Stan Nagaiah Trophy back in Malaysia

MALAYSIA regained the Stan Nagaiah Trophy after six years with a 2-1 win over Singapore in a T20I series on Thursday, clinching a five-wicket win in the deciding third match at the Singapore Indian Association ground.

After Singapore took the opening match by four wickets on Tuesday, Malaysia levelled the series with a 23-run win on Wednesday, thanks to Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak's half-century before Sharvin Muniandy blasted an unbeaten 26 runs off nine balls to steer the national team to a five-wicket win in a rain-shortened finale.

Singapore had held on to the Stan Nagaiah Trophy, a bilateral limited-overs series introduced in 1995, since 2018, which was the last time the trophy was contested when Singapore won 3-0.

Malaysia had not beaten Singapore in a T20 match since a 2016 quadrangular series win at the Kinrara Oval, losing eight matches in a row beginning with the 2017 Sea Games final.

"We're very happy to win this trophy again as it has been a long time since we last beat Singapore," said captain Ahmad Faiz Noor.

"It was a very intense series, and we showed improvement day by day. Everyone stepped up, and whoever had the opportunity needed to make sure they took it."

Bestowed T20I status for the first time, the series opened with Singapore extending their winning run to eight matches over Malaysia after restricting the visitors, who lost opener Virandeep Singh to a first-ball duck, to 137 for seven as Sharvin top scored with 40.

U. Aryaman Sunil guided Singapore, 20th in the ICC men's T20I rankings, to their target with a ball to spare following an unbeaten 36.

In the second match, Faiz (35) and Syed Aziz (56) built a third-wicket stand of 78 runs in a fiery response before Syahadat Ramli starred with an unbeaten 40 as 31st-ranked Malaysia reached 177 for five.

Singapore closed on 154 for six in their chase despite Janak Prakash belting 56 off 31 balls with Anwar Rahman and Khizar Hayat Durrani taking two wickets each.

Rain reduced the third match to 13 overs, with Singapore ending on 122 on seven as Anwar took three wickets for 13.

Malaysia made light of having to score 9.5 runs an over to reach 125 for five, with five balls remaining as Syahadat (24) and Syed Aziz (20) weighed in with crucial scores before Sharvin hit three sixes as Malaysia lifted the trophy for the first time since 2016.

There is no rest for the team which plays Bhutan today in the opening match of a quadrangular series that also includes Maldives and Thailand.

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