KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia produced an outstanding batting performance to beat higher-ranked Hong Kong by six wickets in the fifth and final Twenty20 International at Kinrara Oval today and sweep the series 5-0.
The hosts reeled in Hong Kong’s total of 171-7 by posting the highest score of the series of 176-4 with nine balls to spare to cap a momentous week as Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak led the way with a brisk 50.
Sharvin Muniandy, Khizar Hayat Durrani and Syazrul Ezat Idrus each took two wickets as Kinchit Shah posted the highest score of the series with his 72 for Hong Kong and take match honours.
The victory over World No 20 Hong Kong marked an historic first T20I series success for 39th-ranked Malaysia after previous losses to Nepal (2-0) and Vanuatu (3-2) last year.
It was the perfect tune-up for the ACC Eastern Region T20 Asia Cup qualifying tournament in Bangkok, which starts on Saturday, with Malaysia up against Nepal, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.
Virandeep Singh, the match-day captain in Ahmad Faiz Noor’s absence, delighted in completing the 5-0 sweep as he had targeted from the start.
“It feels amazing to contribute as a captain today and the team played really well and we got the five-nil.
“The way we have been playing throughout the series, especially today when we had to chase after batting first all the while, we could chase that if we had a good start,” Virandeep, who was also named the player of the series, told www.cricketmalaysia.com today.
Hong Kong 171-7 in 20 overs (Kinchit Shah 72, Aizaz Khan 44, Shahid Wasif 30, Syazrul Ezat 2-27, Khizat Hayat 2-29, Sharvin Muniandy 2-39)
Malaysia 176-4 in 18.3 overs (Syed Aziz 50, Virandeep Singh 27, Khizat Hayat 25, Anwar Arudin 24, Ariff Jamaludeen 23 not out, Sharvin Muniandy 23 not out, Aizaz Khan 2-30)
Result: Malaysia won by six wickets
Series: Malaysia won 5-0
Player of the series: Virandeep Singh (Malaysia)
Best Batsman: Virandeep Singh (Malaysia)
Best Bowler: Syazrul Ezat Idrus (Malaysia)