TODAY - APRIL 29 RESULTS
At UKM Oval,Kuala Lumpur
Vanuatu 104 (36 overs) S Deitz 36; B Stevens 4-12, E Miles 2-15, C Perchard 2-17, C Bodenstein 2-29 lost to Jersey 105-3 (31.1 overs) N Watkins 36*; JW Chilia 3-30 by 7 wickets.
At Royal Selangor Club
Bermuda 209 (47.5 overs) O. Bascombe 63, T. Manders 40, Chris Trott 36; Basir Shah 3-17 lost toDenmark 212-2 (41.5 overs) F Klokker 108*, Zameer Khan 38, Hamid Shah 48*by 8 wickets
At Kinrara Academy Oval
Malaysia 208 (49.3 overs) Suhan Alagaratnam 61, Ahmed Faiz 50; Riazat Ali Shah 4-24 beat Uganda 199 (49.1 overs) Deus Muhumuza 38, Fred Achelam 36; Muhamad Syahadat 4-21, D Mogan 2-31 by 9 runs.
Fixtures - Tomorrow, April 30 - 4.30am (EAT)
Malaysia vs. Vanuatu | Kinrara Academy Oval, Bandar
Denmark vs. Jersey | Royal Selangor, Kuala Lumpur
Uganda vs Bermuda | UKM Cricket Oval, Bandar
Umpires Isaac Oyiekoh and Rizwan Akram had the spotlight on them after hosts Malaysia clinched a controversial nine-run win in the last over against Uganda in the opening encounter of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Division IV World Cricket League (WCL) at Kinrara Academy Oval yesterday.
In every true sense of the phrase, it is unfortunate that a match report shifts focus from players to match officials.
But from the onset, Kenyan Oyieko and Denmark-based Pakistani Akram were largely guilty of not conducting the match by the rule book.
They let Malaysia, in particular, scot-free one too many times as the hosts pushed for victory at‘whatever’ cost in-front of their fans.
The true spirit of the game was hardly exercised on the field as at one point the Asians took three runs off a ball that had been fielded in the deep, thrown to the bowler’s end, and landed on the non-striker’s bat as he completed the first run hence deflecting into no man’s land.
As per what cricket dictates, the batsmen shouldn’t have run. But they did set off as if chasing Usain Bolt’s 100m sprint record for not one but three runs and the umpires willing-fully let them ‘have their cake and eat it too’ when they should have cancelled the runs with a dead-ball signal.
There were many other incidents throughout the game including Malaysian bowlers ‘faking injuries’ to take breathers and massages, under the searing heat conditions, without any caution from the umpires.
The epitome of them all though was, however, in the last over. With 10 runs needed off the final over, and the set Deusdedit Muhumuza (38 off 88) off strike, Henry Ssenyondo (1* off 3) nudged a good length ball from left-arm spinner Virandeep Singh into the covers.
Suhan Alagaratnam moved in quickly but didn’t get a proper grip of the ball as he swooped in an underarm throw into the ground, the ball bouncing five times before skidding towards the stumps.
However, video replays showed that the ball never deviated after crossing the stumps, and instead carried on along its path towards fine leg, whereas a natural deflection off the stumps should have taken it to mid-wicket.
Square-leg umpire Oyieko of Kenya looked like he had woken up from a nightmare as he raised the dreaded finger to the delight of the Malaysian fielders who had swarmed around him to the dismay of Muhumuza, who hurled his bat across the pitch.
The implication from the video replay is that Malaysia's wicketkeeper Shafiq Sharif may have inadvertently knocked a bail off when making contact with the stumps. Sharif was credited for the run-out by the official scorers, though he never came in contact with the ball, further clouding the picture.
The ending marred what was a thrilling chase as Uganda looked to get the desired 209 runs on a flat deck that gave not assistance to the bowlers.
At one stage, the Cricket Cranes needed 16 runs off 24 balls with two wickets in hand.
But Malaysia's spinners bowled nagging lines to earn dot balls that helped build pressure. It resulted into No.10 batsman Bilal Hassun dragging one onto his furniture, off the bowling of Muhammad Syahadat for 10 off 18 as he looked to up the scoring ante.
Man-of-the-Match Syahadat (4 for 21) had already dealt the Ugandans a blow when he prized out wicketkeeper-cum-batsman Fred Achelam, Leg Before Wicket (LBW) for 36, to end an industrious 54-run stand with Muhumuza.
Earlier, Alagaratnam (61 off 85) and former skipper Ahmed Faiz (50 off 82) had set up Malaysia for a defendable total with a pair of half-centuries, after Malaysia chose to bat after winning the toss.
And although the finish was shrouded in controversy, with Uganda questioning the validity of the run-out of their last wicket, their batsmen will take a lot of blame for the manner in which they cheaply gifted the opposition their wickets.
Cricket Cranes skipper Roger Mukasa (14 off 20), Hamu Kayondo (11 off 8) threw their willows at wide deliveries and were caught behind whereas Simon Ssesazi (2 off 3), Brian Masaba (17 off 41), Riazat Ali Shah (28 off 53 & 4 for 24) and Mohammed ‘Afridi’ Irfan holed out unnecessary routine catches without any pressure on them as the required rate was under four per over.
And with the pressure on, only Achelam and Charles Waiswa, who got a delivery that turned from outside off-stump to leave his furniture in clatters, were the only batsmen beaten.
Winning starts for Denmark, Jersey
Elsewhere Freddie Klokker's unbeaten 108, coming on the back of left-arm spinner Bashir Shah's excellent spell of 3 for 17 in 10, propelled Denmark to an eight-wicket win over Bermuda in their WCL Division Four clash at the Royal Selangor Club.
Whereas at the UKM-YSD Oval in Bangi, star allrounder Ben Stevens once again came to the fore for Jersey, striking the key blow to dismiss his opposite number Patrick Matautaava early in the Vanuatu innings before taking three more wickets to wipe out the tail in Jersey's seven-wicket win at the UKM-YSD Oval in Bangi.
Time to bounce back
But there will be no time to cry for either Uganda, Bermuda and Vanuatu as they look to bounce back in tomorrow’s fixtures.
Uganda face Bermuda at the newly-laid UKM Oval and only victory will suffice for the tournament top seeds as another loss could literally wrap up their campaign.
Second seeds Malaysia will be looking to make it two in two when they take on lightweights Vanuatu, who will fancy their chances of an upset at Kinrara Academy Oval.
In the last fixture of the day, Denmark engage Jersey with no short of victory over their minds after a clinical shift both in the field and with the bat against Bermuda on Day One.
The top two countries here in Kuala Lumpur will earn promotion to the ICC WCL Division III scheduled for later this year in either Australia or USA.