Thinley Namgay     

After losing two consecutive games, the senior national men’s cricket team recorded their first win after defeating the Maldives by six runs yesterday in the ongoing first T20 Quadrangular Series 2022 in Malaysia.

With the fall of nine wickets, Bhutan collected 110 runs in 20 overs in the highly contested match. The Maldives managed to score 104 runs with the fall of eight wickets in 20 overs.

The Maldives won the toss and decided to bowl first.

Both the teams started the game on a high note. While Bhutan had made 55 runs in the first 10 overs, the Maldives were seven runs behind the former at the same point.

Namgay Thinley was declared the player of the match. He made 17 runs from 25 balls and took three wickets.

The chief executive officer of Bhutan Cricket, Damber S Gurung, said: “I must congratulate the boys, coaches and the support staff for this historic victory. As far as I know, we had never won a T20 game against the Maldives.”

“We absolutely had to win this game to stay in the competition. The competition is not over yet. The remaining games will be tough,” Damber S Gurung said, adding that the road to the final remained open for Bhutan.

The team, he said, needed to stay focused and execute the plan to the best of their ability.

He said that the team has both young and senior players. “I am very proud with the way young players are performing and appreciate the way seniors are guiding them. I see them developing their skills and contributing equally in the game.”

As of yesterday, Malaysia was leading the series with six points followed by the Maldives and Bhutan with two points each. Thailand, which has played two games in the series, is yet to register a win and earn a point.

Malaysia, Bhutan and the Maldives have played three matches each.

Malaysia defeated Bhutan by 39 runs and 155 runs on July 3 and 2, respectively.

Bhutan, Thailand, the Maldives and host Malaysia are competing in the series, which began on July 2.

Bhutan will play their fourth game tomorrow against Thailand.

Each team will play twice against another. The league round ends on July 9 and the two top teams will play the final on July 11.

After the ICC World T20 Asia Qualifiers in Malaysia in 2018, the senior national men’s cricket team had not participated in international competitions.

A 17-member squad, including three officials, are in Malaysia since June 27.