July 28, 2014

Omar Cricket Club to take on Y J XI in Vital Five title clash after Eid


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The all-conquering Omar Cricket Club have created an unusual and unexpected situation. By qualifying for the finals of all the major cricket tournaments being held in Karachi during the month of Ramazan they have put the organizers in a spot of bother. 

Since all the finals of the month-long events were scheduled to be held around same dates, it became practically impossible for them to make an appearance in all of them simultaneously. It has led to the postponement of the final of the 3rd Vital Five T-20 Ramazan Festival Tournament 2014 which will now be staged at the DHA Vital Five Cricket Academy Ground soon after Eid holidays. Omar CC’s opponents in the final will be Y J XI. 

“We have been prompted to reschedule the final, originally planned to be held on July 27, due to the engagement of one of our finalists as well as the defending champions, Omar CC, in other tournament finals. They won’t be available even on July 28, apparently the last available day of Ramazan, which has prompted us to postpone our final for a few days. New date will be announced with mutual consent of both of the finalists,” Tournament Director, Jalaluddin, a former Test fast bowler, announced. 

Meanwhile Rameez Raja’s scintillating knock powered defending champions Omar CC into the final as they overwhelmed Tapal Cricket Club by six wickets in the semifinal. 

Rameez, who picked up Advance Telecom Man of the Match award, blasted three sixes and seven fours in his stroke-filled 53 off 24 balls while Mohammad Sami (34 off 29 balls) and Saad Nasim (32 off 20 balls) also batted freely to enable Omar CC to reach the target in 18.1 overs despite fine spell from left-arm spinner Rashid Hanif (2-29). 

Tapal CC was restricted to 157 for six in 20 overs. Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar (3-26) and leg-spinner Nadeem Javed (2-27) pulled it back after fighting knocks from Mubashir Ahmed (55 off 49 balls), Daniyal Ahsan (32off 21 balls) and Ali Sarfaraz (24 off 22 balls). 

Y J XI had sneaked into the final by taming Vital Five Academy by 18 runs in a low-scoring semifinal. Useful contributions from Ashraf Ali (38 off 32 balls), Wajid Ali (32 off 24 balls), Gohar Ali (25 off 18 balls) and Mohammad Irfan (20 off 15 balls) plus a breezy 15 off seven balls from Fahim Ahmed, declared Man of the Match, enabled Y J XI to reach a competitive total of 155 for seven in 20 overs despite fine bowling by left-arm spinner Mustafa Iqbal (2-33) and medium-pacer Waqar Anwar (2-37). 

Vital Five Academy lost wickets at regular intervals against the quintet of left-arm spinners, led by Yaqzan Rajput (3-36) and Osama Basharat (2-19). Even a defiant knock from Faisal Mubashir (48 off 41 balls) could not revive them and they were restricted to 137 for nine in 20 overs to get eliminated from the competition.


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