The Kinrara Oval – Malaysia’s top cricket venue – was saved from closure on Friday after the government blocked an attempt to oust the game’s local governing body from the facility.
The Kinrara Oval – which was built in 2003 and has hosted ODIs as well as the Under-19 World Cup – sits on a plot of prime land west of Kuala Lumpur.
The Malaysian Cricket Association’s lease expired in October and the property developers who own the land ordered the association to vacate the premise.
AFP reported that after months of uncertainty, the venue’s future was secured after the country’s cabinet decided it should continue operating as a cricket stadium following talks with all parties involved, sports minister Syed Saddiq said.
“The Malaysian government is committed to saving the cricket ground,” Saddiq said on Twitter.
“Cabinet decided that saving the cricket ground is more important than commercial development.”
The International Cricket Council last year attempted to save the venue, saying the game in Malaysia was “flourishing”.
The Kinrara Oval has seen some iconic performances. It’s the venue where India batting icon Sachin Tendulkar scored a fine 141 against the West Indies in an ODI in September 2006.
It is also the venue where a young Virat Kohli led India to the Under19 World Cup title in 2008.
Qalandars, who have finished bottom in the three past editions, had been bolstered by the capture of South Africa ace AB de Villiers. They were up against an Islamabad side led by Mohammad Sami and containing Pakistan star all-rounder Shadab Khan.
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The islanders were bowled out for just 191 runs in their first innings, handing the Proteas a vital 44-run lead in the Durban Test.
Steyn picked up 4-48 from his 20 overs to take his overall Test tally to 437 scalps. The veteran South African pacer has now moved past former India skipper Kapil Dev’s haul of 434 wickets and is currently tied with Stuart Broad in seventh spot in the all-time leading wicket-takers’ list in Test cricket.
Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada chipped in with two wickets each on Thursday as the visitors found the going tough on a seaming pitch at Durban. Only Kusal Perera was able to muster some form of resistance for Sri Lanka with a fighting half-century.
Having started the day at 49-1, Sri Lanka were given two early jolts with skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Oshada Fernando falling to Philander and Steyn respectively.
Wickets then kept falling at regular intervals for the tourists before Perera’s half-century took them past the 150-run mark.
South Africa were then reduced to 126-4 in their second innings with debutant Lasith Embuldeniya picking up two wickets. The Sri Lankan left-armed spinner accounted for Temba Bavuma and Dean Elgar in the final session of the day as South Africa extended their overall lead to 170.
Earlier on day one, the hosts had been bowled out for 235 runs in the first innings with wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock registering a counter-attacking 80.
South Africa first innings: 235 all out
Sri Lanka first innings: 191 all out
Kusal Perera: 51 (63)
Dale Steyn: 4-48
South Africa second innings: 126-4
Dean Elgar: 35 (70)
Lasith Embuldeniya: 2-36