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Singapore claimed the gold medal in the men’s T20 event at the SEA Games with a nervy 3 wicket win over Malaysia in the final.
Malaysia won the toss and chose to bat but were rattled early on by the Singaporean seamers. Experienced batsmen Anwar Arudin, Ahmad Faiz and Shafiq Sharif were all dismissed for ducks to leave the hosts in huge trouble at 5/3. Virandeep Singh and Suharril Fetri (35*) consolidated and steadied the innings with a solid 93 run stand. When Viran departed for a well made 57, Malaysia’s hopes of a good total went with it. A subsequent middle order collapse at the death saw Malaysia limp to 117/7. A below-par total that would require something special from the bowlers to defend it.
Needing 118 for gold, Singapore lost captain Anish Param in the first over to Dhivendran Mogan (1/17). A much needed early breakthrough for Malaysia but the visitors soon fought back with Navin Param hitting a quickfire 29 to bring the required rate down to 5 an over. Anwar Arudin turned to spin and while Shukri Rahim (2/29), Anwar Rahman (1/12) and Virandeep Singh (1/15) all made breakthroughs, Singapore never lost their grip of the chase. There were some nervy moments for Singapore at the end when Malaysia inflicted two run outs. However, it was too little, too late as Riaz Hussein (37*) hit the winning run with a ball to spare.
Malaysia will be disappointed with silver and they will know that the top order collapse was too much to come back from. It is probably a fair result though that Malaysia and Singapore hold one gold apiece.