July 31, 2014

Tapal Cricket Club retain Aga Khan Gymkhana Ramazan Trophy

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By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Tapal Cricket Club overcame the rampaging Omar Cricket Club in the high-scoring final to win the 27th Aga Khan Gymkhana Ramazan Trophy Twenty20 Cricket Tournament 2014 and retain the title in the picturesque surroundings of the Aga Khan Gymkhana on July 28. 

Arif Habib, Chairman, Arif Habib Group, was the chief guest in the presentation ceremony held at the ground immediately after the conclusion of the final. 

Prominent among those present on the occasion were Hakim Ali Khan, Chairman, Aga Khan Gymkhana, Shameez Mukhi, Chairman, Aga Khan Youth & Sports Board for Pakistan, Mohammad Iqbal, Director Sports, Naya Nazimabad, Riaz Contractor, Manager, Aga Khan Sports Centre and Amin Merchnat, ex-General Manager, Tapal Tea (Pvt) Ltd. 

Arif Habib presented the winner trophy with a cash award Rs three lacs to Daniyal Ahsan, captain, Tapal Cricket Club, while Adnan Kalim, skipper, Omar Cricket Club, collected the runners-up trophy with a purse of Rs two lacs. 

Ahmed Hussain of Soni Associates was adjudged Best Batman of the Tournament for scoring 201 runs while Tapal Cricket Club’s off-spinner Atif Maqbool clinched the Best Bowler award for his aggregate of 10 wickets at 16.20 apiece. Khalid Latif of Touchme XI, who aggregated 229 runs, was declared the Best Player of the Tournament. All the individual awards earned the winners Rs 10,000 each. 

The final of the tournament produced exhilarating stuff with as many as 370 runs scored of 39.3 overs. Omar CC, having remained undefeated in all the five major tournaments being held in the city during the holy month of Ramazan, seemed to have done well to post a total of 184 for four in the allotted 20 overs. 

It was being generally anticipated that Omar CC will win yet another tournament as their bowlers did have the capacity to defend the big total in a high-profile game. Tapal CC, however, had other ideas and they didn’t succumb to the scoreboard pressure to overhaul the target with three balls to spare. 

The 120-run opening stand between Usman Javed (72 off 42 balls) and Adnan Baig (52 off 33 balls) got the defending champions off to a flyer. Both the openers smashed 10 boundaries each to set a solid platform for the big chase. 

The momentum was sustained by the middle-order batsmen, who kept their cool and were not overawed by the occasion or by the reputation of their opponents. Fawad Alam grabbed a couple of quick wickets with his left-arm spin which only delayed the inevitable. Skipper Daniyal Ahsan remained undefeated on 22 to ensure that the good work of the openers was not undone. 

Earlier Omar CC made the most of their batting depth by scoring swiftly in the slog overs to lift the total to 184. The 72-run unbroken fifth wicket stand between Sarfaraz Ahmed (49 off 33 balls) and Fawad Alam (39 off 21 balls) seemed to have given them an iron-grip on the match but the eventual score didn’t prove adequate enough on a day which belonged to Tapal CC.

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