Malaysia T20 Super Series Game 9: Southern Hitters 6/194 (Syed Aziz 69, Mohamed Imam Jawfer 43, Wafiq Irfan 3-39, Fitri Sham 2-30) lost to Central Smashers 7/195 (Ahmed Faiz Mohammed Noor 95*, Anwar Arudin 26, Anwar Rahman 2-26, Syed Aziz 2-38) by 3 wickets
The latest action from the Malaysia T20 Super Series saw the Southern Hitters come up against the Central Smashers in what turned out to be a high-scoring affair.
Having won the toss and electing to bat, Hitters openers Syed Aziz and Nitheesh Sethumadhavan (38) got their team off to an exceptional start. The pair brought up their 50-run partnership within six overs and quickly raced to 93 in 7.2 overs, at which point Syed Aziz departed for 69. He scored 13 boundaries and one maximum in an innings that benefitted from two early drops and a pair of edges past the slip cordon.
Harinderjit Singh (28) and Mohamed Imam Jawfer then combined for an important partnership worth 30 runs in the middle overs. Jawfer’s impressive series continued as he finished on 43 and propelled the Hitters to 6-194 from their 20 overs.
In the second innings, although Smashers openers Anwar Arudin (26) and Alam Muhammad Saif (23) combined for a steady 37-run opening partnership, the Hitters opening bowlers prevented the Central Smashers from getting off to a quick start. The major issue facing the Smashers was the ever-climbing run rate owing to a number of tight early overs from the Hitters bowling attack.
Ammar Zuhdi came in at number three looking to take on the run rate challenge. He showed considerable promise in an entertaining cameo but perished on 19 to a pinpoint accurate yorker by Saleh Shadman. Nazril Rahman also scored an important 22 runs.
However, it was Smashers skipper Ahmad Faiz who grabbed the bull by the horns. Faiz came in at number four with the score on 2-59 and finished on 95 with 7 boundaries and six glorious maximums at a strike rate of 197.92. To nobody’s surprise, he employed his signature sweep on multiple occasions, including two sweeps that sailed over the fence. Courtesy Faiz’s defining innings, the Smashers chased down the target with 8 balls to spare in a thrilling run chase.
For the Hitters, left-arm orthodox spinner Anwar Rahman once again showed his capabilities with the ball, finishing with figures of 2-26 in four overs.
After plenty of swings in momentum and a mammoth 389 runs scored in what was likely the best game of the tournament, the Central Smashers walked away with two points to jump to the top of the Super Series table.
The next game in the Malaysia T20 Super Series sees the Western Warriors face the Northern Strikers on Friday.
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