KUWAIT: Kuwait Cricket hosted the prestigious Kuwait Banks League at the Sulaibiya cricket ground on Saturday with an explosive finals day.
Boubyan Bank had to pull out all of their experience to overcome the spirited challenge of National Bank of Kuwait to lift the prestigious Kuwait Banks League Cup Trophy. Winning the toss, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) elected to bat first but were dented with a heavy blow as they lost their first 3 wickets. The total sat at just 29 on the scoreboard, with Aamer Javed from Boubyan Bank seen to be bowling with utmost accuracy as the ball swung both ways. Reeling at 29 for 3 in the 6th over, the NBK innings started to look stable with some sensible batting by Ronald Fernandes and Yasir Idrees who slowly and steadily consolidated the earlier loss with an exceptional batting display. Once both the batsmen got themselves settled in, Yasir played some excellent strokes to score a solid 90 in just 48 balls with 8 towering sixes, well supported by Ronald who scored a brilliant 53, helping NBK to post a challenging total of 178 in their allotted 20 overs.
Boubyan were confident of chasing the total, despite an uneven track, but they were given a major setback when they lost their prolific opening batsman Aamer after gaining just 21 runs. With the fall of another two quick wickets of Rifkaz and Alwyn, it looked extremely shaky for Boubyan. Bringing in to the crease the dependable Abid Mushtaq, who along with the support from Hisham and skipper Faraaz played a phenomenal innings of 81 to ensure Boubyan Bank achieved the target with 8 balls to spare. This impressive performance rightly secured Mushtag the title of the Man Of the Match.
In the Plate Final, KFH upset Commercial Bank of Kuwait by winning the match by 33 runs. Winning the toss, KFH decided to bat first and put up a huge total of 195, with Saad Khalid playing an excellent knock of 69 runs from just 35 balls and boasting 5 huge sixes. In reply, Commercial Bank started their run chase well, despite losing their opener Kunal Cheaply for 1. After the initial precarious start, Nitin played a wonderful knock of 69 runs scoring all-round the ground, but with feeling the pressure of losing partners on the other end, he tried to play one too many. With Nitin’s downfall Commercial Bank could finally only manage 162 runs in their allotted 20 overs, thereby giving KFH their first Plate Trophy of the season.
Newly appointed Kuwait Cricket Chairman Mahmood Bastaki thanked everyone present at the venue and along with KBC board member Qutayba Al-Bassam, presented the KBC Cup Winner Trophy to the Boubyan skipper Faraaz and presented the Runners Up Trophy to NBK skipper Khurram Rana. Kuwait Banks Club official Khalid Balushi, along with NBK Management presented the Late Finalist Trophy to the KFH skipper Faraaz and the Runner Up Trophy to CBK’s skipper.
It was an all-round exciting day with some amazing individual executions, as well as a solid team effort from all that attended the sunny but windy day at Sulaibiya and we look forward to some more outstanding performances from the upcoming Finals of the AUB Trophy in March.
The presentation ceremony was conducted by the Director Domestic & Marketing Sajid Ashraf who appreciated the participating teams and sponsors especially the hard work and efforts of the KC Council headed by chairman Mahmood Bastaki along with other council members who were present on the occasion; Director Junior & Corporate Harshith Vora responsible for the successful running and execution of the league with the support of Director IT & Website Rishi D Jayan and Head of Logistics Robert D’souza.