KUWAIT CITY, May 24: The unstoppable Boubyan cricket team added another feather to their cap by bagging the ABK trophy, sponsored by Ahli Bank of Kuwait by getting better off Ahli United Bank in the Cup finals played at Kuwait Cricket’s Sulaibiya ground on May 21, 2016. The banking sector tournament organized by Kuwait Cricket, the official body of controlling cricket in Kuwait has been rated as the top notch Corporate House cricket tournaments in Kuwait. The star studded Boubyan bank has so far lifted all the 4 CUP finals played this season and the last one is scheduled to be held on May 28.
Winning the toss, Boubyan invited AUB to use the fresh pitch which initially did not help the Boubyan seamers Abid Mustaq and Irfan Jameel as AUB openers Jagath Kalugalage and Dinesh Kumar played with confidence and posted 19 runs. Dinesh & Saud Qamar fell in quick succession and Boubyan gradually tightened the knot on the AUB batsmen. With four spin options to call upon on a parched Sulaibiya pitch, Boubyan skipper Faraaz Mohammed marshalled his bowlers quite well as they bowled a tight line and length. Jagath, after playing a patient innings got out for 22 runs which brought Anuj Chadda & Ghayoor Ahmed to the crease.
Doing justice to their skills, both the batsmen played with great determination and positive approach to put on 41 runs for the 4th wicket. Anuj Chadda top scored for AUB by scoring 40 runs and was more aggressive as he danced downed the track to clout three magnificent sixes while Ghayoor Ahmed doing most of the running contributed a valuable 22 runs to his credit. The lower-order AUB batsmen found it hard to adjust to the slow pace of the wicket as the Boubyan spinners showed willingness to flight the deliveries and repeatedly beat the batsmen in the air. AUB, in their allotted 20 overs scored 121 runs for the loss of 8 wickets. Abid Mustaq took 2 for 28 while Irfan Jamil, Aamir Javed, Hisham Mirza and Rifkas Ibrahim took a wicket each.
Aamir Javed and Alwyn Dsouza opened for Boubyan as both were initially at sea against some accurate bowling of Nabeel Ghafoor and once Aamir got his eye set, there was no looking back for the flamboyant opener as he triggered a surge of sixes and fours to take the game out of AUB’s control.
Meanwhile, Mahmoud Bastaki, the AUB skipper deceived Rifkas Ibrahim and Nabeel sent Alwyn back to the pavilion to put some pressure on the Boubyan batsmen. Joining Aamir Javed, Abid Mustaq was straight into the attacking mood as he carved his strokes with immense power and along with Aamir Javed marched to the winning target in the 13th over itself. Aamir played a superb knock of 73 runs which had 5 boundaries and 6 gigantic sixes. Abid Mustaq plundered 35 runs with 3 fours and 2 sixes. Aamir Javed for his excellent knock was declared Player of the Match.
In the PLATE final, Commercial Bank of Kuwait held their nerves and had to pull out all their experience to win a close battle over Ahli Bank of Kuwait. Winning the toss, CBK batted first as openers Kunal Singh and Nitin Lobo played to their potential in scoring 41 runs. As the duo got settled to play a lead role,in a rush of blood, Nitin was well caught at long on for 21 runs while Kunal Singh playing so well was back in the dugout for a well played 23 runs.
This brought the experienced CBK skipper Shadab Abdulla and Mohammed Nawaz to the crease and the duo immediately settled to play with great authority. Shadab, leading from the front showed some glimpses of the sweet timing that comes so easily when he is at his best and the bulky Mohammed Nawaz unleashed power packed shots to the ropes. Shadab’s gritty & stylish knock of 51 runs were laced with 4 hits to the fence while Nawaz hammered 44 runs worth ton of gold. CBK total read at 160 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in 20 overs. The bowling honors of ABK were shared by Anthony, Irfan Kaleel, Abdul Rauf and Adil Mhaiskar who all bagged a wicket each.
ABK opener Israr Ahmed Khan and one drop bat Anthony played well and layed the platform with some hefty hitting and unmoved by the hostile CBK pace attack, both the batsmen unleashed some good looking strokes to add 35 runs for the 2nd wicket. Israr Ahmed scored a valuable 26 runs while big hitting Anthony knocked an effortless 25 runs. The CBK seamers stuck to disciplined line and length and subdued the batsmen without giving much room to spare.
A lot was expected from the young shoulders of Irfan Khaleel, the energetic and talented ABK batsmen and to a certain extent he lived up to the expectation by scoring quickly to catch up with the huge run rate. Along with Khaja Moinuddin, Irfan Khaleel clouted a huge six and smeared two boundaries to bring the equation down but the well-oiled CBK bowlers and the fielders backing up well restricted the ABK total to 124 runs.
Irfan scored 17 while Khaja made 18 runs. Kunal Singh bowled well for CBK, taking 2 for 22 while Nitin & Rahul Venkitakrishnan took a wicket each. Shadab Abdulla was declared Player of the match for his wonderful half century.
Murali Kutticode, Director, Junior & Corporate Cricket welcomed the gathering and thanked the Sponsors Ahli Bank of Kuwait for their continuous support to Kuwait Cricket. The podium was graced by the presence of Asad Baig, Director General, Kuwait Cricket and Iqbal Vanoo, Vice Chairman of Kuwait Cricket Council.
The occasion was also blessed by the presence of Shiamak Soonawala, Chief Finance Officer of Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Balwant Bains, Chief Auditor, ABK and Shankar Dahima, Assistant General Manager, ABK. Asad Baig presented a memento to Shiamak Soonawala as a token of appreciation to ABK Management.
Shiamak Soonawala presented the Cup final trophy to Faraaz Mohammed, Captain of Boubyan Bank and Balwant Bains handed over the Cup Runner Up trophy to AUB skipper Mahmoud Bastaki. Iqbal Vanoo presented the Player of the match award to Aamir Javed of Boubyan Bank. Individual gifts were presented to Boubyan & AUB team members and Plate final winners CBK.
Asad Baig, presented the PLATE final trophy to Shadab Abdulla of CBK and Mr.Iqbal Vanoo presented the Plate Runner Up trophy to ABK captain Sanket Mokashi. Murali Kutticode handed over the Player of the Plate final to Shadab Abdulla for his batting skills.
The matches was officiated by Imran Mustafa Haji, Abdul Qayoom, Gerald Pinto and match referee Irfan Adil who all performed to their best.