Singapore beat Malaysia to win historic first cricket gold
Singapore's cricket men fell to Malaysia last Wednesday, losing their SEA Games 50-overs round-robin match by six wickets, as the gold medal slipped out of Singapore hands.
It would have been the Republic's first cricket gold, but Anish Param and his team had to settle for silver, as the sport makes its debut at the biennial Games.
Yesterday, it was again Malaysia that stood between Singapore and a historic gold medal, this time in the final of cricket's Twenty20 format.
But this time, Singapore's cricketers came good.
In a tense match at the Kinrara Oval, Singapore won by three wickets with one ball remaining.
Malaysia managed only 117-7 in 20 overs, while Singapore totalled 118-7.
Malaysia won the toss and opted to bat, as they went looking for a gold medal to celebrate the country's Independence Day tomorrow.
But the home side faced an in form Shoib Mohamed, the bowler picking off two wickets in the first over.
That gave Singapore a solid platform to win the match, with 21-year-old Navin Param's 29 runs getting things going for the men in red.
But it was Riaz Hussein who took Singapore over the line.
The 33-year-old managed 37 runs from 41 balls, including finding the boundary twice in a tense final three overs that saw pressure swing from one team to the other.
It was Riaz's final single that ensured the historic gold medal, with the batsman letting out a roar of delight as he was mobbed by his teammates in the oval.
Singapore's cricketers ended their SEA Games campaign with the men bagging a gold and a silver, while the women fell just short of the podium.
On Monday, they lost to Malaysia by eight wickets in the T20 third-place play-off.