Malaysian fliers bring army's reign to an end
ARMY vs Malaysia
Malaysia wicket keeper, Rosman Zakaria celebrates with team mates after taking a wicket. Photo: Melissa Adams
A Pakistan Combined Services team takes on the Malaysian Air Force in the final of the International Defence Cricket Challenge at Manuka Oval on Friday, after the international sides accounted for the top Australian and New Zealand teams in the week-long competition.
But when it comes to defence forces cricket, the lines are drawn by service, not by country, with an ''army verses the world'' attitude, thanks partly to the soldiers' dominance in the Australian national defence cricket titles for the past five years.
The Australian Army lost on Wednesday to the Malaysian side, much to the delight of the Royal Australian Air Force, who had earlier been demolished by Pakistan.
''It's disappointing - it would have been nice to have one of the home teams in that final, but that's life, that's cricket I guess,'' Australian Army coach Major Lindsay Holmes said. ''It will only make the tournament better for the future.''
The Pakistan team had a month-long camp to prepare for the tour, their first out of Pakistan, and are favourites to win the grand final.
''The team which is here is a services team, navy, air force and army - the best players who perform in the inter-service [competition], that is the services team,'' Pakistan captain Major Babar Nawaz said.
Having bowled out the RAAF for 94 runs in their one-day semi-final, then chased down that target in nine overs, all before lunch, Pakistan are now looking to topple Malaysia.
Another dominant performance will ensure as many players as possible are chosen for the World Defence Team to take on the ACA Masters on Saturday.
''Definitely we are looking forward to [getting players chosen] - maximum number should be from our team'' Nawaz said.
''We are looking forward to it, that would be an honour for whoever plays in that team. We'll give them a tough time!''
The Australian Army are hoping for the chance of redemption in a three-way competition with army teams from Pakistan and Afghanistan.