KUALA LUMPUR: National cricketer Syazrul Ezat Idrus became the first player to reach a seven-wicket haul in the men’s Twenty20 International (T20I) today.
The 32-year-old’s incredible feat helped Malaysia secure a commanding win over China by eight wickets in the T20 World Cup qualifier at the Bayuemas Oval.
According to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) official website, 12 bowlers had previously reached six wickets but no one was able to break the duck until today.
Indian duo Deepak Chahar and Yuzvendra Chahal, Australian spinner Ashton Agar and Sri Lankan tweaker Ajantha Mendis were among those who came close.
Syazrul, who has taken 47 wickets in 23 matches in his T20I career, was later named the player of the match.
“The right-armer took a liking to the conditions in Bayuemas as he single-handedly ripped through the Chinese batting line-up, picking up all seven of his wickets bowled as the visitors were dismissed for just 23 in the 12th over,” the ICC stated.
Pavandeep Singh took two wickets, while S Vijay Unni claimed one to end China’s opening.
The national team started slow after losing two quick wickets with just three runs.
However, Virandeep Singh was able to respond quickly with 19 runs, hitting a six and two fours to finish the match in 4.5 overs.
Hosts Malaysia will take on Bhutan tomorrow, followed by matches against Myanmar (Sunday) and Thailand (Tuesday).
The top team will advance to the Asia regional final in Nepal in November.
The top two teams in Nepal will earn the tickets to the T20 World Cup to be held in the US and West Indies next year.