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A gold medal in the men’s 50 over event at the SEA Games was all but confirmed when Malaysia defeated Singapore by 6 wickets thanks to a terrific century from Ahmad Faiz.
Singapore elected to bat after winning the toss but fell into trouble early on with the three Malaysian seamers taking one wicket apiece. Navin Param (66) and Rezza Gaznavi (86*) set about recovering the innings with a patient hundred partnership. The pair built a solid platform and were well set at 137/3 in the 39th over. In the search for quick runs, Singapore’s grip on the game came undone. The middle and lower order perished to the bowling of Virandeep Singh (2/30) and Derek Duraisingam (3/35). Gaznavi remained throughout and lifted the score up to a below-par 195 before running out of partners.
Needing 196 to win, Malaysia got off to the worst possible start with Shoib Razak (4/42) removing both openers within the first six overs. With little scoreboard pressure, Ahmad Faiz (105) and Virandeep Singh (45) knew what they had to do, which was keep their wickets intact. After seeing off the new ball, Faiz became more expansive while Viran played the anchor role. Faiz dominated the spinners and took the game away from Singapore with a stunning century. (VIDEO) The pair both fell in quick succession to Shoib but by then Malaysia were nearly there. Suharril Fetri and Shafiq Sharif finished things off with a flurry of boundaries to secure a 6 wicket win. (VIDEO)
The win sees Malaysia go top of the table. Only a catastrophic loss to winless Indonesia would have any effect on proceedings. The gold medal will be officially confirmed after tomorrow’s match.