Singapore ended Malaysia’s eight-match winning streak with a 128-run victory in an ACC Asia Cup Eastern Region qualifier at the Asian Institute of Technology ground in Bangkok on Tuesday.
Tim David fell just short of the first century of the tournament as Singapore reached 239 for three, the most runs Malaysia have conceded in 23 T20I matches, before Anantha Krishna grabbed four wickets as Malaysia were dismissed for 111 in 15.1 overs.
The win was Singapore’s second in as many matches while Malaysia suffered their first defeat after beating Nepal and Thailand earlier. It was also the largest-margin of defeat in terms of runs for Malaysia in T20I matches.
The loss ended the national team’s longest winning run in T20Is which began with Vanuatu in the fifth match of a series last October and continued with a 5-0 sweep of Hong Kong last month.
But Malaysia remain in the thick of the battle for a top-two finish in the five-team league which will ensure passage to the next stage of qualifying. Malaysia meet Hong Kong on Friday in a likely winner-takes-all contest.
Hong Kong defeated Thailand by eight wickets to join Singapore and Malaysia on four points, with net run-rate placing Malaysia third.
Singapore will be guaranteed a top two finish by beating Hong Kong on Wednesday, which would eliminate Nepal and turn Friday’s Hong Kong-Malaysia clash into a decider for the other spot while rendering the Singapore-Nepal match academic.
However, if Hong Kong prevails over Singapore tomorrow then there will be all to play for on Friday for the four teams involved.
Singapore had won their last six T20 meetings against Malaysia since losing the 2017 Sea Games final at Kinrara and were off to a flyer as they put Malaysia to the sword.
David needed just 17 balls to reach his fifty on the way to finishing unbeaten on 92 after smashing nine fours and seven sixes off 32 deliveries.
Singapore scored at a run-rate of 10 to race to 80 runs in eight overs as Fitri Sham, Syazrul Ezat Idrus and Khizar Hayat Durrani managed to take just one wicket each at a cost of 31, 55 and 58 runs respectively.
Both Pavandeep Singh and Sharvin Muniandy went wicketless for 41 and 53 runs respectively as the bowlers found no respite in the face of relentless Singapore batting.
Siddhant Singh (77) and Surendran Chandramohan (47) took Singapore to 96 before Khizar found the breakthrough by removing the latter.
But David then came in and featured in a 99-run stand with Siddhant to virtually take the game beyond Malaysia’s reach.
Malaysia responded in the worst-possible fashion, losing openers Anwar Arudin (0) and Virandeep Singh (2) inside seven balls with just three runs on the board.
Amjad Mahboob got rid of Anwar after three deliveries before David showcased his ability with the ball to dismiss Virandeep. Mahboob then sent Khizar (13) back after hitting three boundaries off six balls as Malaysia fell to 19-3.
Captain Ahmad Faiz Mohammad Noor took it upon himself to launch a fightback, reaching a strike-rate of 200 at one point, but fell for 25 to Anantha after hitting two fours and two sixes.
Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak (23), who featured in a 42-run stand with Faiz, followed the next over after falling to Aryaman Sunil to leave Malaysia at 72-5.
Aminudin Ramly hit a brisk 23 off 15 in a 30-run partnership with Ariff Jamaludeen but Malaysia lost their last four wickets, three of those to Anantha, for the addition of nine runs.
Singapore 239-3 in 20 overs (Tim David 92 not out, Siddhant Singh 77, Surendran Chandramohan 47, Fitri Sham 1-31, Syazrul Ezat 1-55, Khizar Hayat 1-58)
Malaysia 111 in 15.1 overs (Ahmad Faiz 25, Syed Aziz 23, Aminudin Ramly 23, Anantha Krishna 4-28, Amjad Mahboob 2-8)
Result: Singapore won by 128 runs
Thailand 77-8 in 20 overs (Ziaul Hoque 23 not out, Kinchit Shah 2-9, Ehsan Khan 2-9, Aftab Hussain 2-11)
Hong Kong 78-2 in 7.4 overs (Nizakat Khan 36, Kinchit 19 not out)
Result: Hong Kong won by 8 wickets