The Hong Kong under-13 cricket team made history when they beat four-time defending champions Malaysia by 38 runs in the South East Asia Championships final in Singapore. The SAR have played in the tournament every year since it began in 1998, but have never been able to beat the Malaysians. This time Hong Kong beat their rivals twice - in the round-robin stage and then the final. Hosts Singapore and Thailand also took part in the competition staged over the Easter weekend. Chairman of the Hong Kong Cricket Association (HKCA), Mike Walsh, congratulated the team. 'It is important for Hong Kong to win the championships, so we can prove to the Government that local cricket is competitive at international level,' he said. 'More funding is required for the development of young cricketers.' Four players received special recognition for their excellent performances in the Lion City. Daniel Fullgrabe (vs Singapore), Zaid Janjua (vs Thailand), John Bacon (vs Malaysia) and Robert Bacon (vs Malaysia) all picked up Man-of-the-Match awards. The local squad had their first taste of competitive cricket in the Wellcome Supermarket Playground League. Gavin Erasmus, chairman of the HKCA Development Committee, said the victory proved that their programme, which runs the playground league, was bearing fruit. 'These boys will be the backbone of future under-15 and under-19 sides and beating the Malaysians shows our development programme is heading in the right direction,' he said. Young guns The Hong Kong squad who took part in the under-13 South East Asian Championships in Singapore last weekend: Robert Bacon, John Bacon (Island School), Daniel Fullgrabe, Sivang Baid, Akash Sureka (King George V School), Jamie Atkinson, Zaid Janjua, Thomas Green, Raghav Kaushik (South Island School), Rishi Kapadia (German Swiss International School), Nick Hawinkels (Peak International School), Irfan Ahmed (Li Cheng Uk Government Primary PM School), Thomas Ingram, Alex Smith (British schools).