Monday, February 09, 2015

Malaysia Beat Thailand To Win Men's Istaf Super Series

MELAKA, Feb 8 (Bernama) -- Malaysia beat traditional foes Thailand 21-7, 21-19 to win the men's title in the Istaf Super Series Sepak Takraw Championships here, today.

The two teams appeared balanced in the early part of the match but once Malaysia settled into a rhythm, there was no stopping 'killer' Hanafiah Dollah from tormenting the Thais with his killer smashes.

The fight of the two killers in the first game hugely favoured Hanafiah as team leader Farhan Adam was in his element to feed the correct passes while the swift services by tekong Mohd Syahir Mohd Rosdi was also a factor in the win.

In the second set, Thailand, who were hard pressed, brought in their renowned tekong Siriwat Sakha who was synonymous with his left leg 'horse' service to replace Kritsanapong Nontakote, but he failed to balance the game.

A change in tactics by Thailand who decided to play with two killers seemed to do the job when Thailand managed to play on par with Malaysia, as Suriyon and Thawisak were compatible, to press Hanafiah who appeared to have run out of gas.

Malaysian coach, Abd Talib Ahmad then replaced Hanafiah with another killer, Khairol Zaman Hamir when leading 13-10, and the match between the two foes became more intense.

Malaysia's first win in the championship series which started in 2011 was sweet revenge for the 1-2 (20-22, 21-18 and 21-23) loss to Thailand in the final of the same category in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar last year.

Meanwhile, South Korea emerged third in the men's category after beating Singapore 21-16, 21-16.

In the women's category, Thailand gained some consolation by beating Vietnam 21-8, 21-12 to emerge champions while Myanmar beat South Korea 21-17, 21-15 to finish third.

-- BERNAMA

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