By Syed Shuja Kamili: 20.11.2022
The yearly gala event in Dubai that allows thousands of Kashmiri diasporas to bond, families to come together, kids to enjoy, explore and players to showcase cricketing talent and skills has begun with a bang at Vision cricket ground, Sharjah. In this years KSL8 edition, 10 teams are competing to lift the mega trophy. The two finalists will play the final match at Dubai international cricket stadium, in full view. Each participating team will play against each other in the league matches to qualify for knock offs. The top 4 teams will eventually play the knock offs. What a day and a reckoning at vison cricket ground? The weather and atmosphere on the ground was mesmerising. Bright sunshine and partial clouds in bits and pieces. It couldn’t get better than this. The league games began, and few teams and players have set the tone with their clinching performance and brilliant execution of game plan. A total of 5 matches were played today. We saw some amazing batting and bowling performance from few teams and players alike. They left the mark with their performance.
Rainawari Renegades Vs Shalimar
Challengers Captain Farhan of Rainawari won the toss and decided to bat. The decision to put up the total on board was completely backed by players with their performance. The team put a total of 233 runs at loss of 5 wickets. Opener Waseem scored 63 runs of just 29 balls with 44s & 66s at strike rate of 217. Muneer scored 48 runs of 37 balls with 24s & 46s. Then heroic knock of 77 runs in just 30 balls at strike rate of 256 was played by unbeaten Suhail Zaki. He hit 34s & 96s. He was splendid to watch and all over the ground. The Shalimar bowlers went for some hammering. Mudassir Bhat gave 54 runs in 3 overs and Captain AB gave 28 runs in just 2 overs with one wicket. Shalimar used 7 bowlers, but none created any impact except Manzoor Nazir and Usman Pandith who were economical. Usman claimed 2 wickets. While chasing the mammoth total, Shalimar wickets fell like pack of cards. They couldn’t play the spin bowling of captain Farhan. They appeared clueless. The only little resistance came from opener Saqib Shah who scored 39 runs of 23 balls and Yassar who scored 45 runs of 33 balls. Rest of the batsmen played mediocre. The team was bundled out for 136 runs. The Rainawari bowlers bowled a tight line giving no room to Shalimar batsmen to free the arms. Captain Farhan bowled splendidly and claimed 5 wickets haul and gave only 16 runs in 4 overs. Furqan claimed 2 wickets and gave only 25 runs in 4 overs. The Rainawari won the match by 97 runs. Man of the match: Captain Farhan was declared MoM for claiming 5 wickets.
Dachigam Hanguls Vs Pahalgam Panthers
This was quite close and an interesting contest between defending champion DH and first time playing KSL tournament PP. At one point of time, it appeared that DH would win the match comprehensibly but with the fighting effort from bowling all-rounder Ovais, the game got close, for few moments, it appeared that PP would take away the match but DH playing under experienced Captain Amjad Khan hold the nerves to win the game by 19 runs. After winning the toss, Captain Yasir of PP decided to field. Team DH put a total of 208 runs for loss of 8 wickets. Opener Mahfooz Illahi scored 43 runs of 29 balls with 64s & 16s. Danish Lanker scored 57 runs of just 20 balls with 34s & 66s at a strike rate of 285. Suhail Qadri remained unbeaten on 39 runs from 27 balls with 14s & 26s. PP bowlers were all over the place with economy of more than 9 runs per over. Muneer, Ovais & Jasir claimed 2 wickets each. While chasing the score, PP batsmen appeared in hurry, trying to finish the game in no time, there were no partnerships, everyone looked in rush. Opener Basit showed some spirit and scored 36 runs of 23 balls with 44s and 26s. With 78 runs for loss of 6 wickets, the match was gone but some brilliant batting from tail enders saved the face. Ovais was brilliant with batting and scored 64 runs in just 28 balls with 44s & 66s at strike rate of 228. Jasir scored 27 runs of 16 balls but that wasn’t enough to beat DH. PP scored 189 runs for loss of 9 wickets. The bowlers of DH bowled decently with Idris Mir giving only 14 runs in 4 overs claiming 2 wickets. Amjid bowled superbly and claimed 4 wickets. Team Dachigam won the match by 19 runs. Man of the match: Bowler Amjid was declared MoM for claiming 4 wickets.
