Kuwait Cricket added another feather to its cap as Mr. Mahmoud Bastaki, Vice Chairman of Kuwait Banks Club along with Mr. Asad Baig and other Kuwait Cricket Council members inaugurated the Ahli United Bank trophy for Bank teams affiliated to Kuwait Banks club. The blistering opening ceremony took place amidst many cricket loving fans at the Sulaibiya cricket ground on 22 February 2014.
Sponsored by Ahli United Bank (AUB), the main sponsor, Mr. Bastaki affirmed the support of Kuwait Banks club to promote cricket as well as many other sports for bank teams and assured his continuous support to Kuwait Cricket in organizing cricket tournaments in future. The opening ceremony was attended by Kuwait Council members, Riaz Choudhary, Mehboob Khan, Amanullah Palekar, Iqbal Rajpurkar and Murali Kutticode.
The first match of the tournament was played between Ahli United Bank and Commercial Bank of Kuwait, the new entrants in KBC league. The well-oiled CBK team gave a tough time for their seasoned opponents and never looked as if they were participating in a debut tournament. In a tensed battle, AUB had to take out all their experience to pull out a 4 wicket victory.
Commercial Bank batting first scored 95 runs as their batting collapsed to some fiery hostile spell from Nabil Ghafoor, the AUB opening bowler who ripped the top order batting line up of CBK. It was left for Abbas the stocky middle order CBK batsman to fight a lone battle to restore some pride to the CBK total as he contributed a fine 29 runs which had five well timed boundaries. Nabeel Ghafoor was the most successful AUB bowler bagging 4-10 in his bowling spell.
AUB openers batted confidently and posted 45 runs on board for the first wicket in just 6 overs and were racing quite smoothly towards their victory target.
It was at this stage that CBK skipper Shahdab introduced Abbas from the police station end which transformed the game dramatically. Using the seam effectively, Abbas maintained a tight length and in his 4 over spell accounted for the downfall of 5 AUB batsmen. It was the experienced Mahmoud Bastaki who strolled in to steady the AUB batting and saw his team through the tensed match.
Nabeel Ghafoor was rightly named Player of the match and Abbas was presented with a special award for his excellent all round performance. Murali Kutticode, Director, Junior and Corporate Cricket thanked the sponsor and all those who extended their support to Kuwait Cricket.