Malaysia held on for a thrilling 1 run win on the D/L method over Singapore to take the Stan Nagaiah Trophy for a record 4th consecutive time. After Malaysia batted first and compiled 304-5, rain reduced the Singapore innings to 43 overs with 281 runs required.
Some incredible hitting from the middle and lower order left the visitors needing 10 off the last over but they fell just short of what would have been an unbelievable chase.
Earlier in the action-packed day, Malaysia won the toss and elected to bat. The hosts lost their first wicket in the 5th over to Mulewa Dharmichand but that was a blessing in disguise for Malaysia as that brought captain Faiz Noor to the crease who has been in scintillating form.
Faiz, who scored 115 in the 1st match, carried on where he left off. Wickets gradually fell around him but that didn't bother Faiz at all as he crafted another wonderful innings, only to fall 2 short of consecutive international tons.
When he was dismissed in the 42nd over, Malaysia were 217-5 but Khizar Durrani (58*) and Hammad Ullah Khan (59*) ensured that Malaysia were to surpass their 282-6 set yesterday as they blitzed the ball to the boundary to lift Malaysia up to a commanding total.
A thunderstorm in the interval caused Singapore's target to be revised to 281 at 6.53 an over. Singapore got off to a solid start but were still behind the required rate. Arjun Mutreja and Archit Goenka fell in quick succession to leave Singapore 60-2 in 13 overs.
After a brief recovery, Rezza Gaznavi was dismissed with 99 on the board and it looked like Singapore would finish well short with Khizar Durrani (3-47) and the part-time seam of Sheikh Nasir (2-21) doing the business in the middle overs but just like the 1st match, Singapore had something up their sleeve.
The dangerous Chetan Suryawanshi, who was well set by now, decided to start the onslaught and Malaysia just couldn't contain him. He lost Kshitij Shidne along the way but his destruction of the Malaysian bowling attack made the equation much easier for the visitors.
After one big hit too many, he went for 81 but Christopher Janik, who made a century yesterday, took over Suryawanshi's role of the aggressor. He made a quickfire 45 and when he was dismissed, it would be easy to think that Singapore didn't have enough left in the tank.
However, in another twist, veteran bowler Saad Janjua put in some big hits of his own which resulted in 50 being required off the last 5 overs. Saad (36) and the tail threw the bat and 10 was needed off the last over.
Malaysia were on the ropes, having conceded 172 off the last 20 overs. The ball was given to left arm spinner Nizam Yusof and he delivered under pressure, conceding only 8 to win the Stan Nagaiah Trophy for Malaysia in spectacular fashion.
This article originally appeared on Malaysia Cricket and is reproduced with kind permission of the author.