WPCA GRAND FINALE PLAYED ON MAY 27, 2022 Jeddah Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: In WPCA Phase 2 Grand Finale played last Friday, displayed surprising results as Bupa Arabians defeated favourites, Nadeem XI, by 16 runs in a hard-fought match while in the Morning Prime Bupa CC had the last laugh against AEC in a high scoring match whereas in the Afternoon Blue Karachi Warriors snubbed KKR by a thin margin of 7 runs while in the most important match of the day in PREMIER PRIME Abudawood Trading looked in no trouble at all against Nesma Airlines to win handsomely and convincingly by 7 wkts. The highlight of the day was Bupa Corporate winning both the matches while Karachi Warriors downed KKR in the Final for the 2nd time as Abdudawood Trading had a similar feat against Zultec in the last Phase 1 Final.

Altogether, it was a fantastic day for Cricket with a substantial Jeddah Crowd present at the Ground to witness the encounters. A surprising aspect of the Grand Finale was that the trend of asking the opposition to bat first continued in all the four Grand Finale matches. All the four toss winners asked the opponents to get the taste of the batting first and use the track first which was astonishing. Out of the 4 toss winners, Nadeem and KKR lost while Abdudawood Trading and Bupa CC won. So the asking for bat first by the toss winners was 50% successful, in a way.

Whatever the reason for bat first, the reason was not that convincing and it seems just vague speculation and guesses and nothing concrete and solid. The most important thing for the WPCA organizers was the small children in the Crowd and families and the way they enjoyed the event at WPCA Grounds. It has to be noted that we need to encourage the families and Crowd on such big occasions and Families should become the part of the Event.

Bupa Arabians put into bat by the opponents Nadeem XI on Ground #4 started with slight disappointment as Siyam departed on the 4th ball of the day at 5 for 1. But then Rabi Wali coming at one down batted magnificently well for his match-winning 87 in 57 balls with 6 fours and a six as he added 90 in 66 balls for the 2nd wkt with his skipper Waseem Amre who played cautiously for 17 in 21 balls and supported his partner to go after the bowling and score runs.

Once Waseem returned none from their ranks could stand in the middle to support the inform Rabih and they lost wkts at frequent intervals to be stranded at 178 for 7 in allotted 20 overs. 100 for 2 at the 12th over should have taken them to at least 190+ if not 200 but they were short by 20 runs at the end. Faizan made 14, Sherbahadur 19 and Shahul 16 not out.  Nadeem bowled well for his 3 for 25 as Asif had 1-27 and Musa 1-40.

After the Lunch break, Nadeem XI in reply started well with 46 runs added for the opening stand in 29 balls between Ahmed (19) and Saddam Hussain (14) but then they lost 3 wkts in a heap to be reduced to 67 for 3 with Nadeem returning for 8. Then they tried to repair the damage with 43 runs partnership in 30 balls Between Intekhab who hit 35 in 27 balls with 2 sixes and Saddam Ahmed 30 in 28 balls with 2 fours but they could not maintain the run rate required as they 96 for 3 at the end of 12th over requiring 83 runs in 48 balls with 7 wkts in hand.

Their luck was wavering with 2 more wkts at 110 putting them on the back foot with the required run rate falling drastically as only 20 runs came in 3 crucial overs to be 116 for 5 at the end of the 15th over. The equation was 63 required in 30 balls with 5 wkts in hand. The required task was not that difficult but they panicked with Eisa (0) and Khaled (2) to get 148 for 6 at the end of the 18th over requiring 31 runs in 12 balls but again the bad struck them with 2 wkts at the score of 152 was the last nail in the coffin and they could reach 162 for 8 in stipulated 20 overs to lose by 16 runs.

No doubt it was a very competitive match at the end and Bupa Arabians played well, marshalled their resources to their need and kept the nerves under control to win a match which they were longing for so long and the credit goes to the whole team for this win but the major credit should be given to their skipper Waseem Amre for resting his hope on his players and despite losing matches after matches in the past various tournaments in the last couple of years, he continued his efforts and his belief and eventually triumphed.
Taha claimed 2-21 as a wkt each was scalped by Obaid 1-38, Sher Bahadur 1-19, Shahul 1-15, Bittu 1-11, Siyam 1-20 and Rabi 1-22.

