Pakistanis win maiden Iris Smart Technologies Abuja Cricket League
Abuja National Stadium ‘s cricket oval was in festive mood on Sunday with all the bigwigs in Nigerian cricket on hand to witness the epic final of the Iris Smart Technologies Abuja Cricket league. The cricket stakeholders from across the country came to see how the competition would pan out in its debut season and they were not disappointed by the quality of play displayed by Abuja Pakistanis Cricket Club (APCC) and Cricket Club Abuja Panthers (CCAP).
APCC completed their winning streak in the competition with a resounding CCAP, who they defeated with an emphatic 81 runs. But there were more to the grand finale than the action on the oval.
The CCAP won the toss and elected to field first, thus putting the APCC in to bat. The APCC got to a slow start with the early fall of the wicket of the APCC Captain and Best Player of the League, Hashim Mohammad, as well as the slow run rates in the early overs. This gave the CCA Panthers a momentary shine that would soon fade away when Kalpa Alwis threw in the fireworks.
At the fall of Hashim and Saad Butt’s wickets, it was the turn of Kalpa Alwis to come in to bat at a time the APCC was in a very tight dilemma.
Kalpa changed the fortunes of his team, aided by Joseph Ishua, Saad But, Adnan and Taimu Bashir, as they took their team to 189 runs with Kalpa playing not out. It must also be emphasized that the poor fielding of the CCAP aided the APCC in their resounding victory over the CCAP.
At the end of 20 overs and still not out, Kalpa Alwis had scored 90 runs off 48 balls while Joseph Eshua scored 33 runs off 47 balls, Mohammad Hashim 0 run off two balls, Saad Butt 13 runs off 12 balls, Adnan Akbar two runs off two balls and Taimu Bashir 14 runs off 11 balls and not out.
In the second innings, the CCA Panthers came in to chase 189 runs and needed 190 runs to win. That became a mission impossible as their best efforts could only produce 108 runs at the end of 20 overs for the loss of nine wickets.
However, top scorers on the CCA Panthers side were Aadil Bathia, 19 runs off 20 balls, Nafees Khan 12 runs off 15 balls, Ayo Ejegi 14 runs off 14 balls, Pankaj Thiara 21 runs off 21 balls and highest scorer Manmeet Bisnoi with 26 runs of 28 balls
At the end of the match Kalpa Alwis emerged the Player of the Match and the Best Batsman, while Saad Butt was the Best Bowler with three wickets.
In the presentation ceremony, Mr. Deji Fisher, representing the main sponsors of the League, Iris Smart Technologies, thanked the organizers of the league for a job well done and pledged more support for the Abuja Cricket League in the years ahead.
Various cash prizes and 50 kg bags of Rice were given to the outstanding teams and players courtesy of Iris Smart Technologies and Olam Rice.
As champions, APCC went home with cash prize of N200, 000, the first runner up, the CCAP went home with N100, 000. Man of the Final Match, Kalpa Alwis went home with N10, 000, as west as N10, 000 for being the Best Batsman of the Final Match, just as Saad But got N10, 000 for emerging the Bowler of the Final Match.
The Best Player of League prize went to Mohammad Hashim, who got N50, 000 cash and a 50 kg bag of Mama Gold Rice, Best Batsman of the Abuja Cricket League went to Aadil Bhatia, who was presented with N25, 000 cash and a 50kg bag of Rice from Olam Rice.
The Best Bowler position and the N25, 000 prize and a 50kg bag of rice went to Saad Butt, while the Best Fielder, Joel Kelechi went home with N25, 000 and a 50 kg bag of Rice from Olam Rice.
The Best Emerging Player was Seye Oluwaseye, who got N5, 000, just as the Dr. Katherine Chatham Fair Play Award went to APCC.