Boubyan Bank, billed to be one of the topnotch cricket teams in the banking circuit and on a day when everything went their way, bagged their second trophy of the season when they chalked out a 39 runs victory over National Bank of Kuwait to lift the coveted AUB Cup 2015. KFH won the Plate final by prevailing over a spirited challenge posted by Commercial Bank of Kuwait in a day and night match played at the Sulaibiya ground.
Kuwait Cricket, under the auspices of Kuwait Olympic Committee is a full member of Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and an Associate member of International Cricket Council (ICC). Under the patronage of Sheikh Dhari Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, who is our inspirational President, Kuwait is an upcoming cricketing Nation in the international cricketing arena. Under the guidance and encouragement of Haider Farman, Honarary Secretary of Kuwait Cricket, Kuwait has hosted 13 International cricket tournaments under the umbrella of ICC (International Cricket Council) and ACC (Asian Cricket Council).
This is the third successive year that Kuwait Cricket in association with Kuwait Banks club has been organizing cricket tournaments for 9 bank teams affiliated to KBC. The participating teams are Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Ahli United Bank, Burgan Bank, Boubyan Bank, Commercial Bank of Kuwait, Gulf Bank, Kuwait Finance House, Kuwait International Bank and National Bank of Kuwait. In a move to provide equal chances to all the participating teams to reach the Cup and Plate finals, the organizing committee has designed the format of matches in such a manner that the first and second team from each pool go to the Cup semifinal stage whereas the third & fourth teams from each pool compete for the PLATE semifinal.
The curtain raiser of the season 2014-2015 started with a bang when a quick cricket form of 6 a side limited overs tournament sponsored by Ahli Bank of Kuwait was introduced and Boubyan Bank winning it in grand style. Currently, 3 tournaments of T20 format are being played by the bankers which are sponsored by the parent organization Kuwait Banks Club, Ahli United Bank & National Bank of Kuwait.
Boubyan Bank, last year’s title holders of AUB trophy played like a well-oiled machine, lived up to their reputation and not letting down the hopes of their top Management personnel Mr. Leslie Rice & Andre Loots who were glued to their seat irrespective of the scorching heat to support and encourage their team. The title defense started when Boubyan batting first made a slight change in their batting line up, holding back their prolific scorer Ameer Javed and letting Saber and Alwyn face the hostile NBK attack. Two quick wickets for just 13 runs on board applied brakes on the scoring rate but the flamboyant Amir Javed blasted a hurricane 33 with 2 fours and 2 sixes and in an attempt to slog one, holed out to the deep long on region.
At 58 for 4, Hisham Mirza and Faraaz grounded out the highest partnership of the match as the duo not only laid a match winning foundation but also pulled the match out of NBK’s grasp and back into a competitive contest when it looked like NBK were in high spirits with their tail up. Both the batsmen, after some nervous moments slowly took control of the situation and build up a 54 runs partnership for the 6th wicket. Faraaz, using his feet lifted the spinners twice over log off and his 29 runs was a key factor in Boubyan reaching 100 in the 16th over. Hisham playing a cool and steady game thumped a four & a six to remain unbeaten with 35 runs as Boubyan scored 134 runs in their allotted 20 overs.
Imran bowled steadily well to bag 3 wickets for 27 runs while Mohammed, Raja and Kiran shared a wicket each but it was Rahaman’s spell of 1 for 13 in 4 overs which was really outstanding.
Chasing 135 on a spinning track was indeed tough but NBK took up the challenge as Captain Khuram Rana leading from the front whacked a run a ball 29 runs to give NBK a rollicking start. Reading the wicket very well the Boubyan skipper deployed the spinners from both the end as Rifkas Ibrahim, Allwyn and Hisham spun a web around the NBK batsmen and the slow turning track provided a lot of assistance to the Boubyan bowlers.
Kiran (18 runs) and Raja ( 12 runs) put up a brave fight tackling the spinners and later Rahman( 15 runs) clouted 2 sixes to accelerate the scoring but wickets fell from one end and NBK could muster 95 runs in their allotted 20 overs. Rifkaz and Allwyn took two wickets each to share the bowling honors while Hisham, Amir & Mazhar got a wicket each. Hisham Mirza for his all-round cricketing skills was declared Player of the Match.
Earlier, KFH firing all their guns bagged the Plate finals of the AUB trophy by defeating CBK. Known for playing entertaining and quality cricket KFH using the wicket first scored 156 runs. Riding on a skillful knock of 56 runs by Captain Faraaz and an entertaining innings of 36 runs by Nizar Ahmad, KFH laid a solid foundation as the batsmen untroubled by the hostile spell of Habib and Nitin went on to score at a brisk pace. A late onslaught of 36 runs by Irfan added more impetus to the KFH total.
CBK in their chase to bag their third Plate final lost their star opener Nitin quite early and their batsmen found the hostile KFH bowlers too tough to handle. Zaheer Abbas banged a quick fire 35 runs but the run rate had gone so high that it was beyond the reach of the tail enders. Was the pick of the bowlers grabbing 3 wickets but KFH captain was selected as Player of the match for his solid 56 runs.
Murali Kutticode, Director, Junior and Corporate Cricket welcomed the guest and players during the concluding prize distribution ceremony. Mahmoud Bastaki, representing Ahli United Bank presented the CUP Winners trophy to Faraaz Azizuddin of Boubyan Bank while Leslie Rice presented the CUP Runner up trophy to Khuram Rana of NBK. Abdul Mohsen Al-Rushaid did the honors of presenting the Plate Winners trophy to Faraaz of KFH while Andre Loots handed over the Plate Runner up trophy to Habib of CBK. Mehaboob Khan Pathan, Director Women’s cricket presented the Player of the Match trophy to Hisham Mirza.
The match was officiated by Riaz Choudhary and Zahid Usman while scoring was ably performed by Nadeem.