Abid Mustaq once again came to the rescue of Boubyan Bank as he struck a vital 36 runs to guide Boubyan Bank to successfully chase a target of 86 runs in the CUP finals of the Ahli United Bank trophy against National Bank of Kuwait at Kuwait Cricket’s Sulaibiya turf ground.
Kuwait Cricket, the official body of cricket in Kuwait has been conducting cricket tournaments for banks affiliated to Kuwait Banks club and a total of 5 tournaments for bankers are in progress this season.
Boubyan captain Faraaz won the toss and invited NBK to bat first. NBK lost their prolific scorer Shakthy in the very first over bowled by Abid Mustaq to a very well judged catch taken at deep mid-wicket and a superb reflex catch by Rifkas Ibrahim at short extra cover ended Khurram Rana’s innings. Yasser Butt and Kiran Lobo played positively as both the batsmen steadied the innings at an opportune time to slowly take NBK to 50 runs on board.
The introduction of double spin attack brought the downfall of NBK batsmen as Alwyn D’Souza and Hisham Mirza bowled well to stem the flow of runs. Yasser Butt scored 16 runs while Kiran Lobo scored 12 runs. NBK needed a lower-order surge to ensure their efforts with the bat were not wasted and were all out for 86 in the 17th over. Binu Mathew who batted with great determination and skill remained not out with 11 runs to his credit. Alwyn bowled extremely well to capture 4 wickets for 24 runs while Mustaq’s hostile spell got him 2 for 10.
Boubyan opener Aamir Javed's aggression was obvious from the start as he clouted a six and a four in the opening over but NBK regained some control when their skipper Khurram Rana removed Aamir Javed with a beauty of a delivery which pitched outside the off stump and curved in to uproot the off & middle stump.
The NBK bowlers bowled well with the fielding restrictions in place, but the seasoned Boubyan players were well up to the task and comfortably marched to their second title of the season with a six wicket victory. Abid Mustaq struck a watchful 36 runs to rightly earn the Player of the match award. Khurram Rana and Kiran Lobo were the most successful NBK bowlers with 2 wickets each to their credit.
In a rain affected match, Kuwait Finance House scored a comfortable 9 wickets victory over Gulf Bank to win the Ahli United Bank PLATE final. In a match which was reduced to 8 overs due to weather condition, Gulf Bank were reduced to 25 for 7 which was mainly due to some fine hostile bowling by KFH skipper Faraz Mohamed (2/9) Mohammed Burhan (2/2) and Saad Khalid (2/3). Chasing a paltry total, KFH struck the winning run in the third over to clinch the match and their first title of the season. Faraz Mohammad who scored briskly and bowled well was declared Player of the match.
Murali Kutticode, Director, Junior & Corporate Cricket of Kuwait Cricket Council welcomed all the teams and congratulated the winning teams and wished the losers better luck. Murali thanked the Sponsors Ahli United Bank Management and all other banks to the likes of Kuwait Banks Club, National Bank of Kuwait, Ahli Bank of Kuwait and Boubyan bank for their support and sponsorship.
On behalf of Kuwait Cricket, Iqbal Vanoo, Vice Chairman of KC council presented a memento of appreciation to Richard Groves for AUB’s support and encouragement in sponsoring the event. Murali Kutticode thanked Mahmoud Bastaki, KBC Vice Chairman for his contribution to banking league cricket and requested him to continue the good work for a longer term.
The Chief Guest of the event, Mr. Richard Groves, Chief Executive Officer of Ahli United Bank presented the CUP final trophy to Faraaz, the skipper of Boubyan Bank and Mr. Mahmoud Bastaki, Vice Chairman of Kuwait Banks club presented the CUP Runner up trophy to NBK skipper Khurram Rana.
Iqbal Vanoo, Vice Chairman, Kuwait Cricket Council presented the Player of the Cup final to Abid Mustaq for his all-round performance. Richard Groves also presented the Plate Final trophy to KFH skipper Faraz Mohammed and Kutaiba Al-Qadhi, representing Boubyan bank presented the Player of the match trophy to Faraz Mohammed of KFH.
The two finals were officiated by Kuwait Cricket umpires Naveen D’Souza, Gerald Pinto, Imran Mustafa Haji. Farid Dalwai and Irfan Adil did a marvelous job as Match referees of the event. The online scoring was well managed by Sudhir.