Classy CSS knock down Fly Emirates in heavy weight bout

CSS proved again that their opponents will have to play out of their skins to beat them when they knocked down formidable Fly Emirates by 13 runs on Saturday in a heavy weight clash of the ongoing CSS Homeward Bound Trophy for the XVI Sharjah Ramadan Floodlit cricket tournament – A Division, conducted by the Sharjah Cricket Council.

CSS will now clash with rejuvenated Raha CC while Fly Emirates will test their mettle with rising ECB Blues in the two semifinal clashes.

One of the traits of this CSS team is that they put themselves under pressure, bring out the best from them and muster their resources collectively to press hard for the glory. Yesterday, they experienced tears and smiles aplenty on a single night before eventually cementing their credentials.

Batting first, CSS were indebted to hugely talented, Syed Maqsood, who combined power and awareness to show that he was the man for the job. His clinical and creative batting has long been recognized by all and last night he showed how well he can put an attack to cleaners.

Realizing that his team depended upon him, Maqsood (62) forswore wildness and instead took the sort of calculated risks required in this form of the game. His batting was both orthodox and inventive and he relished the conditions so much so that he went on top score while Sameer Nayak also batted with caution and care to craft a canny 35 as CSS sauntered to a challenging total of 181 for 7 wickets in 35 overs.

Javed Ismail (2 for 22) once again showed his prowess with a fine spell.

Confronted with a stiff task, as steep as that, Fly Emirates did get off to a sound start with Arshad Ali blunting the early burst of rival energy but the succeeding batsmen failed to sustain the momentum.

Arshad Ali is a rarity among batsmen with a regular appetite for big scores. He is long been a contributing member in the team and he once again bore the brunt of the batting with a polished 49 but his departure opened the floodgates for CSS, who managed to sink their teeth into the Emirates offering.

Fly Emirates hopes rose for a time but soon Aqeel Latif (4 for 25) provoked the sort of collapse that had always seemed to be around the corner in circumstances likes these.

Zeeshan also excelled and battled out a gutsy 32 but Fly Emirates were eventually worn down with CSS’ relentless pressure and suffocation. As a result this made run making a difficult proposition for the batsmen who struggled to handle the escalating asking rate that kept climbing with every passing over.

With batsmen after batsmen relinquishing their wickets in a variety of sloppy ways, Fly Emirates, despite being in the hunt for most of the match seldom threatened to break free and eventually ran out of steam to be bowled out for 168 all out in 33 overs.

CSS team deserved its victory. They have taken their cricket to a place where not many teams can give them a game, especially when they are on song.

Click Here for Brief Scorecard.

Saturday, November 15, 2003.
source : © Khaleej Times.

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