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AUB ‘outclass’ KFH to clinch TACK-KBC Champs League Cup Saud Qamar named ‘Man of the Finals’

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 18: Teams Association for Cricket in Kuwait (TACK), continuing with their mission of serving and enhancing the game of cricket in Kuwait; added another feather to their already decorated cap after the successful completion of Kuwait Banks Cricket (KBC) Cup at TACK Entertainment City Cricket Ground Doha. The tournament was a great success and a significant achievement for TACK with 8 of Kuwait’s leading banks participating. After more than a month of league matches, the finals were played between Ahli United Bank (AUB) and Kuwait Finance House (KFH) on Dec 14, 2013. On a bright and blowy afternoon, AUB skipper and master of many finals Mehmood Bastaki won the toss and without any hesitation decided to bat first. AUB opened their innings with Saud and Dinesh with both batsmen starting cautiously, taking quick singles and doubles and getting the occasional boundaries. 

AUB loss their first wicket with Dinesh being run out after scoring a quick 26. Jagath the next man in joined Saud and both tried to play a bit freely and give some momentum to the innings when Jagat, trying to play a shot too many, held on to Faraz off the bowling of Nissar scoring 16 runs. Soon after Saud the set batsmen was out leg before to Zahid scoring valuable 40 runs.  Sajid was joined by the experienced Ghayoor, but KFH’s Irfan Bhatti bowled some good slower balls to get Sajid out leg before for 15 runs. Nabeel, another left hander joined Ghayoor and both played extremely well taking quick singles with Nabeel keeping most of strike. Nabeel played a brilliant cameo, scoring 22 off just 13 balls, providing AUB’s innings a much needed impetus and helping his team to reach a fighting total of 148 runs in their allotted 20 overs. For KFH, Irfan Bhatti, Zahid and Nissar picked up a wicket each.

A target of 149 runs on Doha’s turf wicket was never going to be easy and KFH needed to score at just under 8 runs an over to lift the trophy. They began their chase with Zahid and Irfan opening the innings. AUB’s opening pace bowlers Sajid and Nabeel bowled really well in the first 6 overs, supported by some sharp fielding and kept the pressure on KFH batsmen.  Irfan, keeping the required run rate in mind, tried to play one above the short third man but could only manage to scoop into the hands of Nabeel who was perfectly placed by the AUB skipper on the edge of the 30 yard circle. This saw the in form KFH skipper Faraz Afzal walked into the middle and with Zahid he took on the responsibility of seeing KFH through.

However, Dinesh with his sly and slow off cutters, got Zahid to play one up in the air and was caught at shot third man by Saud. Irfan Bhatti the next man in tried to play a few shots but succumbed to the pressure of ever climbing run rate and was caught out by Sajid at long on off the bowling of Saud. Thereafter none of the KFH batsman could settle in and get a partnership to chase down the total. AUB’s Abey George was especially destructive with his left arm slow off breaks and bowled extremely well to capture 3 wickets for 25 runs in his 4 overs and was instrumental in helping his team secure a comfortable win by 18 runs and lift the KBC Cup.

After the match was over, it was time for the presentation ceremony to honor the winners and runners up. Presentation party comprised of esteemed personalities representing Kuwait Banks Club and included the likes of Abbas Belushi, GM of KBC, Mehmood Bastaki, Deputy Chairman of KBC and Hussein. Abbas Belushi handed over the winner’s trophy to AUB skipper Mehmood Bastaki and the runners up trophy to the KFH skipper Faraz Afzal.  He also presented the man of the match award to Saud for his all round performance with LG LED 32 inch television and gave away US$ 100 each to the best batsman Nabeel and best bowler Abey George.  In addition to this individual medals were also presented to team members from both the teams. Lastly Deputy Chairman of KBC Mr. Mehmood Bastaki expressed his immense gratitude to TACK Committee members and officials for arranging this tournament and providing such platforms for social recreational activities to the local community.

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