Relegated Bermuda spoil party for Malaysia
Kinrara Oval (Malaysia won toss): Malaysia (2pts) beat Bermuda 89 runs
At first it appeared they were going out of ICC World Cricket League Division Four with their tails between their legs like a homeless dog on a cold winter’s night. But by the time the final ball was bowled at Kinrara Oval yesterday, Bermuda were lauded as heroes.
It was the strangest way to have relegation to the lowest rung of international cricket confirmed.
Uganda, having earlier clinched the championship in a low-scoring match with Jersey at Bangi, travelled to the ground to lend their support to Bermuda against the host nation, with whom they had bad blood at the start of the tournament.
Meanwhile, Denmark were paying close attention for more selfish reasons — in the hope that Bermuda could pull off the unthinkable, and keep Malaysia from passing them on net run-rate.
The host team were heavily favoured to do just that when Bermuda were floundering at 37 for six, seemingly dead and buried. After Jersey fluffed their lines in needing to pass Uganda’s paltry 90 inside 37 overs, Malaysia had only to restrict Bermuda to a score of 161 or less.
They were on course — until Kamau Leverock and man of the match Janeiro Tucker were joined at the wicket.
Leverock, who sprained an ankle on Saturday in the abandoned match and was held back to No 8 having spent large portions of yesterday off the field, gave no indication what would come later when he laboured over 55 balls for his first seven runs. But after he went into double figures with his first boundary, the left-hander scored 50 off his next 56 with another four and five sixes. By the time he was seventh out at 134, Bermuda were in sight of the mythical target, but both men had paid a price, as a dehydrated Tucker had given in to cramp. The only singles taken during the 97-run stand were to the boundary riders; otherwise, they were dealing in boundaries.
Joined by Steven Bremar, Tucker, the 43-year-old veteran, whose career at this level began in Malaysia 21 years ago, took centre stage.
With 13 required off the final three overs, successive sixes to start the 48th ensured the denouement was not dragged out. Tucker was caught for 55 later in the over, but by then the deed was done and Denmark, who thought they had blown promotion by losing to Vanuatu on Saturday, having the round before lost four wickets in the last over when needing five to beat Uganda, were heading to Division Three.
Bermuda came into the day with hopes of staving off relegation with a big win over Malaysia. Apart from the enforced changes that had Bremar come in for Stephen Outerbridge, who left the tour for work commitments, and Chare Smith keeping his place for the injured Jacobi Robinson, Kwasi James was a late inclusion after the teamsheets had been exchanged because Cejay Outerbridge, who had a four-wicket haul in the abandoned game, pulled up in the warm-up.
They had hoped to bat first and apply scoreboard pressure, but in a repeat on the rained-out match the day before, the host nation built a solid foundation in getting to 100 for one to promise something well in excess of 200.
Unlike Saturday, when Tucker’s bowling was largely responsible for keeping Malaysia in check at 228 for eight, captain Anwar Arudin’s 60 from 49 balls at No 7 took his team into an area that Bermuda could not entertain challenging batting second — especially with Leverock forced to wait until the fifth wicket fell at the earliest.
Tucker took three for 34 from ten overs and Smith, making his “second debut”, had three for 42 from seven, including a stunning return catch.
Charles Trott was pressed into service as a makeshift opener in partnership with Okera Bascome, but within 15 overs the Bermuda innings was left in tatters by a faster bowler for a change, Muhammad Wafiq claiming three for 11 in his first four overs.
For long periods after that, as the spinners went about their work, it looked as though Bermuda had given up the ghost. They were never going to chase down 258 inside 35 overs to stay in Division Four with the start they had made.
But then the triumphant Ugandans arrived, all raucous and cheering Bermuda on. Leverock and Tucker had renewed purpose, and the rest is history. In particular for Malaysia.
Suhan Alagaratnam c and b Smith 12
Syed Aziz c and b Tucker 52
Ahmed Faiz c sub b Stovell 50
Muhamad Syahadat c and b Tucker 1
Virandeep Singh c Stovell b Tucker 19
Suharril Fetri c Simmons b Smith 33
* Anwar Arudin b Smith 60
†Shafiq Sharif b Trott 6
Anwar Rahman not out 4
Muhammad Wafiq not out 0
Extras (b 1, lb 2, nb 2, w 15) 20
Total (8 wkts, 50 overs) 257
Pavandeep Singh did not bat.
Fall of wickets: 1-30, 2-103, 3-107, 4-145, 5-161, 6-231, 7-248, 8-256.
Bowling: Leverock 4-0-23-0; Stovell 10-1-42-1; Smith 7-1-42-3; James 10-0-67-0; Trott 9-0-46-1; Tucker 10-0-34-3.
†O Bascome b Muhammad Wafiq 4
C Trott c Muhamad Syahadat b Muhammad Wafiq 1
* T S Fray c Shafiq Sharif b Muhammad Wafiq 1
T Manders lbw b Pavandeep Singh 12
M Simmons run out 9
D C Stovell lbw b Pavandeep Singh 0
J J Tucker c Pavandeep Singh b Muhamad Syahadat 55
K S Leverock b Syed Aziz 61
S Bremar c Muhammad Wafiq b Muhamad Syahadat 10
K S James not out 2
C Smith not out 0
Extras (nb 3, w 10) 13
Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 168
Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-8, 3-11, 4-29, 5-29, 6-37, 7-134, 8-162, 9-168.
Bowling: Muhammad Wafiq 10-1-35-3; Pavandeep Singh 10-3-17-2; Anwar Rahman 10-3-20-0; Muhamad Syahadat 9-1-41-2; Syed Aziz 5-0-25-1; Virandeep Singh 2-0-7-0; Suharril Fetri 4-1-23-0.
UKM-YSD Cricket Oval, Bangi (Jersey won toss): Uganda 90 (37 overs; B D H Stevens 4 for 22); Jersey 83 (35 overs; F Nsubuga 4 for 20). Uganda (2pts) beat Jersey by seven runs
P W L T NR Pts NRR
Uganda (C) 5 4 1 0 0 8 1.175
Denmark (P) 5 3 2 0 0 6 0.349
Malaysia 5 3 2 0 0 6 0.322
Jersey 5 2 3 0 0 4 0.044
Vanuatu (R) 5 2 3 0 0 4 -0.677
Bermuda (R) 5 1 4 0 0 2 -1.065