Leg-spinner Anantha Krishna ended a flourishing partnership and then bowled out the lower order as Singapore opened their campaign in the SEA Games men's 50-overs cricket competition with a nine-wicket win over Indonesia yesterday.
Singapore's cricketers had made early inroads after putting their rivals in to bat at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur, with opening bowlers Arun Vijayan taking 3-13 and Janak Prakash 2-12 as the Indonesian line-up was quickly reduced to 26-6 in just 9.2 overs.
Gede Arta (28) and Geda Suda Arsa (32) then threatened to build a big score as they put on 51 runs for the seventh wicket for Indonesia.
Anantha got rid of the two and took the two remaining wickets as Indonesia were bowled out for 89 in 29.4 overs. The 26-year-old, who is having a good season with the ball, finished with four wickets while conceding just three runs.
"The pitch was not doing much, so I had to be accurate and vary my pace and length," said Anantha.
"I got left-hander Gede with a big turner which ended Indonesia's fight."
Singapore made heavy weather of their run chase with openers Navin Param (36) and Varun Sivaram (24 not out) scoring a painstaking 74 runs in 17.5 overs before Param was dismissed.
Captain Anish Paraam then hit a brisk 18 to lift Singapore to 90-1 in 20.4 overs, thus completing a nine-wicket win.
"Our aim was to get a win under our belt as it was Singapore's first cricket match in the SEA Games," said coach Arjun Menon. "Pushing up our run rate was not crucial. We now have the platform to go for wins in our remaining matches."
Paraam was pleased with the bowling and batting. "Maybe we gave away 20 extra runs but our batsmen stuck to the game plan and played some good shots to give us the opening win. Overall it was a clinical performance," he said.
Singapore play Myanmar, who lost to Thailand by nine wickets earlier yesterday, in their next match on Sunday.