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|Hassan Khan Mohammad||2.0||0||22||0||11.00|
It's all happening in the World Cricket at the moment. In the past few days, we have seen more than a few upsets, the lower seeded teams beating the top sides, and that tells us how quickly the cricket is growing across the globe. In the ongoing series between Malaysia and Hong Kong, Hong Kong were firm favorites to not just win the first two matches, but do that with significant ease. However, on the contrary, Malaysia are leading the series 2-0 with three matches to go. The upcoming match between the two sides will now be of extreme importance with Malaysia having a chance to win a series they were never expected to. Hong Kong will be looking to deny Malaysia that chance and bounce back in the series. Given the way how things have gone in the series so far, it is going to be a cracker of a contest. The third match of the series is to be played on 24th February at Kinrara Oval Ground, Kuala Lumpur.
In the two matches gone so far, Malaysia played agressive cricket and decimated Hong Kong with significant ease. In the first match of the series, Malaysia batted first, set the total of 138, and then defended that by 35 runs, which is quite a margin in T20s.
In the second match, which was cut short by rain when Malaysisa were batting at 123 in 16.3 overs, Malaysian bowlers did a fantastic job to keep Hong Kong from chasing the revised target, which was 83 runs on Duckworth Lewis method. In the series so far, Virandeep Singh has been an asset for them as he got them off to good starts in both the matches. He has 78 runs to his name in two matches and will be raring to go. In totality, their batting has done reasonably well, with middle-order contributing beautifully.
Along with the brilliant batting, it's their bowling that has won them the two games. The totals that they set in the two matches were, by any stretch of imagination, unchaseable, but their bowlers ensured that it is not easy for the visitors chase the total down. From what we have seen in the two matches gone is tthat their bowling has not been reliant on one or two bowlers. While Pavandeep Singh and Fitri Sham were the starts in the first match as they picked up three wickets each, it was Khizar Hayat who wreaked havoc on Hong Kong with his five wicket haul.
Considering how the Malaysian team has done in the series so far, they can no longer be considered underdogs. They are doing pretty well in both the departments of the game, have the two-match lead and the momentum, and will be brimming with confidence. Beating them is not going to be easy for Hong Kong in the third match as well.
Ahmed Faiz, Aminuddin Ramly, Virandeep Singh, Sharvin Muniandy, Pavandeep Singh, Dhivendran Mogan, Nazril Rahman, Anwar Rahman, Mohamed Arief, Khizar Hayat , Syed Aziz.
Despite having a stronger team on paper, Hong Kong have somehow managed to lag in the series. None of their players managed to live up to the expectations as they struggled with the bat in both the matches gone so far.
Chasing a total of 138 in the first match, they struggled to get going as their batting fell like a house of cards in a bid to score quickly. Barring Waqas Barkat and Aizaz Khan, who contributed with 35 and 31 respectively, none of their batsmen managed to trouble the scorers much. Only Hamed Khan was the other batsman who managed to score in double figures.
In the second match, the performance by their batsmen was even worse as they struggled to keep wickets in hand, let alone score quickly. Chasing a total of 83, they lost eight wickets for 61 runs, losing the match by 21 runs. Only Shahid Wasif and Haroon Arshad looked comfortable to score quickly as all other batsmen were dismissed after single digit scores.
While their batsmen were dismal in the two matches, their bowling did pretty well. They restricted Hong Kong to a reasonably low total in both the matches, but their batting failed them on both occasions. Going by what has happened in the series so far, Hong Kong will be low on confidence and beating Malaysia is going to be a challenge.
Shahid Wasif, Nizakat Khan, KD Shah, Waqas Khan, W Barkat, Scott McKechnie, Aizaz Khan, Mohsin Khan, Aftab Hussain, Hassan Khan Mohammad, Hamed Khan.
We saw unexpected results gone in the series so far it might happen again the third match. Hong Kong are still the more experienced side between the two and beating them again will not be easy for Malaysia. Having said that, Malaysia have been in prime form, will be brimming with confidence, and enjoy the home conditions, so cannot be taken lightly. Considering the recent performances of the two sides and how well they both have adapted to the conditions, we think that Malaysia are firm favorites to win the upcoming encounter.
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