Elysa and Co over the moon to make Asia meet once again

One for the album: The national women’s cricket team posing for a photograph with Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh (centre).

PETALING JAYA: National women cricketers led by Mas Elysa Yasmin Zulkifli have proved their first-time qualification for the Asia Cup was no fluke.

And Elysa is now looking forward to making her second appearance.

Elysa helped the women’s team reach the final of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Women’s Premier Cup which guaranteed the team a spot in the Asia Cup in July for the second time after defeating Nepal with 116 runs to 114 in the last four at the Bayuemas Oval in Klang on Saturday.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) beat Malaysia by 37 runs in the final but it was still a good achievement for the home team.

Elysa, who is also the team vice-captain was thrilled to make it to the Asia Cup once again.

“It was a tough match against Nepal but thankfully we made it through,” said Elysa.

“Before that we had to beat Indonesia, Qatar and Bahrain in the group stages. We also beat Japan in the quarter-finals.

“I’m really happy as this is the second time we have reached the Asia Cup.”

Malaysia, who are ranked No. 25 in the world will face a tough challenge in the Asia Cup against the likes of cricket powerhouses India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and UAE but Mas Elysa is looking forward to the challenge.

“It will be tough for us against test nations like India and Sri Lanka,” said the 23-year-old.

“Two years ago, we lost all our matches and it will be difficult for us to win against these sides this time too.

“These teams are a class above us but I want us to play our best against them.”

Elysa, who has been part of the team since 2017 is pleased with the improvement shown by the team under Sri Lankan coach Thusara Prabath Kodikara.

“Thusara is a very good coach and has helped us improve a lot,” she said.

“He joined the team in 2016 and we have moved up from No. 36 to No. 35 in the world rankings since then.

“Our aim is to break into the top 20 this year.”

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