Tucker, Leverock fail to save Bermuda from relegation

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, CMC – Bermuda reached a new low yesterday when they were relegated after losing to hosts Malaysia by 89 runs and finishing bottom of the six-team ICC World Cricket League Division Four tournament.

Chasing 258 for victory, Bermuda ended on 168 for nine off their 50 overs, despite battling half-centuries from veteran Janeiro Tucker and Kamau Leverock that rescued their side from total humiliation.

Vanuatu joined Bermuda in dropping to Division Five while Uganda, seven-run winners over Jersey in a low-scoring match, and Denmark, who edged out Malaysia by virtue of a superior net run rate, earned promotion to Division Three.

After rain ruined the previous day’s game, Malaysia reached 257 for eight from their 50 overs after choosing to bat at the Kinrara Academy Oval. It meant they needed to restrict Bermuda to 161 or fewer, a winning margin of 96 runs, to pass Denmark on net run rate.

Bermuda also needed to win in roughly 30 overs to overtake Malaysia on net run rate and avoid relegation.

However, Bermuda’s top order was ripped apart by left-arm medium pacer Muhammad Wafiq’s new-ball spell – he finished with three for 35 from 10 overs – that left them on the ropes at 37 for six in the 16th over.

But Man-of-the-Match Tucker, 43, who earlier claimed three for 34 with his medium pacer, teamed up with Leverock, batting at number eight because of a sprained ankle, added 97 for the seventh wicket to give the total an air of respectability – and ruin Malaysia’s promotion hopes. Leverock’s injury forced him to swing for boundaries and he struck five sixes and three fours in his 61 from 111 balls.

Tucker was also suffering from cramp but after Leverock departed in the 45th over, he carried on to make 55 from 81 balls with three sixes and three fours.

Earlier, captain Anwar Arudin, batting at number seven, top-scored for Malaysia with 60, including four sixes and three fours, after Syed Aziz (52) and Ahmed Faiz (50), who added 73 for the second wicket, each made a half-century.

At the end of the week, Bermuda had just one victory – over Jersey – to show for their efforts.

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