NEGRI Sembilan, joint third with Penang last year, got off to a winning start with a nine-wicket win over Terengganu in a Group D Malaysian Schools (MSSM) Under-18 match at the Johor Cricket Academy grounds in Mutiara Rini in Johor Baru yesterday.
Negri had little difficulty in passing Terengganu's total of 94 for six to reach 97 for the loss of only one wicket with opening batsman Muhammad Ibrahim Khalid hitting 32 not out.
Khairul Izwan Razman contributed 27 not out apart from being helped by a bonus 19 runs from wides.
Terengganu's top scorer was Mohd Nur Faris Khair with 33 runs followed by Abdul Hazim Awang on 16 not out.
Strong contenders Kuala Lumpur, drawn with last year's joint champions Kelantan in Group A, also registered a winning start to their campaign with a 66-run win over Kedah.
A breezy 62 by Zachary Eric Shunmugam coupled with a quick 21 by Izzat Mustafa Albakri paved the way for KL's win after finishing on 185 on board.
In reply, Kedah could only manage 119 all out with 21 runs coming from wides. Mohd Shaqir Ideraf hit 17 runs during his stay.
In a Group B match, last year's joint champions Selangor romped to a 10-wicket win over Sarawak.
Batting first, the East Malaysians were all out for 48 with none of their players reaching double figures.
In reply, Selangor reached 49 without loss with Muhamad Irfan Ruzdi and Ahmad Norhamizan Hamidon not out with 25 and 12 runs respectively. By Rizal Abdullah