By Syed Khalid Mahmood
Korangi Al Fatah recorded an exciting two-run victory in the final over Nazimabad Gymkhana to clinch the Lion Irfan Shaikh Inter-Clubs Cricket Tournament 2008 at the Asghar Ali Shah Stadium, Karachi, on October 21.
The tournament, contested by 150 clubs of the metropolis over a period of four months, was organized by the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), with the collaboration of the Karachi Galaxy Lions Club, in the honour of its livewire Vice President, Mr Mohammad Irfan Shaikh, who is also a central figure of Lions Club, the famed international voluntary service organization
Mr Malik Khuda Bakhsh, International Director, Lions Club was the chief guest in the final that was followed by the prize distribution ceremony. He recognized the role of Mr Irfan Shaikh for earning goodwill for the Lions community by supporting the cause of cricket, the most popular game of the country.
The ceremony was presided over by Sindh Sports Minister, Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, who also happens to be the President of the KCCA.
Mr Irfan Shaikh, Director, Marketing & Sales, Hinopak Motors Limited, he has emerged on the scene during the past couple of decades as one of the most proactive social personalities, having made special contributions to the field of sports in general and cricket in particular.
As the Founder Chairman of the Hinopak Sports and Recreation Club, he had launched the Hinopak Trophy Inter-Firms Cricket Tournament that has gone on to become the leading annual event on the calendar of the KCCA.
Similarly he is credited to have launched the Lions Trophy Inter-Clubs Cricket Tournament during his tenure as the Charter President of the Karachi Galaxy Lions Club.
It was in the fitness of things that the final of the Lion Irfan Shaikh Trophy turned out to be a fascinating contest between two evenly matched outfits and the fate of the game was decided by the narrowest of margins.
Batting first, after winning the toss, Korangi Al Fatah scored 196 for the loss of eight wickets in the allotted 45 overs. Nazimabad Gymkhana appeared coasting towards a comfortable victory when they were 165 for three but they lost their last seven wickets for only 29 runs to be bowled out for 194.
Korangi Al Fatah got off to a sedate 38-run opening start but they lost three quick wickets to concede the initiative. Nazimabad Gymkhana kept the pressure by taking wickets at regular intervals and they were on top having reduced their opponents to 152 for eight.
The 44-run unbroken ninth wicket stand between Anis Shaikh (29 not out) and Asim Uqbal (33 not out) enabled Korangi Al Fatah to stretch their total to a respectable 196 at the end of the stipulated overs. Mansoor Ahmed (3-26) and Ali Mubashir (2-41) were the pick of the Nazimabad Gymkhana bowlers.
The 148-run fourth wicket partnership between opener Owais Rahmani (88) and Faraz Patel (80) put Nazimabad Gymkhana in commanding position after they had lost their first wickets for only 17 runs.
Off-spinner Iqbal Imam’s four-wicket haul sank Nazimabad Gymkhana once the marathon partnership was broken. The dramatic batting collapse saw Korangi Al Fatah snatch an incredible win from the jaws of defeat.
October 29, 2008
By Syed Khalid Mahmood