Lions wobble at the sight of NMC

Riding on a superb all round performance by Saqib Ali, title aspirants NMC proved their class when they dished out a thoroughly professional performance to open their campaign with a convincing 63-run victory over an out of sorts Lanka Lions in the ongoing CSS Homeward Bound Trophy for the XVI Sharjah Ramadan Floodlit cricket tournament – A Division, conducted by the Sharjah Cricket Council.

The event is co-sponsored by Khaleej Times, AJ Sports International and Rainbow Steak House.

Electing to take first strike, NMC did not get to the best of starts when they lost Satish Shinde (8) early on but versatile, Saqib Ali came to the rescue and in an accomplished stroke play pulled the team out of the mire.

After a cautious start, Saqib Ali grew in stature as the innings progressed and orchestrated notable partnerships with Tahir Javed (28), Yogesh Mistry (22) and Chamara Zoysa (19)

Man of the match Saqib, denied the bowlers any foothold and looked all but composed to compile a quality unbeaten knock of 72 to aid NMC in posting a healthy looking total of 175 for 5 in the allotted 35 overs.

Veteran pace man, Tuan Ahmath bowled his heart out in the slog overs to claim 4 wickets for 42 runs.

Chasing a stiff victory target of 176, Lanka Lions looked out of sorts against a fine bowling attack and ripped apart their own wounds when they lost Manik De Silva at the score of 27.

However, Sudarsha Perera (20) and Basheer Bongso (25) put their heads down and played sensibly to take the score to 64 but sadly for them Saqib once again intervened. After tormenting the Lanka Lions bowlers, Saqib (2 for 11) returned to haunt their batters as he accounted for Perera and Jehan in quick succession to virtually wrestle the initiative into NMC’s favor.

Lanka Lions wilted as the innings went along as they failed to respond to the requirements of the challenge and even a late flourish by Roshantha Pieris (19 not out) only delayed the inevitable.

Left arm spinner Kaif Ghaury undermined their progress when he dented the middle order with a fine spell of 3 wickets for 8 runs in his allotted 7 overs.

Once NMC put the Lions down on the mat, they didn’t let them up and they possessed the penetration to restrict the opposition to 112 for 9 in 35 overs.

Click Here for Brief Scorecard.

Sunday, November 02, 2003.
source : © UAEcricket.com.

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