Sopore Spartans Vs Mansbal Mavericks
Right from toss nothing went in favour of MM. The match was one sided with no resistance or hunger shown by MM players. They were outclassed by SS in all departments of game be it body language, bowling and bating. After wining toss and deciding to bat, the SS put a total of 209 on board for fall of 7 wickets. Opener Usman scored 62 runs in 41 balls with 54s & 36s. Saqib Amin scored 29 of 15 balls at strike rate of 193 followed by Captain Hemayun Bazaz scoring 33 from 25 balls with 3*6s. MM bowlers looked jittery and tired except Vikas Koul who bowled at economy of 6.75 runs per over. MM bowlers could take wickets or break partnerships when it needed the most. Too many loose deliveries. While chasing the total the openers couldn’t give the start that one would expect. Opener Umar with his sluggish batting of 14 runs in 27 balls put enough pressure on his side which they could never recover from. The MM team could only score 108 runs at fall of 9 wickets. Top scorers from MM were Tariq shah 22 runs of 28 balls (not out) and Aabid Rajab 23 runs of 14 balls. SS bowlers in general and particularly Khalid Ibrahim and Saqib Amin were brilliantly economical. Khalid gave just 9 runs on 3 over while Saqib gave 12 runs in 3 overs and claimed 3 wickets. SS won the match by whopping 101 runs. Man of the match: All-rounder Saqib Amin was declared MoM for claiming 4 wickets and scoring 29 runs.
SafaKadal Stars Vs Bemina Bulls
After winning the toss SS captain, Lala decided to bat. The team put a total of 161/9 at the board. After SS openers were sent back to pavilion in quick session Shabir Bhat stabled the innings along with Riyaz Mahoo. Both put a partnership of 57 runs. Shabir scored 48 runs in 21 balls with 54s & 36s at strike rate of 228. Mahoo scored 34 runs in 29 balls and quick 19 runs from Umer Mir helped SS put a total score of 161 runs. BB bowler OG gave only 17 runs in 4 over with one wicket while Sheiks Majaz was most expensive giving 36 runs in 3 overs. While chasing, the first 3 wicket of BB fall at score of 31 runs and that put lot of pressure on other batsmen. In between there were few small partnerships but never enough to take the game away. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals. Though Mohsin Hassan put a brave front alone and scored 59 runs in 49 balls with 54s & 26s but he fell short of partners. Shabir Bhat and Umer Mir bowled exceptional from SS side at economy of 4 & 5 respectively. SB claimed a wicket and UM claimed 4 wickets. The BB team could only score 149 runs. Thus, losing the match by 12 runs.
Man of the match: Bowling All-rounder Umer Mir was declared MoM for claiming 4 wickets and scoring 19 runs
Soura Strikers Vs Rajbagh Royals
After winning the toss SS Captain Shahdad decided to bat and that remained the only thing of the night that went in SS way. The whole SS team was packed for 108 runs in 16.2 overs despite having opening partnership of 55 runs in just 4.2 overs. Opener Nadeem scored 58 off 38 balls with 64s & 46s, rest of players had no clue how and what to play. 9 players of SS couldn’t cross the double-digit score including Captain Shahdad. The RR bowlers bowled superb line and length. RR bowlers like Nikhil with 3 wickets, Zulfaid with 2 wickets and, Mudassir with 4 wickets choked the space of SS batsmen. RR chase the meagre total of 108 runs with no loss of wickets and in just 8 overs. Opener Sufyan scored 43 off 25 balls and Basir Bhat scored 59 off 235 balls with 74s & 46s. SS bowlers were taken for toss. Bowler Gulzar gave 28 runs in one over. Man of the match: Batsman Basir was declared MoM for scoring 59 runs.