BY: DR. SAYED ZIAUDDIN
JEDDAH: The four matches took place on Playoff Day 2 with 2 in the morning session and 2 in the afternoon session. In the Morning Qualifier, 2 AEC played against Super CC to win the match comfortably by 89 runs while in the other match Bupa Arabians thrashed Arbros by 6 wkts with 13 balls to spare. Whereas in the Afternoon Session Abudawood Trading downed Zultec by 7 wkts with 18 balls to remain while Karachi Warriors had the last laugh against Al Kabbani Cricket group by 45 runs. So interesting fixtures have developed for the Grand Finale to take place next Friday, May 27, 2022, with Nadeem XI versus Bupa Arabians, Bupa CC versus AEC, and KKR versus Karachi Warriors and Nesma Airlines versus Abudawood Trading.
- MORNING BLUE QUALIFIER
In the morning Blue Qualifier 2 Arbros decided to bat first against Bupa Arabians on ground # 4. Ali Daud who made 12 and Nasir (17) started well adding 31 runs for the first wkt but quickly perished at 35 for 2. Rashid then hit 39 in 28 balls with 2 sixes as he added 80 runs in 54 balls for the 3rd wkt with Adeel who stroked 47 in 31 balls with 6 hits to the fence to get to 115 in the 12th over and Arbros was looking to dominate the match as 200+ score was looking within their reach but they lost wkts to reduce them to 160 for 7 in the 17th over and then 190 for 7 in allotted 20 overs. Although a fighting total at the end. Roman remained unbeaten on 17 with 2 fours, Salman 13 and Minhaj 9 not out. Rahih Wali took 3 for 27 Ubaid 2-30 and Siyam 2-37.
Bupa Arabians trying to grab this golden chance to be in the Grand Finale batted well to get to the winning target of 195 for 4 in 107 balls to win by 6 wkts with 13 balls to spare and with that will be in the Final against Nadeem XI. Bupa Arabians sensed the chance and grabbed it with both hands to be in the Final. Waseem Amre scored 48 in 24 balls with 9 hits to the ropes as he added 72 runs in 42 balls for the first wkt with Siyam who made 24 in 20 balls with 3 fours. It was a good start with 72 runs on the board in the 7th over and on target.
The real reason for the Bupa Arabian’s wins was that they did not lag behind the required run rate and they did not allow the run rate to go beyond 10 eventually it was Faizan who blasted 6 sixes and 2 fours to compile a match-winning unbeaten 53 in mere 18 balls to over the victory post of 195 with 6 wkts and 13 balls in hand.
In the end, it looked like a convincing victory but the architect of this feat goes to none other than Faizan who realized his role early in the innings when the score read 119 for 4 in the 13th over requiring almost 70+ runs in 39 balls. It was definitely a match-winning inning and that too at the right time. Rabih Wali remained unbeaten on 29 off 24 balls with 2 fours and Syed afreed 28 in 14 balls with 4 boundaries. Suleman scalped 2-25 as Rashid and Abdulrehman had a wkt each.
MOM: Faizan of Bupa Arabians was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 53 in 18 balls with 6 sixes and 2 fours.
- MORNING PRIME QUALIFIER
In the Morning Prime Qualifier 2 match AEC was asked to bat first by the opponent Super CC on ground # 8. AEC wanting to bat grabbed the opportunity to amass a mammoth 217 for 7 on the board and this score of 200+ was going to be really tough under such high-temperature conditions.
- Skipper Abdulrehman Patel then hit 53 in 46 balls 6 fours and a six to compile 53, comparatively slow but first added 58 in 33 balls for the opening stand with Muzammil Shaikh who made 39 in 20 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes and then further stitched 75 in 44 balls for the 2nd wkt to get to 133 with one down Babar Ali who hammered 42 in 24 balls with 4 maximums. Later in the innings, Amanath (19), Humair (20 in 6 balls with 3 fours and a six) and Yasir 11 contributed timely to get their team to a huge target of 217 in 120 balls with 3 wkts in hand. Yasir took 2-36, Aamir 2-43 and one to Usman.
The target set by AEC was good and it was going to be tough for the opposition to chase in these atmospheric conditions unless the batters stick to their task and a lot depended on their prolific batter Yasir to deliver and deliver handsomely.
Super CC started the chase with Yasir the centre of attraction as the crowd gathered to see what tactics he will adopt to counter the AEC to chase the target of 218 in 120 balls. Everyone expected fireworks from the bat of the giant Yasir. On the other hand, AEC knew the importance of Yasir wkt and they wanted to see his back as quickly as possible to defend 217.
