Malaysia T20: Warriors win rain-affected match

Isaac Lockett reports on the latest action from the MCA T20 Super Series which saw the Western Warriors come up against the Central Smashers.

The latest match from the T20 Super Series in Malaysia saw the Western Warriors come up against the Central Smashers, one day after the Northern Strikers impressed against the Southern Hitters

Abdul Rashid Ahad celebrates after Nazril Rahman is run out to leave the Smashers reeling at 95/5 in the 11th

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, the Warriors lost Ahmad Zubaidi in the first over when he slog swept Lokman Nur Hakim into the hands of deep mid wicket. Syed Rehmatullah then walked to the crease for his first game of the tournament, replacing regular skipper Shafiq Sharif, who sat out due to work commitments.

Despite being struck on the shoulder by a sharp bouncer from Wafiq Irfan, Rehmatullah shook off the cobwebs, smashing the left-armer through the covers for his first of five boundaries. However, tragedy struck when he was called through for a run by Sharvin Muniandy only to be sold down the river.

At 54/3 at the conclusion of the Powerplay, there was a feeling that the Smashers would look to rebuild. They did no such thing.

The pair of Dhivendran Mogan and Sharvin Muniandy launched a stunning counter-attack, treating the Smashers’ spinners with particular severity whenever they overpitched. By the time that Muniandy was dismissed for 68 (39) with the score on 167 at the end of the 17th over, the pair had put on 117 in just 63 deliveries.

Mogan played a more anchor-like role as he scored 57 off 43 balls, finishing not out at the end of the 20 overs. Three Smashers bowlers finished with an economy rate of 7.50 with Muhammad Wafiq Irfan Zarbani (1-30), Mohd Nazril Abd Rahman (0-30) and Ahmad Faiz Mohd Noor (0-15) all bowled well in the context of the innings. The Warriors finished on 188/5 after their 20 overs, during an innings which saw the Smashers concede 20 extras.

In reply, the Smashers begun in belligerent fashion courtesy a pair of slog swept sixes by Anwar Arudin. He combined with Aslam Malik to put on a partnership of 42 off the first 3.3 overs to propel the Smashers ahead of the required run rate.

Even after the pair fell within eight balls of each other, skipper Ahmad Faiz continued the good work with another slog sweep for six, this time off Amir Azim before striking three consecutive boundaries off Rajkumar Rajendran. With dark clouds circling, the Smashers were scoring above 10 RPO and were well ahead of the DLS par score.

However, the next five minutes would forever change the complexion of the game.

Attempting yet another slog sweep, Faiz top-edged off-spinner Suharril Fetri to Saifullah Malik at deep mid wicket. The first ball of the 11th over saw Rohit Vyas charge down the track only to be bowled by impressive leggie Abdul Rashid Ahad. Nazril Rahman fell off the very next ball, to a contentious run out to leave the Smashers reeling at 95/5 after 10.2.

Unfortunately, the rain brought a stop to the game after 11.5 overs with the score on 106 meaning that DLS had to be used to determine the result. The Western Warriors won the game by four runs making it back-to-back wins for the team after beating the Northern Strikers last week. 

Dhivendran Mogan was adjudged the Player-of-the-match for his unbeaten half-century and figures of 2-0-11-1, which included the wicket of Anwar Arudin.

The next set of fixtures sees the Central Smashers coming up against the Northern Strikers on 3rd October before the Western Warriors square off against the Southern Hitters the next day.

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