MOM: Man of the match in the Final went to none other than Rabi Walih for his match-winning 87 in 57 balls and one wkt.
Umpires and Scorer: Mr. Naushad MMM and Mr. Saleem Ghani were the Official Umpires as Mr. Asif Mujtaba did the Scoring in the match

AEC was asked to bat by the opponents Bupa CC made full use of this opportunity to get to a huge 204 for 9 in the allotted 20 overs on Ground # 9.
AEC lost the opener, Abdul Rehman Patel, on the 3rd ball followed by Muzammil Ayan (12) at 16 for 2. It was a disaster situation for them but then Babar Ali had other ideas as he took the reign in his hand to smash 80 in 49 balls studded with 2 sixes and 7 fours as he stitched 130 runs in 78 balls for the 3rd wkt together with Tariq Chandio who scored 42 in 36 balls with 2 fours and a six to get to 146 in the 15th over. AEC at this stage we’re looking for a score 225+ but then they started losing wkts after the departure of the Babar and Tariq to be reduced to 165 for 6 with 4 wkts in 19 runs was enough to break their back and the dream of looking beyond 200 looked shabby at this stage.

Hasan Riyaz made 12 not out, Yasir 12, and Sohail Kikal 11 helped the team cross 200 and were stranded at 204 for 9 in the allotted 20 overs. Again a score 20 short on a Ground like # 9. But still, a score past 200 is a Psychological boost any team can get and a drawback for the opponents. Mohammed Shoaib grabbed 3 for 35, Adnan Khan 2-41, Attaurrehman 1-13, Rana Adnan 1-27 and Shahnawaz Khan 1-39.

Bupa CC started the chase after the lunch requiring 205 in 120 balls in 100 minutes. Bupa CC under the pressure of the huge score to chase lost early wkts to be tottering at 39 for 3 after being reduced to 16 for 2 as Opener Qasim Inayat (6) on the 2nd ball of the innings, followed by Rana Adnan (2) on the last ball of the first over and then Attaurrehman at 39 for 3 for 28 off 8 with 2 sixes and 4 fours. At this stage, the two best batters of the team Waseem Mehar blasted match-winning 73 in just 37 balls studded with 2 sixes and 7 fours as he added match-winning 134 runs in 72 balls for the 4th wkt with Skipper Shahnazwaz Khan who remained unbeaten on 66 off 47 balls with 5 fours and a six to win the comfortably at the end in 103 balls with 6 wkts in hand. Sheraz Mumtaz remained unbeaten on 10 to get to the victory target of 205 for 4 to win.

Bupa CC at the back foot at 39 for 3 with 3 top batters gone was a bad situation but then the two best batters in the form of Waseem and Shahnawaz batted sensibly and exactly with a plan in mind with the basic concept in cricket to continue ticking the scoreboard and just waiting for the loose ball for the boundaries and this took them to a comfortable win. Karman grabbed 2-46 while AR Patel had 1-37 and Humair Awais 1-17.

MOM: Man of the Match was given to Waseem Mehar for his match-winning 73 in 37 balls and 2 victims behind the stumps.
Umpires and Scorer: Mr. Zain Ul Huda and Mr. Syed Waheed did the Umpiring as Mr. Abid was the scorer of the match.

In the Afternoon Blue Final played along with other Finals Karachi Warriors batted first after the opponents KKR put them in to get to 196 for 2 in allotted 20 overs on Ground # 7.  Karachi Warriors batted well right from the word go and in reality had no problems and their target of getting near 200 also succeeded in the end. Adnan Sialkoti batted well for his unbeaten 74 in 56 balls with 2 sixes and 5 fours as he first added 67 runs in 47 balls for the opening stand with Opener Riyasat who made 34 in 22 balls with 4 hits to the ropes and then 92 in 51 balls for the 2nd wkt with Imran Sarwar who made 58 in 32 balls studded with 2 sixes and 6 fours and lastly 47 runs for the unbroken 3rd wkt with Mudassir Ali who remained unbeaten on 14.

Karachi Warriors batted with ease and had put up a good fighting total on the Board and the only task remaining was to ask their bowlers to bowl well to defend the target set. The wkts fallen went to Jaleel 1-21 and Yasser 1-31.

