PHL cricket team assured of at least a silver in Cambodia SEAG

THE DEBUTING cricket team passed its first major test in flying colors and in doing so, assured the Philippines of at least a silver medal in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Cambodia.

In action days before the biennial meet’s opening, the Philippine Blue Caps delivered a thrilling 45-44 win over host Cambodia in Group B of the women’s T10 event Saturday night at the AZ Group Cricket Oval in Phnom Penh.

With this victory, the Blue Caps topped the two-team group and booked the first ticket to the championship match set for May 16. They will face whichever nation among Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore will emerge as No. 1 in Group A.

The Malaysians defeated Singapore in the competition opener, 38-37.

“It’s the first time for our women’s team to participate in an international event. It’s a young team and the girls learned their cricket and started playing only a few years ago. And to win (at least) a silver in their first SEA Games appearance is a big achievement,” Philippine Cricket Association CEO Faisal Khan told The STAR.

Batting first, the host Cambodians scored 44 runs in 10 overs. But the Philippines ably beat their score, reaching the target in just six overs en route to the milestone victory.

The lady cricketers’ triumphant debut soothed the defeats in men’s football and ouk chaktrang chess in the Games’ initial competitions ahead of the May 5 opening ceremonies.

The Azkals U-22 suffered a 0-3 setback to Indonesia in a Group A opener while Edmundo Gatus and Angelo Young bombed out of the semis race in the men’s singles 5-minute event. Messrs. Gatus and Young finished their respective groups at No. 5 with identical one-point cards.

Meanwhile, the cricket contingent launches its bid in the women’s T20i event today against Thailand in a Group A tussle.

Pinoy bets in ouk chaktrang’s men’s triples 60-minute also get going over at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. — Olmin Leyba