If the idea was to get more competitive matches and make more competitive teams in the Associate landscape in the T20 format of the game, then the idea definitely seems to be heading towards the right direction for International Cricket Council (ICC), as Malaysia stage a remarkable 5-0 whitewash in their bi-lateral T20I Interport series against Hong Kong at home.
The series, intended to provide preparations towards the ACC Eastern Region T20 in Thailand from Feb 27th – Mar 06th, 2020 has served Malaysia pretty well, whereas Hong Kong will have a lot of work to do to compete and claim one of the two available spots from the tournament into the main Asia Cup Qualifiers, as they will again face Malaysia along with Nepal, Singapore and Thailand in the Eastern Region event. Hong Kong were however, playing their first series in 2020, while Malaysia were preparing for a longer time with a tour of Nepal in Feb 2020 and also hosted a Lahore Dvine-I Eagles squad from Pakistan in a T20 series, also in Feb.
Malaysia’s Khizar Hayat Durani created a T20I world record for best bowling figures on debut during the first match of the series, as he picked up a 5-for in a rain-truncated game. Virandeep Singh, Ahmad Faiz, Fitri Sham and Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak were the other main contributors during the series for Malaysia, and will be the backbone in their campaign in the Eastern Region T20.
For Hong Kong, captain Aizaz Khan was consistent with his performances during the series, while Shahid Wasif had a good series opening the innings for the team. Kinchit Shah, who has been the top performer for Hong Kong in the past 12-18 months, had a rather disappointing series, but ended the tour with a much needed half-century to his name and will look to dominate proceedings again in Thailand in the Eastern Region tournament.
1st T20I: Malaysia 123/3 in 16.3 overs (Ahmad Faiz 40, Virandeep Singh 32, Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak 27 n.o, Kinchit Shah 1/15, Aizaz Khan 1/27) beat Hong Kong 61/8 in 9 overs (Shahid Wasif 26 n.o, Haroon Arshad 18, Khizar Hayat Durani 5/4, Fitri Sham 1/12, Sharvin Muniandy 1/16) by 21 runs (D/L method)
2nd T20I: Malaysia 138/6 in 19 overs (Virandeep Singh 46, Ahmad Faiz 21, Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak 21, Sharvin Muniandy 16 n.o, Aizaz Khan 2/15, Aftab Hussain 2/27) beat Hong Kong 103/8 in 19 overs (Waqas Barkat 35, Aizaz Khan 31 n.o, Pavandeep Singh 3/18, Fitri Sham 3/22, Syazrul Ezat Idrus 2/18) by 35 runs
3rd T20I: Malaysia 152/9 in 20 overs (Ahmad Faiz 58, Sharvin Muniandy 25, Virandeep Singh 19, Haroon Arshad 4/12, Aftab Hussain 3/27, Aizaz Khan 1/19) beat Hong Kong 144/7 in 20 overs (Waqas Khan 60, Scott Mckechnie 38 n.o, Syazrul Ezat Idrus 3/17, Fitri Shan 2/31, Pavandeep Singh 1/21) by 8 runs
4th T20I: Malaysia 167/7 in 20 overs (Virandeep Singh 50, Ahmad Faiz 43, Khizar Hayat Durani 28, Mohsin Khan 3/37, Aizaz Khan 2/35) beat Hong Kong 154/7 in 20 overs (Shahid Wasif 29, Nizakat Khan 28, Scott Mckechnie 25, Kinchit Shah 24 n.o, Pavandeep Singh 2/26, Anwar Rahman 1/19, Dhivendran Mogan 1/31) by 13 runs
5th T20I: Hong Kong 171/7 in 20 overs (Kinchit Shah 72, Aizaz Khan 44, Shahid Wasif 30, Syazrul Ezat Idrus 2/27, Khizar Hayat Durani 2/29, Sharvin Muniandy 2/37) lost to Malaysia 176/4 in 18.3 overs (Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak 50, Virandeep Singh 27, Khizar Hayat Durani 25, Sharvin Muniandy 23 n.o, Ariff Jamaludeen 23 n.o, Aizaz Khan 2/30, Mohsin Khan 1/24) by 6 wickets