely proud of how we've performed today and throughout the week, here's hoping we can round off tomorrow by winning the trophy.'
Meanwhile, Suhan the captain of Malaysia added: ' We've played well this week but our batting has let us down in the last few games so we definitely need to pick that up both ahead of tomorrow's final against Guernsey and ahead of our trip to Singapore in February.
'It feels great to be promoted out of Division 6 especially after how close we came as a side in 2009 when the tournament was held in Singapore. Hopefully we can continue to improve and win promotion in February too.'
At Kinrara Oval
Malaysia 170-9, 50 overs (Alagaratnam 68 not out; 3-16 Frith)
Guernsey 174-5, 45.4 overs (Savident 40, Kneller 35 not out)
Guernsey won by five wickets