Earlier in the day the Patong Warriors took on Kashmiri Cricket Club (KCC) knowing a win would seal their spot in the upcoming final whilst KCC needed a resounding victory to keep their already slim hopes alive.
After winning the toss, Warriors’ skipper Ahsan Ali’s decision to bowl first was almost immediately rewarded when Yassir removed opener Zahoor (2) in the 3rd over before cleaning up KCC captain Imtiyaz Mushtaq (4) just two balls later.
Things went from bad to worse for KCC when both Shad Wahid (2) and Arif Mushatq (26) were both knocked over inside the power-play as Yassir completed a devastating opening spell to leave KCC reeling at 43/4.
With KCC on the verge of complete collapse Hashim Ahmad (30) and Waseem Musa (37*) provided much needed resistance with a 46-run partnership before Umer found the break-through in the 12th over.
Iqbal Malik (14) and Sami Pir (13) looked dangerous before Ahsan Ali removed the pair after bringing himself into the attack. Some tight death over bowling ensured the Warriors were the happier of the two sides at the interval after restricting KCC to 155/9.
Following a quick turnaround, an early finish looked on the cards as Ahmad Mughal (78) peppered the boundary with ease as the score raced to onto 30 without loss after just 2 overs. Malik and removed Ahsan Ali (3) in the 3rd over, however Mughal remained undeterred as he continued to pick the bowlers apart before Shad got the much needed scalp in the 8th over. Malik picked up two more quick wickets the following over as KCC clawed their way back into the contest with the score now 100/4 at the 10 over drinks break.
Post drinks break saw any hope of an unlikely KCC comeback swiftly quashed as Shakiel Raja (31*) and Adele Ali (23*) wasted little time knocking off the remaining runs as the pair secured a convincing 6-wicket victory for their side with 5 overs to spare.
Mughals brutal innings of 78 from 32 balls faced scored him a man of the match award whilst Yassir’s opening spell of 4-20 proved key in restricting KCC to a sub-par total.
With one finals spot already confirmed, ACC looked to join the Warriors in the final by overcoming the Penguins for the second time this season.
After winning the toss, Penguins’ captain looked to utilise the new signings at his disposal in bowling first. It would be another case of deja vu early on however as openers JagsirBrar (31) and Rishi Sadarangani (16) made the bowlers toil early before Penguins’ stalwart Michael Flowers combined with debutant Ben Canton to remove the ACC skipper in the 4th over.
The in-form Manish Sadarangani (77*) joined Brar in the middle and the pair continued to make full use of the fielding restrictions before newcomer Graham Corner produced a peach of a delivery first up to remove the latter in the 8th over. Corner removed Gourav (3) with the penultimate ball of the 10th over as the Penguins headed in for drinks relatively happy with their efforts with the score 86-3.
Post-drinks saw hard-hitting Ashan Fonseka (47) take the attack to the bowlers as the Sri Lankan looked to find the boundary every delivery. With the prospect of a ridiculous score to chase down, things were looking ominous for the Penguins when Corner removed danger-man Fonseka in the 15th over, Flowers taking the crucial catch at deep mid-wicket to bring his side back into the contest.
Unfortunately for the Penguins, however, the immovable Sadarnagani showed his experience and class in batting with the tail to boost the final total to 209/6, the highest of the tournament thus far.
Chasing a daunting total, openers Simon Wetherell (1) and Tan Theampipop (5) looked to get off to a quick start but both were back in the shed early, Brar and Anoop with the wickets.
A mammoth 132-run stand between Flowers (60*) and Morgan (75) followed to give their side a platform to launch going into the final 5 overs with their side just behind the required run-rate. Unfortunately for the batting side an excellent Sadarangani over (17th) that included a sharp caught a bowled to remove Morgan followed by 3 dot balls killed much of the Penguins momentum. Livermore (23*) joined Flowers and the pair put on a further 46 from 30 balls to ultimately fall 18 runs short as their sides poor run of form continued.
Manish Sadarangani earned himself a Man of the match award whilst simultaneously moving to the top of the run scoring charts with his 77 not out from 51 balls faced whilst Fonseka’sruthless 47 from just 20 balls took the wind out of the sails of the opposition.
Morgan’s 75 runs from 40 balls faced as well as Graham Corners figures of 4-38 were valiant efforts in defeat.
Tomorrow (Mar 5) sees the final league fixtures played as Warriors and ACC get an early look at each other at 10:30am before KCC and Penguins battle it out in the afternoon, with both sides desperate to restore some pride and avoid finishing bottom of the pile.
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