June 25 – great weather and great cricket
June 25 saw perfect cricket weather, and two thrilling matches.
The opening match featured the powerful Avengers squad against the Eagles. The Avengers had lost only one match in the summer league since their formation last year, but the Eagles upset the form book with a 2 wicket win off the penultimate ball of the match.
The Avengers batted first, and struggled with the bat. Spinner Osama Saeed was outstanding, taking four top order wickets for only 12 runs. He was well supported by Ali Malik (1/7 from 3 overs), Asim Ramzan (2/16) and Zohair Syed. The Avengers were bowled out for just 65, Rahul Vashishtha top scoring with 20.
The Avengers fought hard to defend their total with Rahul Vashishta and Sentill Selvamani reducing them to 4 for 3 wickets. A patient innings by Saeed Khan (23 from 58 balls) took them to within 3 runs in the last over, and the Eagles scrambled home with a very close run from the 5th ball of the last over. Drumhitt Bhatt took 3 wickets, Deep Patel 2, and Rahul and Sentill’s 8 overs cost just 13 runs. Osama was named man of the match.
The second match was between two teams new to the league this year. The MHWirth Stallions batted first, and Hummam and Saad got them off to a good start putting on 30 for the first wicket. Rakesh Negi contributed an unbeaten forty two, putting on 46 with Abrar Khan (21*) after Mohammed Irfan (4/9 from 4 overs) had run through the middle order. The Stallions finished on 116/7. Ibrahim Ali gave the Rising Stars a good start with a patient 15, putting on 42 with Harish Kana (21). The Stallions fought back with wickets from Abrar in the middle overs, and the Rising Stars seemed to be out of the match. Captain Adeel Ilyas had other ideas and a quite brilliant innings combining sound defence with big hitting took them to the brink of victory. He hit the fourth ball of the final over over wide long on for his sixth six to seal what was at one point an unlikely win. Abrar Khan took five wickets for 28 runs, and Kazi Ashraful Hoque also took two early wickets. Man of the match was clearly Adeel Ilyas.
Stallions-Rising Stars scorecard
After three weeks, the Avengers have two wins, and the other three teams have a win apiece.