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Selangor completed their eighth successive victory to end their successful Malaysian Premier League campaign in style. Their first MPL title was sealed last week after six matches but Selangor then went on to win their two remaining matches to emulate Kedah’s unbeaten MPL seasons of 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Selangor, who finished second last year, went one better this time around after playing an attacking style of cricket with a number of players making impressive contributions. Their overseas trio all lived up to expectations although the performances from the Malaysian players were just as valuable.
Kogilan Muthu finished as the the joint second highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 13 wickets. Derek Duraisingam was not too far behind on 11 while Sivanantha Krishnan picked up 7. Captain Suhan Alagaratnam led from the front with 285 runs at the top of the order and Amin Ramly chipped in with 200 runs.
As mentioned earlier, Selangor recruited well. Shajan Salim amassed 491 runs to comfortably finish as the tournament’s top run-scorer. Leg spinning all-rounder Pulina Tharanga topped the wickets list with 16 to go with his 348 runs. Fellow Sri Lankan Thikshila de Silva also made some useful contributions with bat and ball.
Selangor ended up 14 points ahead of Tier A newcomers Sarawak who came second. Kuala Lumpur, MAF and Penang all finished in the same positions as they did last year.
Besides Kogilan, Duraisingam and Suhan, other Malaysians with notable performances include Faiz Noor (290 runs), Anwar Arudin (255 runs), Pavandeep Singh, Norwira Zazmie and Shukri Rahim (all 11 wickets). Penang’s Keithan Goonasagaran also deserves a mention for his 102 against the champions.
It would be fair to say the top two individual efforts were from overseas players though. Early in the tournament Shajan Salim struck 198* against Sarawak which is the highest score in the four seasons of the MPL. In the same match Ishan Jayaratne blitzed a 47 ball hundred with 11 sixes but that was to be in vain. Even before the halfway point it was quite clear that if that innings couldn’t overcome Selangor then nothing could.