SINGAPORE - The Singapore Cricket Club's (SCC) hopes of playing in their own Twenty20 cricket tournament's semi-finals were dashed on Saturday (Aug 12) when they lost their must-win last Group A league match to defending champions Madras Cricket Club (MCC) by 31 runs.
Chasing a target of 163 to win in 20 overs at the Padang, they were well placed at 94-2 in 12.5 overs, when a middle-order batting collapse saw them losing their last seven wickets for 37 runs and getting bowled out for 131 in 19.4 overs.
Opener Nicholas Dorney had got them off to a flyer, hitting 31 off 20 balls which three boundaries and two sixes.
Former Australia opener Edward Cowan then consolidated the innings with a 41 off 37 balls.
But the batsmen who followed, including Sri Lanka international Farveez Maharoof, could not maintain the momentum or keep their wickets till victory was achieved.
Earlier, despite an economical 1-21 four-over spell by SCC's Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan, MCC managed to reach 162-7 in 20 overs, bolstered by opener Rahul T's 52 off 44 balls and Venkatesh Iyer's 34 off 18 balls.
Varun Sivaram, who is in Singapore's squad for this month's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, was SCC's most successful bowler with 3-28 in four overs.
MCC, who finished with an all-win record in Group A, will play Singapore Emerging Stars XI (SES) in Sunday's (Aug 13) first semi-final, following the Singapore side's thumping 62-run won over Hong Kong's Kowloon Cricket Club (KCC) at the Indian Association ground.
In their last Group B rain-curtailed match, SES, who were put in to bat, scored 190-6 in 17 overs, with Singapore internationals Kshitij Shinde hitting 73 off 31 balls and Chaminda Ruwan 42 off 27 balls. Suhaib Ahmed (3-20) was KCC's best bowler.
In reply, KCC could muster only 128-9 in 10 overs, as their batsmen found it difficult to tackle the medium-pace of Pramodh Raja, who took three crucial wickets for 18 runs. Singapore international Dharmichand Mulewa also took two wickets for 21 runs.
SES finished second in Group B.
Sunday's second semi-final will be played between two-time tournament winners Sinhalese Sports Club, who topped Group B by winning all their matches with ease, and debutants Sydney Cricket Ground XI, who beat SCC and South Africa's Rowlin National Cricket Academy to finish second in Group A.