In the first of the two matches played on the 13th of October in the ‘#PlayToEducate: Cricket Gala 2017’, the SCME Warriors took on the C&M Cougars. Both the teams had won their first matches in the tournament and were looking to progress to the playoffs. On a hot, sweaty afternoon, the Warriors won the toss and their captain, Mr. Muhammad Waqar, decided to bat first. The teams batting first had generally fared well in the tournament, and the Warriors continued that trend with a strong showing with the bat. However, the lower middle order of the Cougars had other ideas; Mr. Sheraz playing a blinder to see them over the line.
The Cougars started off well despite losing the toss. Mr. Saddam only gave away only 5 runs in the first over. The change in the bowling attack worked as a catalyst, Mr. Husnain hitting Mr. Naveed Shah for 2 consecutive sixes before hitting Mr. Awais for another one in the next over. Mr. Awab Ilahi also got in on the act, hitting a couple of boundaries off Mr. Raffan. Mr. Saddam’s return did the trick for the Cougars, getting rid of Mr. Husnain for 23. The departure of Mr. Husnain brought Mr. Ahsan to the crease, who couldn’t bat for very long and fell for 3. After the fall of the second wicket, Warriors’ captain, Mr. Waqar, hit Mr. Riasat for 2 consecutive sixes. The partnership between Mr. Waqar and Mr. Awab consolidated the Warriors’ position in the match. Mr. Awab got out in the last over for 29 runs, while Mr. Waqar also fell for 17. At the end of the 8 overs, the Warriors reached a total of 77-4. The bowling of the Cougars was disciplined, leaking only 4 extras. Mr. Israr finished with 2 wickets.
In reply, the Cougars got off to a horrendous start. Mr. Rashid got out in the very first over, while Ahsan got rid of two batsmen in the second. Mr. Awab continued his good form by getting 3 wickets in the third over, including that of the only Cougar batsman to show some resistance, Mr. Israr. The scorecard at the end of 3 overs read 17-6. Everybody felt that the Warriors would wrap it up and advance to the next round. Mr. Irfan hit Mr. Ahsan for a six in the next over to give the Cougars some hope. And then started the Mr. Sheraz Show. He hit Mr. Husnain for a six on the first ball of the 5th over, and followed it up with a four on the next ball. The next 4 balls were all dispatched out of the ground. Mr. Husnain’s over cost a mammoth 35 runs, the most expensive over in the entire tournament. In the next over, Mr. Sheraz finished the match off in style, smashing Mr. Waqar over the long-on boundary for another six. He finished the innings unbeaten on 43 off just 12 balls, a strike rate of more than 350.
The Cougars celebrated their victory with great fervor. Mr. Sheraz was hailed as a hero, and named the Man of the Match. With this victory, the Cougars became the first side to qualify for the playoffs.
This thrilling encounter had a pretty huge outcome, helping collect massive amounts of funds for students in NEED. The UAO appreciates everyone who contributed, played or even came to support the players.
Next match in the tournament will be scheduled soon and we will keep you posted on the latest developments. Join us to watch the entertaining spectacles and follow our page www.facebook.com/NEEDInitiative for updates on match schedules. Give education a fighting chance by sponsoring a player or through donating for the cause. Drop a call at 90856838 to donate.