Emirates rout ECB on road to final

Fly Emirates underlined their class and supremacy when they unleashed a performance that was generally professional and proficient, which ended ECB Blues’ dream run in the second semifinal played on Thursday in the ongoing CSS Homeward Bound Trophy for the XVI Sharjah Ramadan Floodlit cricket tournament – A Division, conducted by the Sharjah Cricket Council. They will now meet hosts, CSS in the final on Friday.

This defeat may have ended ECB Blues’ dream run, in which they surprised quite a few top dogs en-route to their semifinal clash but bowing after reaching so far only suggests the giant strides the team has made towards being reckoned as a feisty foe in the cricket league of the big boys.

They young team has showed its capabilities in no uncertain terms. If the commitment the boys have shown in this tournament is a pointer to their gigantic progress as a unit, then no team fronting up to them will have any respite.

Electing to bat first after getting lucky with the toss, ECB Blues were stung with early reverses when they slumped to a disastrous 21 for 2 and further troubles ensued when they fell in to a deep hole at 28 for 4, which literally took the heart out of the batting.

Under immense pressure against an inspired opponent and attack, ECB Blues found the going tough and made slow progress through Atif Ali (19), Naeemuddin (14) and Mohammed Nadeem (16), who all tried hard to put back the innings back on the rails but the damage was done in full by then.

The loss of wickets at regular intervals hampered ECB Blues’ progress, who looked out of touch and struggled to string a substantial total against the face of a disciplined attack, ending at a paltry 112 for 9 wickets in 35 overs.

Paceman Javed Ismail bowled a fine fiery opening salvo while Saby Fernandes (2 for 28) too bowled efficiently.

Set to chase this minimal requirement, Fly Emirates were jolted early on when they lost a couple of quick wickets but man of the match Arshad Ali (37 off 44 balls) batted with assurance and organization to initiate the true chase.

However, ECB Blues fought their way back in to the match when off spinner, Mohd Tauqeer (2 for 31) struck twice in quick succession, and Ali Asad (2 for 26) returned to dismiss Zeeshan (14) that suddenly brought the game alive.

Yet ECB Blues’ domination of the airmen proved short-lived as seasoned campaigners, Khurram Khan (11 not out) and Ismail (18 not out) coolly negotiated the tricky situation to the maneuver the team home in 27.2 overs.

Click Here for Brief Scorecard.

Saturday, November 22, 2003.
source : © UAEcricket.com.

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