Malaysia win a tight one
Malaysia ensured that they'll be well in the running for promotion on Friday with a win today over Italy on the Indian Association ground in Singapore.
But into bat by Italian captain Damien Crowley, Malaysia found runs hard to come by in the early part of their innings. Captain Ahmed Faiz scored 51, but when he was the fifth man out in the 40th over, Malaysia had scored just 142.
The lower middle order managed to get the run rate up though, with Aminuddin Ramly scoring 48 from 31 balls and Shafiq Sharif scoring 34 from 19 balls as Malaysia almost scored 100 runs from their last ten overs, finishing on 240-9. Vince Pennazza was the pick of the Italian bowlers with 4-42.
Italy, no doubt aware that they needed to get their net run rate up to help avoid relegation, set off quickly in their reply, scoring at seven an over early on in their innings, with Carl Sandri smashing 41 from 19 balls. They were losing wickets though, and had lost five wickets by the 18th over.
Alessandro Bonora and Tharindu Fernando then put on 82 for the sixth wicket before Fernando was dismissed for 43. A couple of quick wickets set Italy back a little, but some steady batting got them into a position where they needed 21 from the last five overs with two wickets in hand.
The 46th over was bowled by Sharulnizam Yusof, and he bowled Gayashan Munasinghe during that over to finish with 5-49 from his ten overs. They then needed 18 from the last four overs with one wicket in hand, and with the 47th over only producing one run, the game had swung well towards the Malaysians.
Four runs were taken from the 48th over, meaning that Italy needed 13 from the last two overs. Bonara hit the first ball of the penultimate over for six, briefly releasing some of the pressure, but he was dismissed for 68 two balls later, giving Malaysia a narrow six run win.
Malaysia will now play Oman, who beat them by 74 runs in the ACC Premier League last month, needing a win to have a chance at a second consecutive promotion. Italy will play Denmark, and will likely need a win if they're to avoid relegation.