Malaysia cantered to victory against Hong Kong to clinch third place in the ACC U-16 Elite Cup. They were indebted to captain Syahadhat Ramli’s half-century for their seven-wicket victory.

Hong Kong won the toss and batted and made their customary sound start their top order Anshuman Rath, Miten Khatri and Kinchit Shah putting on 85 in 22 overs between them before Malaysia’s spinners took control of the match. Six of the Hong Kong batsmen were bowled through the gate, victims of a tendency to play too early. Playing virtually all their cricket on synthetic surfaces Hong Kong’s young batsmen are accustomed to playing in front of their pads, and the resulting gap between bat and pad was exploited by off-spinner Amerul Hussin (4-22) and his slow-bowling colleagues.

From 85 for 2 Hong Kong slumped to 115 for 9 in the 33rd over before a late rally took them to 129.

Malaysia went in before the lunch interval and lost two wickets to off-spinner Kinchit Shah’s first over, the second of their innings. Amerul Hussin had what he did done to him and then Razlan Zalati fell to an excellent return three balls later, Kinchit Shah parrying a firm drive high to his right and then turning to take the ball behind him, just before he fell to the ground.

“We’re making it interesting,” said Malaysia’s coach Haris Abu Baker at the interval.

Hong Kong's captain tried his best

Malaysia’s captain Syahadhat Ramli and Ahmed Tajuddin survived some close calls in putting on 60 for the third-wicket before Tajuddin was caught at gully in Miten Khatri's first over, for 20. Syadhat Ramli sailed serenely on however and reached 50 (60 balls, 6 fours) in partnership Malaysia themselves passed 100 with a Zach Shunmugam boundary the next ball and at 103 for 3 a the end of the 21 st over, Malaysia were cruising. It wan’t so interesting for Hong Kong anymore.

Malaysia's captain scored all around the ground

Ramli finished on 71 not out, (75 balls, 9 fours) and said afterwards, “It wasn’t difficult out there, the bowlers just bowled to one line and all we had to do was take singles and twos,” said the boy from Johor Baru. He’s a senior team all-rounder prospect for sure.

ACC U-16 Elite Cup 2010
3rd – 4th Playoff: Hong Kong v Malaysia
Hong Kong won the toss and chose to bat
Hong Kong: 129 off 37.2 overs (K.Shah 31; A.Hussin 4-22)
Malaysia: 130 for 3 off 24.3 overs (S.Ramli 71*)
Man of the Match: Syahadhat Ramli (Malaysia)

Pictures by Surender Shrestha

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Filed March 15th, 2010