BANGI: Malaysia warmed up for the final of the T20I Quadrangular Series with a 94-run win over Maldives after scoring a record total at the UKM Oval in Bangi today.
The win ensured Malaysia finished top of the preliminary standings with six wins out of six and extended their winning run to eight matches - equalling their longest streak in T20I cricket set in early 2020.
Malaysia's margin of victory is second only to the 155 runs in T20I matches by which Malaysia beat Bhutan on July 2.
Bhutan finished second with three wins for six points, ahead of Maldives on four points, to set up a showdown with Malaysia at the UKM Oval on Sunday.
Just a week after posting 213 for four against Bhutan, Malaysia surpassed that total by reaching 230 for four with Virandeep Singh smashing 72 runs off 44 balls while Ahmad Faiz Mohammed Noor added 57 off 30.
The pair put on 97 runs for the second wicket before Virandeep, who bludgeoned four sixes and six fours including three in a row in the 12th over, fell leg-before to Hassan Ibrahim having scored his sixth T20I half-century and his third this year in 13 matches.
Faiz hit four sixes and four boundaries before exiting for his fourth T20I half-century and third in 2022 from 11 outings.
Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak hit five fours for a breezy 25 runs before Syahadat Ramli (25) and M. Sharvin (21) added an unbeaten 38 runs to steer Malaysia past their previous highest score set on July 2.
Maldives mounted a determined effort in their chase, reaching 90-1 by the 12th over before the wheels came off with three wickets falling in six deliveries.
Sharvin grabbed two wickets in his opening spell by dismissing Adam Nasir Umar (50) to end an 84-run stand for the second wicket with Abdulla Shahid (34) before bowling Yoosuf Azyan Farhath (four).
Abdulla was next to go in the following over when his stumps were rattled by Syed Aziz before Sharvin bowled Hassan Haziq Rasheed for his third wicket as Maldives faltered in their reply to finish on 136-6.
"I salute the batsmen for setting our highest T20I total and for getting their own double figures," said captain Faiz as all six batsmen scored 17 or more. "The wicket was a bit tricky early on and happy to get a high score.
"Maldives pushed our bowlers hard but Sharvin got three wickets today. It was a good workout today and hopefully, we can bring it for the final."
On Thursday, Syazrul Ezat Idrus picked up four wickets as Malaysia trounced Thailand by nine wickets while Virandeep bagged three wickets in an eight-wicket win over Maldives on Wednesday in a match reduced to 10 overs due to rain as the national team reached their target of 58 in 26 balls.
SCORES - Malaysia 230-4 (Virandeep 72, Ahmad Faiz 57, Syahadat 25 not out, Hassan Ibrahim 2-44). Maldives 136-6 (Adam Nasif 50, Abdulla Shahid 34, M Sharvin 3-21). Malaysia won by 94 runs.