Thursday, November 6, 2008

My friends from Penang Free School

Kelantan boys edge Selangor to win Under-15 cricket title

KELANTAN went one up to improve on their last season’s performance at SportExcel-Milo-MCA national Under-15 cricket circuit at the Kelab Aman in Ampang last week..
In the final, they gave away eight wickets in 40-over and edged Selangor 164-113 to emerge as champions.

Kelantan coach Zainuddin Harun said his charges were eager to secure the victory.
“It was an even match. Our boys were in good form to produce the win. Besides the students based in Kelantan, we have the services of players who are studying at two other boarding schools – Penang Free School and Kajang High School – for the tournament. Most of them have featured in the side when we went down to Penang to finish as runners-up last year,” he added.
Selangor coach P. Palanivelu said it was an achievable benchmark to register an average of four runs for each over.
“Although we had a strong batting line-up, we lost our first three wickets easily. We also gave our opponents the extra throws in the last five-over and our batsmen were taking risky chances towards the end of the match. But, it was a good effort from the young side to reach the final,” Palanivelu added.
In the preliminary rounds, Kelantan won all their matches with wins over Johor and Kuala Lumpur in their group.
They got off to a good start and thumped Kuala Lumpur 333-69 followed by a 166-121 victory over Johor.

Kelantan’s Mohamad Fikri Makram Wan Mohd Rosdi also chalked up an impressive 175 runs in the opening match against Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, Selangor topped their group to set up final match-up when they finish ahead Pahang and Penang.
In the four-day tournament, Fikri also picked up the Best Batsman and Best All-Rounder awards.
The 15-year-old who is studying at Penang Free School accumulated 285 runs including 23 boundaries and six sixes.
“We felt the pressure playing against Selangor because they were pushing us hard to register the runs. Our confidence only grew when we moved closer to wipe out their wickets,” said Fikri, who contributed 87 runs and still not out in the final.
In addition, Mohd Nasirudalin of Kelantan and Mohd Fetri Sham of Selangor were the recipients of the Best Bowler and Most Promising Player awards respectively.
Earlier in June, a total of 11 sides took part in the qualifiers held at three zones (south, north and central) and the top two sides from each zone advanced to compete at the recent national meet.
The Malaysian Cricket Association development chairman C. Sivanandan said it has been a challenge to groom the junior players with regular training camps, tournaments and international tours to match their peers from the formidable cricket nations.
“We have been hosting the Under-15 meet since 1999. Our juniors cannot be satisfied with their current achievements. They need to improve and bring their game up to another level,” added Sivanandan, who is also the association’s vice-president.

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