In their upcoming group stage clash, Thailand is set to face off against Malaysia, and it’s a crucial match for both teams. Thailand, coming off a disappointing loss in their opening game, will need to pull off an impressive comeback.
Malaysia, on the other hand, boasts a formidable bowling attack and enters this match with the momentum of a significant win in their previous outing. They pose a formidable challenge to the struggling Thai side.
Over the past few years, Thailand has played 21 T20Is, and their average run rate of 5.04 reflects their batting struggles. Just before this tournament, Thailand faced Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, where Malaysia bowled them out for a mere 93 runs. In fact, in the seven times these two teams have met, Malaysia has emerged victorious on each occasion, maintaining a dominant 7-0 lead over Thailand.
With an in-form bowling unit, Malaysia aims to extend this winning streak against Thailand and secure a spot in the Quarter-Finals.
Thailand faces one of its toughest opponents yet, having lost all seven previous encounters with Malaysia. Their batting performance has been subpar, with their highest total being 113 for 8 in a recent SEA Games T20 match. In 2023, they met Malaysia twice, being bowled out for 73 and 30 runs in the Quadrangular series. In their last Asian Games Men’s T20I match, Thailand could only manage a paltry 53 runs.
Thailand’s new skipper, Nopphon Senamontree, will be under pressure to lead the team effectively. Opening batsman Satarut Rungrueang and wicket-keeper batsman Phiriyapong Suanchuai are key players to watch, along with Chaloemwong Chatphaisan in the middle order. In the bowling department, Chanchai Pengkumta and skipper Nopphon Senamontree will be expected to lead the wicket-taking efforts. However, if Thailand bats first, they might struggle to apply pressure on the opposition.
Thailand Predicted Playing XI: Chanchai Pengkumta, Phiriyapong Suanchuai (wk), Nopphon Senamontree (c), Sorawat Desungnoen, Yodsak Saranonnakkun, Narawit Nuntarach, Chaloemwong Chatphaisan, Khanitson Namchaikul, Sarawut Maliwan, Panuwat Desungnoen, Satarut Rungrueang
Malaysia enters this match with confidence after a convincing win against Singapore. They have a history of dominance over Thailand, with key players like Pavandeep Singh and Virandeep Singh proving successful against their opponents.
Malaysia faced a brief collapse in the middle order in their previous match, but all-rounder Virandeep Singh led the comeback with an unbeaten 44. Skipper Ahmad Faiz, however, needs to address concerns about the batting lineup, especially if Malaysia bats first.
Malaysia has some promising bowlers, and if they bowl first, they could pose challenges for Thailand. Key players in the batting lineup include Syed Aziz, Mohammad Amir, and Ahmed Faiz. Syed Aziz, in particular, looked in great form in the last match.
Malaysia Predicted Playing XI: Syed Aziz Mubarak, Zubaidi Zulkifle, Muhammad Amir Azim, Ainool Hafizs (wk), Ahmad Faiz (c), Vijay Unni, Virandeep Singh, Anwar Rahman, Pavandeep Singh, Sharvin Muniandy, Syazrul Idrus
The pitch is balanced, favoring bowlers unless batsmen are well-set and can time their shots. A score of 160+ is possible with disciplined batting. The weather on match day in Hangzhou is expected to be partly cloudy with a high of 24 degrees Celsius.
The match will take place at the Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field in Hangzhou. While the average first innings score here is relatively low, there is enough assistance for batsmen to aim for scores above 150. Given Thailand’s batting struggles, chasing such a total could be a challenging task.
Toss Prediction: To Bowl
Both captains are likely to opt to bowl first. Malaysia has consistently chosen to bowl in their seven victories against Thailand, while Thailand has faced difficulties when batting first.
Malaysia is the clear favorite in this contest, given their historical dominance over Thailand and their recent strong form. Thailand’s batting woes and Malaysia’s in-form lineup make Malaysia the likely winner.
Today’s Match Prediction: Malaysia
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