Mr. George Beatle, General Manager, Retail Banking Division of Ahli United Bank flanked by Mr. Mahmoud Bastaki, Vice Chairman, Kuwait Banks Club & Mr. Asad Baig, Director General, Kuwait Cricket, cut a huge cake to officially inaugurate the Ahli United Bank cricket tournament for bank teams affiliated to Kuwait Banks Club.
In a glittering ceremony organized at Kuwait Cricket’s Sulaibiya ground on March 14, 2015, Mr. George Beatle assured his company's support and sponsorship saying that Ahli United Bank is doing all in its capacity to improve the all-round cricket in the region for Bank teams and that the players must take advantage of such facilities and infrastructures.
Murali Kutticode, Director, Junior & Corporate Cricket of Kuwait Cricket made the introductory remarks, welcomed the chief guest, players & officials and appreciated the sponsorship and continuous support of Ahli United Bank.
AUB trophy is in the 3rd year in running and in the first match of the morning, Kuwait Finance House won a close battle against host AUB to register their first points in the tournament.
On a slow & turning wicket, AUB skipper Mahmoud Bastaki won the toss & invited KFH to bat first as the decision turned positive when Irfan the prolific scorer for KFH was back in the pavilion soon. Zahid & Faraaz came together and slowly repaired the damage by adding 63 runs for the second wicket. Zahid departed after making 29 runs with 2 glorious sixes and Faraaz scored a valuable 26 runs with 3 hits to the fence. Dinesh & Mahmoud Bastaki bowled well for AUB capturing 2 wickets each as KFH made a reasonable total of 113 in 18 overs.
As the game progressed, the AUB batsmen found Faraaz & Zahid to be very hostile and soon lost two quick wickets. Faraaz maintained excellent line & length and Zahid supported his captain to restrict the free flowing AUB batsmen. Jagat & Sajid Kalam put up a brave fight but wickets started falling to the accurate spell of Arif and AUB could muster only 68 runs. Faraaz & Aarif captured 3 wickets each and Zahid took two. Farraz for his enterprising cricketing skills was awarded Player of the Match which was presented by Mr. George Beatle.
In the earlier match of the AUB trophy, Commercial Bank of Kuwait prevailed over Ahli Bank of Kuwait by a margin of 8 wickets to register their first win. Batting first ABK scored 89 runs mainly due to some fantastic batting performance of Fahad, their batsman in form who scored 36 runs with 5 fours. Shahdab the CBK skipper bowled well to capture 3 wickets for 9 runs and he was ably supported by Rahul Venketeswaran whose economical spell of 3 for 11 restricted the scoring rate.
CBK chasing 81 runs, knocked of the required total, losing two wickets only as Nitin the CBK opener played a flamboyant knock of 59 runs with 10 fours & 2 sixes. Shahdab was declared Player of the match for his bowling performance. The young master Fahad again shone with the ball for ABK as he captured the two wickets to fall.
In a closely fought match where fortunes turned in every over, Boubyan bank batsmen had to take all their skills out to snatch a 4 wicket victory over NBK. Batting first, NBK scored 87 runs, mainly due to some responsible batting from Shakti (20 runs) & valuable scores from Raja (17runs) & Ian (16 runs) who stood at the wicket to take NBK to a respectable total. Hisham Mirza with his off cutters proved to be a tormentor for NBK as he ran through the top order batting to take 4 wickets for 14 runs.
On a spinning track where batting was quite tough, Boubyan’s star batsman Aamir struck a hurricane 43 (2 x6 & 3 x 4) and after his being out, the Boubyan middle order collapsed due to some marvelous bowling by the NBK spinners. Easing the tension, Irfan Junior took a calculated risk & clouted a huge six to end the match in Boubyan’s favor. M. Ismail was the main wicket taker (2 for 17) for NBK while Ronald, Khurram & Rehaman accounted for a wicket each. Hisham was adjudged Player of the match for his top quality bowling.