29th September, 2019 was a historic day for Singapore cricket. They registered their first win over a Full ICC Member in international cricket beating Zimbabwe by 4 runs in the T20 tri-series in Singapore. Although this was their only win in the series it was a very significant one.
One of the stars for Singapore was their Number 3 batsman – Tim David.
David hammered 41 off just 24 deliveries including 4 sixes, not letting the momentum slip away building on the start given by the openers. This innings defined David’s performance throughout the series – he scored a high percentage of his team’s runs at a very high strike rate. David was the highest scorer of the series with 152 runs. He scored almost a third (32.13%) of the total runs scored by Singapore in the series. He also scored at a rapid strike rate of 167.03. The average strike rate of the other Singapore batsmen in the tri-series was 124.9. Thus, the Differential Strike Rate for David was a staggering 42.13 – that is how fast he scored in the tournament! David loves to hit a long ball as can be gauged from the number of sixes he hit in the series – 10 – the maximum by any player.
Singapore posted an average score of approximately 166 in the three matches they played in the series. In each of them the constant was David – scoring quick at the top of the order giving the impetus to the innings. David made his T20 debut for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League in 2017-18 and has had a phenomenal start to his international career in the format– he has scored 281 runs in just 6 innings at an average of 56.2 and strike rate of 164.32. He was in scintillating form in his debut series in LIST A cricket too – aggregating 369 runs in 5 matches in the Cricket World Cup Challenge League A tournament in Kuala Lumpur. David has registered two scores in the 90s, two each in the 70s and 60s and a couple of 40s in his last 10 innings showcasing his phenomenal consistency across the two limited-over formats. Singapore had beaten Nepal in the final of the ICC T20 World Cup Asia Region Final in Singapore in end July, 2019. They made it to the qualifiers for the World T20 as one of the 14 teams six of which will make it to the main tournament in Australia in 2020. Incidentally, it was again, David, who gave a Man of the Match performance in this crucial match slamming a 43-ball 77 batting at Number 3 for Singapore.
For a team that played its first T20I just a few months ago in July 2019, it has been a great success story for the nation. Singapore have had a phenomenal rise in T20I cricket and are currently ranked at Number 21 amongst all ICC Member nations. They are ahead of more fancied nations like Canada, Kenya, Bermuda and Malaysia.
Cricket’s popularity is rapidly increasing in Singapore. It is interesting to note that the country has a cricket club every 7 square kilometres (103 in an area of 721.5 square kilometres). Singapore’s gold medal in cricket at the Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia in 2017 spiraled the interest in the sport in the country. Can Singapore emulate the likes of Afghanistan and Nepal and become yet another success story in cricket from Asia? The ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier gets underway in Dubai from the 18th of October. Singapore maybe amongst the tiniest nations in the world in size. But certainly not in stature – in cricket or otherwise.
Cricketing world – Beware!