Winifred Anne Duraisingam leads Malaysia in a win against Hong Kong

Skipper Winifred Anne Duraisingam leads from the front as Malaysia seals a comprehensive victory over Hong Kong to kickstart their Asian Games Campaign.

Winifred Anne Duraisingam leads Malaysia in a win against Hong Kong
Winifred Anne Duraisingam leads Malaysia in a win against Hong Kong

Cricket made it’s return to the Asian Games for the first time since 2014. A total number of nine teams are participating in the tournament, namely Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mongolia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Thailand. Out of which five teams, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Thailand have already qualified for the Quarter-finals as per the ICC Women’s T20I Rankings.

The 19th edition of the Asian Games is underway in Hangzhou, China. The tournament was originally scheduled to take place last year, but, due to the Covid Pandemic, it was eventually postponed to the year 2023. A total number of 40 different sports will be played in the tournament this year.

Indonesia faced Mongolia in the first game as far as women’s cricket is concerned. Indonesia sealed a massive 172-run victory over Mongolia courtesy of a clinical performance to kickstart their Asian Games campaign on a high note. Hong Kong faced Malaysia in the second game of the tournament.

Hong Kong skipper Chan Ka Ying won the toss and opted to field first. Malaysia got off to a disappointing start after being inserted to bat first, as they lost the wicket of their opening batter Ainna Hamizah Binti Hashim for a duck, just on the third ball of the innings. Siu Mei Wai provided the first breakthrough for Hong Kong.

Mas Elysa Yasmin Binti Zulkifli joined skipper Winifred Anne Duraisingam at the crease but soon found her way back into the pavilion, leaving Malaysia in deep trouble as they lost a couple of wickets for just 3 runs inside the first two overs of the innings. The wicket-keeper batter Wan Julia Binti Wan Mohd Rosli joined the skipper Winifred Anne Duraisingam at the crease and the duo stitched a much-needed 41-run partnership for the third wicket to bring some sort of stability to the Malaysian innings.

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Just when the duo was looking all set to lead a fightback for Malaysia in their bid to post a competitive total on the board, they lost the wicket of their skipper Winifred Anne Duraisingam. Maryam Bibi provided the much-needed breakthrough for Hong Kong.

Mahirah Izzati Binti Ismail joined the wicket-keeper batter at the crease and the duo stitched yet another crucial 25-run partnership for the fourth wicket. The partnership steadily grew from strength to strength for Malaysia. However, they lost the wicket of their experienced wicket-keeper batter Wan Julia Binti Wan Mohd Rosli courtesy of a run-out to provide a crucial breakthrough for Hong Kong.

Malaysia eventually ended up with a total of 104/9 in their quota of overs courtesy of a collapse. They lost their last five wickets for just 35 runs. Skipper Winifred Anne Duraisingam (29 off 18 balls) was the top performer with the bat for Malaysia, scoring with an impressive strike rate of 161.11. Chan Ka Man (3/12) and Chan Ka Ying (2/15) were the top performers with the ball for Hong Kong.

Chasing a target of 105, the Hong Kong openers got off to a cautious start. However, they lost the wicket of their opening batter Lai Wing Ki in the fifth over of the run chase. The Malaysian skipper Winifred Anne Duraisingam provided the first breakthrough for her side. Miles Natasha Tara joined opening batter Poon Bella Bo Yee at the crease and the duo stitched an 18-run partnership for the second wicket.

Just when the duo was growing in confidence in their innings, they lost the wicket of Miles Natasha Tara courtesy of a run-out. Hong Kong suffered a mini collapse as they lost their next three wickets for just six runs. They were in deep trouble at 39/5 at almost the halfway mark. Chan Sau Ha joined Maryam Bibi at the crease and the duo stitched a 25-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

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Hong Kong were eventually bundled out for 82, as they suffered yet another collapse, losing their last four wickets for just 18 runs which eventually derailed the run chase. Miles Natasha Tara (15 off 9 balls) was the top performer with the bat for Hong Kong, scoring at an impressive strike rate of 166.67. Nik Nur Atiela Binti Nik Din (2/14) and skipper Winifred Anne Duraisingam (1/22) were the top performers with the ball for Malaysia, playing a crucial role in helping them seal a comprehensive 22-run victory over Hong Kong.

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