Malaysia score victories in the T20I Quadrangular Series and Saudari Cup

KUALA LUMPUR: There was a double celebration for Malaysian cricket at the weekend as the men's national team defeated Bhutan to win the T20I Quadrangular Series in Bangi while the women's team swept hosts Singapore to retain the Saudari Cup.

Malaysia's men secured their second trophy in successive weeks as a nine-wicket win over Bhutan in the final today followed a 2-1 series win over Singapore in the Saudara Cup to extend their winning run to nine matches — the team's longest-ever T20I victory streak.

Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak became the second Malaysian batsman to surpass 1,000 runs in T20I cricket, doing so in 39 innings, after Virandeep Singh, named man-of-the-series, reached the milestone against Maldives on Saturday in his 38th appearance.

Malaysia, 27th in the ICC T20I rankings, reached 84 for one in 6.3 overs as Syed Aziz ended unbeaten on 44 after Syazrul Ezat Idrus bagged three wickets for 13 runs to dismiss Bhutan for 82 in 19.1 overs at the UKM Oval.

World No 57 Bhutan's first four wickets fell for 10 runs as Syazrul struck twice before M. Sharvin snared the important wicket of Thinley Jamtsho (37), who top-edged to the slips, as Bhutan slipped to 65-8.

Malaysia got off the mark with Ahmad Zubaidi Zulkifle (19) and Syed Aziz hitting five sixes between them in the first two overs in a 45-run partnership before the latter's drive to the boundary between long-on and long-off secured victory.

"It was a pleasure to play with these players. Congratulations to Virandeep and Syed Aziz for passing 1,000 runs in T20I cricket," said captain Ahmad Faiz Noor, who stayed unbeaten on 16.

"This was a great opportunity for everyone to play their best and for the team to emerge champions."

Man-of-the-match Syed Aziz added: "I feel happy, but I believe this is the beginning of something big in terms of going for the next 1,000 runs."

The national women's team, fresh from finishing runners-up at the ACC T20 Championship and qualifying for the Asia Cup, beat Singapore 3-0 at the Singapore Indian Association ground to lift the Saudari Cup for the seventh time in seven editions.

Malaysia won the opening T20I match by six wickets on Friday and secured an unassailable 2-0 lead on Saturday with a 75-run win as Elsa Hunter scored 53 not out for her first half-century while Mas Elysa Yasmin Zulkifli added 51 in a 113-run partnership.

Sasha Azmi took four wickets as Malaysia won the third match on Sunday by 79 runs which began with 23 runs from the first over, largely due to 13 extras bowled by Singapore's Johanna Pooranakaran with the second ball.

"We got what we wanted, we came here wanting to win 3-0. I am proud of the girls, especially great bowling by Sasha and great batting by Elsa," said captain Winifred Duraisingam.

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