KKR in response started the chase quite confidently with Saudi Famed Shamsuddin hitting 19 in 17 balls with 2 fours and a six as his partner Jaleel hammered 59 in 28 balls with 2 sixes and 9 fours to get to 71 in 39 balls. At this stage, KKR was quite comfortable and at ease. But then the complexion of the game changed with the departure of Jaleel first followed by Shafeer (0) at the same score and then Shamsuddin at 90 for 3. Later KKR was reduced to 118 for 5 at the end of the 12th over. Still, the score was quite achievable with 79 in 8 overs at almost 10 runs over.

Yasser then hit 23 in 17 balls and Shabber 38 in 28 balls with 3 fours and a six to add 32 for the 6th wkt to get past 150 for 5 in the 16th over requiring another 47 runs in 24 balls with the half team remaining. But the lower order could not remain at the wicket as they were asked to score 22 runs in the last 2 overs with the score at the end of the 18th over being 175 for 6. KKR then could make 189 for 9 in stipulated 20 overs to lose the encounter by 7 runs as Mushtaq made 10 and the lower order batters could not touch the double digits. Adnan Sialkoti scalped 3 for 42, Imran Sarwar 2-32, Adnan Haider 1-23, Shahnawaaz 1-30 and Mohammed Shoaib 1-32.

MOM: Imran Sarwar bagged the Man of the Final award for his 58 in 32 balls and 2 wkts for32.
Umpires and Scorer: Mr. Irfan Ayazuddin and Mr. Ashraf Ranjha were the Official Umpires while Mr. Amer Choudhry did the Scoring.

In the Premier final, Abdudawood Trading asked the opponents to use the track first after winning the toss. Nesma Airlines’ batting lost wkts and the run rate was also a bit slower and they could make only 85 in the first 10 overs with 7 wkts in hand. Naeem Malik made 23 in 22 balls with 2 fours as he first added 29 for the opening stand with Khawar Zafar who made 15 in 10 and then 8 for the 2nd wkt with Rana Abrar (6) and lastly 30 runs for the 3rd wkt with Mohammed Akbar who was the top scorer with 49 in 32 balls with 5 hits to the fence to be reduced to 67 for 3 in the 9th over.

Mohammed Akbar then stitched the highest partnership of the innings of 70 in 42 balls for the 4th wkt with Mohammed Shahzad who made 28 in 20 balls with 3 fours. Atif Mehmood stroked an unbeaten 19 in 16 balls to get to 167 for 6 in the allotted 20 overs. A score at least 40 runs short by Nesma Airlines with so much depth in the batting. Waqas Bhatti took 2-11, Adana Liaqat bowled with pace and fire for his 2-21, Israr Kiyani 1-18 and Faheem Afrad 1-30.

Abu Dawood Trading again with so much strength and depth in the batting with batters up to No 8 was always going to be comfortable with 168 being the target. Abdudawood Trading batters did not panic and went about the task in a truly professional manner to achieve the required target of 168 for 3 in 103 balls to lift the coveted trophy in front of a huge Jeddah City crowd. Incidentally, it was the repeated story of the Phase 1 Final when Abdudawood was encountering Zultec.

Faheem Afrad hit 8 fours and a six to compile a match-winning 63 in 49 balls as he first added 63 runs in 34 balls for the first wkt with Ali Nawaz who made 27 in 19 balls with 5 fours and then 84 in 54 balls for the 2nd wkt with Ghazanfar Abbas who scored 50 in 27 balls with 6 fours and a six to get to the victory target of 168 for 3 in style and comfort with no difficulty at all against the Nesma attack and a lot of batting in the form of Amir Wahla, Amir Gujjar, Waqas Bhatti, Aijaz Butt and Abdullah Zahid remaining in the stock. It was a completely one-sided match, unlike the other three Finals.

But then a strong team like Abudawood has to be tackled in a different manner rather than the usual approach as they have repeated the same pattern again and on asked from the Abudawood Skipper about the Phase 3 Final he did not hesitate to tell that he will go for the hat trick of Grand Finale wins in WPCA. With this team and form, nothing is impossible but this is Cricket and anything turns the tables at any time.

MOM: Faheem Afrad has adjudged the Man of the Final for his 63 in 49 balls and 1-30.
Umpires and Scorer:  Mr. Kashif Mirza and Mr. Shareefuddin Padubidri were the Official Umpires and Mr. Arshad was the Official Scorer for the match.

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