Arora, Prasath compile 166 for fourth wicket to upstage previous mark set by Australia
Who would have thought that the tiny island nation of Malta could make such a gigantic statement in the world of international cricket?
Currently, the national team is competing in the BGA triangular cup, against Gibraltar and host nation Portugal.
Losing to the hosts by six wickets in the opening match, Malta captain Bikram Arora pushed himself up the order to open the batting against Gibraltar.
Chasing 149 for victory, Arora steered his team to victory, with a score of 59 off just 42 balls, supported by fellow opening batsman Zeeshan Khan scoring a raid 47 off 40 balls.
Into the third match of the tour, Gibraltar winning the toss decided to stick Malta in to bat first.
Arora again decided to lead from the front, and lead from the front he did. Despite a minor batting collapse which saw Malta slip to 31/3 after 4.5 overs, in walked the lanky figure of Varun Prasath. It took a while for the two to get going, but once the momentum started, it was impossible to stop.
The Gibraltar bowlers had no answers as the ball was dispatched to all corners of Portugal.
Arora and Prasath ending with a T20 international record of 166* of just 91 balls for the fourth wicket, surpassing the previous world record held by Australia’s David Warner and Glenn Maxwell of 161.
Arora ending on 66* of 54 balls and Prasath on 104* of just 52 balls.
This is a true testament to the growth and development of the sport of cricket in Malta, and how even the smallest of nations can produce the biggest of heroes.
With a project that started three years ago, the Malta Cricket Association (MCA) undertook a massive challenge to rejuvenate the sport of cricket, played in Malta for over 100 years, to become a recognised mainstream sport in Malta and a strong competitor on the global stage.
Building from 2019, saw a five-team league grow into a 14-team league from clubs across Malta and Gozo, competing across 2 divisions.
2019 saw the appointment of Lee Tuck as the Tournament Director and Subhas Roy as Head national team coach, both entrusted with the selection of the national team, as well as the growth and development of players into the national structure.
Direct results of the successes of these efforts have resulted in Malta producing a very competitive national team, climbing from 82 to 58 in the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 global rankings, in just under two years.
Despite the recent challenges and restrictions placed on the sport globally, Malta has still managed to host the European Cricket Series, a successful tour to Bulgaria, and hosted a series against Belgium, ranked 43 in the world, narrowly losing out 3-2 in a five-match series.