Yasir as usual started his carnaging shots to hit 3 sixes and 4 fours to get to 45 in 31 balls as he added 77 in the 44 balls for the first wkt with Sithik who made 36 in 20 balls to set a solid start to the innings. But the downfall started with the fall of Yasir at 77 and then the procession of Super CC batters started as none from the number 2 batters could touch the double digits to crash for 128 within the 17th over just allowing AEC to enter the Final to play against Bupa CC.
Very dismay and disappointing performance by a team which played so well in the pool matches and was looking like a team to be in the Grand Finale. Yasir of AEC grabbed 4 wkts for 20 as Abdulrehman Patel had 2-35 and Hassan 2-16. The match frittered away with the dismissal of Yasir and Super CC then looked no match to the opponents without the presence of Yasir in the middle.
MOM: The Man of the Match award was taken by Abdulrehman Patel of AEC for his 63 and 2 wkts.
- AFTERNOON BLUE QUALIFIER
In the Afternoon Blue Qualifier 2 match, Karachi Warriors won the toss against the Al kabbani cricket group to bat first to pile up 185 for 5 in the allotted 20 overs in the Afternoon Session on Ground # 4. Adnan Sialkoti opening for Warriors hit 2 sixes and 4 fours to compile 63 in 46 balls as he first added 41 for the first wkt with Riyasath who made 21 in 16 balls with 3 fours and then 78 in 49 balls for the 2nd wkt with Imran who made 46 in 25 balls with 3 sixes and 2 fours. Later skipper Shoaib hit an unbeaten 18 off 9, Ali Mudassir 11, Nasser 11 not out and Sufiyan 8. Luqman Ulfat took 2-23 and a piece each to Asad, Faisal and Rashid.
Al Kabbani Cricket Group in reply was bowled out for 140 to lose the match by 45 runs and that allowed Karachi Warriors to get through to the Final against KKR. Imran Qaiser was the top scorer for Al Kabbani with 32 in 18 balls with 6 fours as he added 45 for the opening stand with Kazim Shah who made 13. But then the Kabbani team was expecting a big inning from Imran Qaiser to overtake the target of 185 which was not possible with these innings.
Other batters just did not contribute much to be stranded at 140 to lose the encounter. M. Nasir made 12, Abdullah Bhatti 19 and Luqman Ulfat 16. Adnan scalped 4 for 23, Adnan Sialkot 2-29, Shoaib 2-5, and One each to Imran and Junais. Al Kabbani Cricket Group played well in the pool matches to get to the Playoffs but their performance in the Playoffs was dismal and disappointing as they lost both the matches pathetically. They will have to buck up and should not depend just on Imran Qaiser for scoring runs all the time and should add better batters in the squad to fight at this level.
MOM: Adnan Sialkoti of Karachi Warriors bagged the Man Of the Match for his 63 runs in 46 balls and 2 wkts and a catch.
- PREMIER PRIME QUALIFIER
In the prestigious match of the Premier Prime Qualifier, 2 Zultec decided to bat first against Abudawood Trading on Ground # 9 to get to 160 for 9 in the allotted 20 overs. Zultec lost wkts at regular intervals with 29 for 2 followed by a brief partnership for 39 runs for the 3rd wkt, 2 more wkts at 68 to 108 for 7. Waqar ul Hasan hit 20 in 16 balls, Umair 11, Wajahat Shah was run out for 22 and Amir Sajjad batted well for his 28 in 22 balls with 2 fours and a six. Subaiyyal then stroked 27 in 17 balls and Abu Huraira 23 in 18 balls with 2 fours and a six to add 48 runs for the 8th wkt to get past 150. Zultec batting was lacklustre and a lot depended on Waqar ul Hasan, Usman Gulab and Javed Iqbal but who could not deliver in this crucial and important match. Setting a target of 160 was no match to Abudawood with so such a strong and in-depth batting line up and it was always going to be around 30 runs short. Abdullah Zahid took 2-33, Israr Kiyani 2-39 and a wkt each to Adnan Liyakat, Faheem Afrad, Waqas Butt and Aijaz Butt.
Abu Dawood Trading in the chase had no difficulty in getting to the victory target of 162 for 3 in 102 balls to enter the Grand Finale against Nesma Air Lines by 7 wkts with 18 balls to remain. So in a way it was a one-sided match with the batters in the middle having no difficulty in scoring runs at will after the initial jolts at 16 for 2 with both the openers departing early. Ghazanfar batted well for his unbeaten 74 in 45 balls with 10 hits to the ropes and a six as he added match-winning 132 runs in 79 balls for the 3rd wkt with Amir Wahla who hammered 54 in 38 balls with 3 sixes and 5 fours. A scalp each was taken by Anis Malik, Zeeshan and Subaiyyal. Abu Dawood Trading will now be playing in the Grand finale against Nesma Airlines on coming Friday at the WPCA Grounds.
MOM: Ghazanfar was given the Man of the Match award for his scintillating and match-winning innings of unbeaten 74 off 45 balls.
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