KFH to take Boubyan in Cup Final
Kuwait International Bank to meet Burgan in plate final
Boubyan Bank & Kuwait Finance House, two of the top notch teams in the banking sector will clash in the final of KBC league 2014 sponsored by Kuwait Banks Club and organized by Kuwait Cricket. Both the teams aspire to give a fitting finale to win the prestigious KBC trophy, exclusively tailored for bank teams affiliated to Kuwait Banks Club.
In the first semi-final, Kuwait Finance House showed the urgency to overwhelm Ahli United Bank by a margin of 49 runs to march to the final. KFH batting first piled a solid total of 156 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in their allotted 20 overs. In the forefront of the assault was opener Zahid whose full scale aggression of scoring a brisk 30 runs and Irfan Bhatti’s solid 37 runs showed the dominance of KFH over the AUB bowlers. Sajid Kalam bowled well for AUB capturing 2 for 19 and skipper Mahmoud Bastaki & Abdul Rashid accounted for 2 wickets each.
Chasing 156, AUB batsmen focused on getting rid of the hostile opening attack of KFH spearheaded by Nisar & Faraz. Nisar was in good form as he removed both the AUB openers quickly. Diligent batting by Sajid Kalam who smashed a quick fire 36 runs enabled AUB to post 107 runs. Mohammed Arif, the KFH spinner bowled extremely well to capture 4 wickets for 12 runs to skittle the AUB batting line up as Nisar 2-11 & Fazal 2-15 provided the much needed back up to wrap the match in favor of KFH.Mohammed Arif was declared Player of the match for his wonderful bowling performance.
A captain’s knock of 52 runs in 26 balls by Faraaz Azizuddin made it possible for Boubyan Bank to reach its first final as they upset the applecart of National Bank of Kuwait by a 52 runs victory in the second semi-final played at Sulaibiya ground. Winning the toss and using the green topped wicket, Boubyan steadied the innings with a 43 runs second wicket partnership between Aamir & Rifkas Ibrahim.
Aamir not at his usual best survived a couple of chances but scored a valuable 32 runs while the left paw Rifkas contributed 22 runs. Sailing at 86 for 5 in the 15th over, Faraaz suddenly blossomed to perfect his technical adequacy to bat freely and stepped up the scoring rate by driving through the covers and extra-cover for boundaries and then lifting the cherry out of the ground for 3 huge sixes. Boubyan scored 146 runs in 20 overs for the loss of 6 wickets. Ronald of NBK bowled well to account for 2 wickets for 24 runs.
Chasing a decent total, NBK opener Shakhti gave them a positive start by scoring 24 runs in as many balls and as NBK seemed to be getting into the groove, Aamir the Boubyan all-rounder maintaining a straightline of attack, and exploiting the movement of the pitch bowled well to run through the NBK middle order to be the top wicket taker ( 4-24). Ronald of NBK stood firm to score 18 runs but the rest of the batsmen withered away to some good bowling by Rifkas (2-13) Mazhar (2-21) & Faraaz (2-1) and were all out for 94 runs. Faraaz deservingly fetched the Player of the match award for his batting performance.
In a well contested match which went till the last but one over, Burgan Bank dethroned last year’s finalist Gulf Bank by 7 wickets in the KBC league-2014 Plate semi-final at Sulaibiya ground. Gulf Bank, put into bat first were shattered by some hostile fast bowling of Dilip & Ashraf who gave Burgan a well deserving start. Nadeem, determined to stay at the wicket launched a late attack to score 35 runs and with Bilal, Tariq & Rafat Khan managed to take the Gulf Bank total to 100 runs. Dilip (2-16),Ashraf (3-9) & Sharma (2-8) bowled well for Burgan Bank
Chasing a modest 100 runs, Burgan opener Kunal Singh & one drop Dilip laid a solid 2nd wicket partnership of 66 runs to take Burgan to the final not before Gulf Bank gave their opponents a tough time by getting rid of their top three batsmen. Kunal Singh timed the cherry with admirable skill & a firmly struck cover boundary was a treat to watch from this young batsman. Dilip struck a useful 18 runs while Amit (12 runs ) and Anooj (15 runs) saw Burgan home in the 19th over. Old warhorse, Rafat Khan, who probably one of the senior most players in Kuwait cricketing fraternity bowled well to take 2-10 in four overs. Kunal Singh was declared Player of the match for his batting display.
A swashbuckling unbeaten 69 runs in just 33 balls by Nadeem with 4 towering sixes and 7 well struck boundaries helped Kuwait International Bank to reach the KBC league Plate final as they survived and finally prevailed over a spirited fight back by Al- Ahli Bank of Kuwait . Inspired by a stylish and quickly paced 45 runs scored by M. Ali, KIB never looked back as they posted 186 runs on board in their stipulated 20 overs. Sanal who played an anchor role scored 27 runs for KIB rotated the strike by giving more strike to Nadeem who exhibited fine technique and with nimble foot work scored runs at will. Farooq, Abhishek, Kishore & Davis captured a wicket each for ABK.
Sony and Irfan gave ABK a flying start by scoring 37 runs for the 1st wicket but once the opening partnership was dislodged, the ABK middle order batsmen could not with stand the bowling of M. Ali who took 3 quick wickets . Sony scored a brisk 17 runs to his credit while Irfan fought a lone battle with a pain staking 61 runs which had 8 handsomely struck boundaries. Abhishek, in the middle order salvaged some pride for ABK by taking the battle till the end before being caught for a valuable 22 runs. Nadeem of KIB was rightly declared Player of the match for his batting skills.