LOCAL outfit Mugwallas Cricket Club achieved back-to-back wins when curtains came down on the 19th edition of the annual Penang Sports Club (PSC) International Cricket Sixes.
The Kuala Lumpur-based club is the second to achieve a double in
the recent two-day contest for the prestigious Tunku Tan Sri Imran trophy.
The event saw the participation of foreign outfits like Sri Lanka’s Saint Peter Old Boys (Old Peterites) and Butterfly Vacation, India’s Hyderabad Combined District Cricket team, Australia’s Tugge-ranong Valley Cricket Club, Indo-nesia’s Jakarta Cricket Association and debutant Swindon Asians Cricket Club from England.
And it is the foreign teams that made Mugwallas look good.
Despite the odds of such a renowned international field especially Butterfly Vacation which were led by Penang’s former Sri Lankan coach Kushan Jayawickrema, the Kuala Lumpur outfit were unfazed with their reputation.
This was evident when they emerged as the only local team to make the cut to the semi-final showdown.
The other three semi-finalists were all foreign outfits, with Butter-fly Vacation having Hyderabad Combine District for company in
one semi-final and Mugwallas squaring off against Jakarta Cricket Association.
The Kuala Lumpur outfit proved to be a worthy Malaysian flag-bearer on the day, confidently handing their Indonesia rivals a 31-run beating.
They took the initiative of registering an 88-run total and the moment they succeeded in tightening the screws on Jakarta Cricket Association, confining them to just 57 runs, it was enough to earn them another Cup final date.
And it was an on-song Butterfly Vacation, who emerged as their
Cup final obstacle, blowing away Hyderabad Combined District by three wickets.
It did not stop Mugwallas from doing the unthinkable even with
the presence of the influential Kushan.
With the Sri Lankan side opting to take the field first after winning the toss, Mugwallas went on to hand them the task of having to overcome a 56-run deficit they had registered in the first inning.
Thus, when they began claiming a wicket each in the opening
three overs and with Butterfly Vacation still 21 runs short, the Sri Lankans seemed to have a mountain to climb.
Mugwallas left nothing to chance and the moment they tightened their defence job, forcing Butterfly Vacation to submit after capturing 48 runs, it was mission accomplished for Mugwallas as they celebrate a famous victory, winning by eight runs.
Mugwallas skipper Sarath Anan-thasivan, who emerged as the top contributor of 26 runs for a loss of two wickets, was filled with joy the moment he led his charge out of the field.
“We may be the second team
to have won this title back-to-
back. But, to me it’s a historical achievement,” said the 26-year-old skipper shortly after he received the trophy from PSC president Dr S. Shanker.
“To stand up against the foreign teams in this knockout stage is a great achievement.
Although we only managed to retain half the team, we were confident of retaining the title we won last year.
“We knew it would not be an easy task of completing this back-to-back dream, but we did it and I’m really proud to be their captain,” said Sarath, who was also adjudged Man of the Match.
Another Kuala Lumpur side, Kelawar Cricket Club, meanwhile were crowned Plate champions beating Swindon Asians Cricket Club by five wickets.
Cup: S-finals: Butterfly Vacations (Sri Lanka) bt Hyderabad Combined District Cricket Club (India) by 4 wickets (47-46 runs); Mugwallas Cricket Club (Kul) bt Jakarta Cricket Association (Ina) by 31 runs (88-57 runs).
Final: Mugwallas Cricket Club bt Butterfly Vacations by 8 runs (56-48 runs).
Plate: S-finals: Swindon Asians Cricket Club (UK) bt Club Aman (Sel) by 21 runs (79-58 runs); Kelawar Cricket Club (Kul) bt Tuggeranong Valley Cricket Club (Aus) by 5 wickets (61-60 runs).
Final: Kelawar Cricket Club bt Swindon Asians Cricket Club by 5 wickets (57-55 runs).