An unbeaten 50 from skipper Shafiq Sharif on the back of a team bowling effort helped Western Warriors gun down a target of 159 against the Northern Strikers.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Bhushan Save, fresh off a bruising 78 (27) last week, pulled Suharril Fetri over cow corner for the first maximum of the game. However, he tried to repeat the dose off the very next ball, only managing to find Faiz Ahmad Nasir at deep mid wicket.
Walking in at 3, Virandeep Singh found his rhythm early on. Singh top-scored with 43 runs, during an innings that included two boundaries and two maximums. Singh combined with Aminuddin Ramly (38) for a partnership worth 46 runs, which saw the team reach 92 before the number three batsman was clean bowled by Rajkumar Rajendran.
The Warriors team saw a number of its bowlers make impressive contributions with Rajendran finishing with figures of 3-33 and both Dhivendran Mogan (0-27) and Amir Azim Abd Shukor (0-27) both finishing with an economy rate of under seven runs per over. Despite Ainool Haqqiem scoring 25 runs towards the latter stages regular wickets arguably aided to restrict the scoring of the Strikers who eventually finished with a final score of 158/8 after their 20 overs.
In reply, Warriors’ openers Ahmad Zubaidi (33) and Saifullah Malik (30) looked in total control from ball one. Dominant partner Zubaidi was especially elegant through the off side as the pair accumulated 63 runs in the first 8 overs, seeing off 4 overs from the twin threat of Pavandeep Singh and Syazrul Ezat.
However, both were dismissed within three balls of each other. Zubaidi was bowled by an arm ball by left-arm spinner Aimal Khan before Saifullah miscued leggie Shankar Satish to Striker’s skipper Virandeep at long off.
However, the eventual Player of the Match Sharif stabilized the innings with Sharvin Muniandy. After the former departed, Sharif took a step back with Warriors accumulating a mere 13 runs between overs 12 and 14. This proved to be the calm before the storm when Sharif launched his opposite number over long on and long off for consecutive maximums. He also entertained audiences with a series of attempted reverse sweeps off the Strikers’ quicks.
A pair of late wickets did little to slow down the warriors as they completed the chase with 8 balls to spare for their first win of the tournament. They will be looking to get back to back wins next Thursday against the Central Smashers.
Following the loss, the Strikers have played two games winning one and losing one. The Malaysian T10 Bash champions will be looking to get back to winning ways against the Southern Hitters on 30th September 2020.
The next fixture of the MCA T20 Super Series is the Central Smashers against the Southern Hitters, which takes place on the 24th September 2020, which can be followed via the Malaysian Cricket Association’s official Twitter account. The tournament’s full fixtures can be found on the EC calendar.
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