by Lew Williams
We’ve proudly been sponsoring and supporting the Singapore national indoor cricket team over the past few years, thanks to our very own Rajiv Chandrasekar being a key member of the team. Our first foray into the glitz and glamour of cork hitting willow came at the 2017 WICF World Cup, where Rajiv skippered his nation to the Plate playoff. A year later, the Australasia Cup was the tournament under the microscope, where Singapore recorded a famous 39-run win over hosts Sri Lanka. Finally, just a couple of months ago, we were side-by-side again for the New Zealand – Asia Cup.
So it’ll come as no surprise to many of you that we went ahead and sponsored them again at the 2019 Masters World Series, held at the Action Cricket Montague Arena in Cape Town, South Africa this past October. We’re loving how that Sinch bee looks on their kit!
Bringing together some of the world’s best indoor cricket playing nations, our friends from Singapore were in good company amongst powerhouses like current outdoor cricket world champions England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and Sri Lanka – the series promised to showcase some truly world class cricket.
The Singapore team were represented in the over 35’s and over 40’s category, but it was in the over 35’s category that they really found their form. First up was India, a country where cricket is a national obsession. But thanks largely to a 19-0 whitewash in the third skin, Singapore turned them over 69 (2) – 62 (2). A famous victory to open up their round robin tournament!
What followed was a breezy 81 (3) – 46 (1) over Sri Lanka (did someone say rivalry?) which was sandwiched in between defeats against New Zealand, the UAE, both South African teams and Australia, but then came a brilliant team performance against England…
In a tight match, where both sides shared the skins out evenly, it ebbed and flowed as the perfect advert for the game. It was a terrific team performance, but a shout-out has to go to Rajiv’s teammate Vijaybabu Vaithinathan, who picked up the player of the match award for an awesome all-round display which would’ve made South African great Jacques Kallis blush in his own backyard! Scoring an invaluable 14 runs at an eye-watering strike rate of 175.00 and snaring three English wickets, he helped his side to a tight 37 (2) – 34 (2) victory.
That wasn’t the end of the road, however. After finishing 7th in the round robin stage, Singapore qualified for the Plate play-offs. They were to play India once again, but sadly, Singapore couldn’t quite replicate their opening match heroics. In a low-scoring game where wickets were tumbling left, right and center, India snuck through 13 (2) – 8 (2), mainly thanks to a terrific four-for taken with the ball by India’s player of the match Mahesh Alva.
Bad luck guys, but you should definitely be proud of beating a number of established cricket nations to qualify for the Plate playoffs in the over 35’s category, a first for the team – great job, you’ve done us all proud!
Our congratulations go out to the New Zealand team on winning the series of course, but we’re still singing Singapore’s praises and looking forward to seeing how the guys get on next year.