Dunes Kannur Veerans champs

Favourites Dunes Kannur Veerans clinched the inaugural Capital Kerala Premier League title, defeating Trotters Wayanad Highlanders by five wickets in the final at the ICC Global Cricket Academy ground on Friday night.



By Adur Pradeep

Published: Sat 25 Feb 2012, 11:25 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:42 AM

Kannur took home a handsome trophy and the Dh60,000 prize money, while Wayanad bagged Dh30,000.

Strategy plays a crucial role in Twenty20 cricket and Kannur were quite prepared in devising a good plan to restrict the Trotters batsmen. Having lost the toss on a good batting wicket, Kannur struck through their captain CTK Masood in the first over itself, sending back opener Amjad Ali for six by taking a good running catch.

“I knew the wicket would help spinners and that was why I opened the bowling. Besides we have seen Wayanad openers scoring well in the semi-final against CSS Alleppey fast bowlers. So I thought we had a good chance to restrict them with our spinners in the two-paced wicket,” Masood told Khaleej Times.

He went on to bag one more wicket to finish with figures of 2-19 in his four overs.

Wayanad couldn’t quite recover from that early blow and kept losing wickets as they were dismissed for 88 in 19.3 overs. The Trotters pinned a lot of hopes on the batting of Sri Lankan international Dilhara Lokuhettige, who has been in good form throughout the tournament. But his dismissal for 19 by pacer Manjula shifted the balance entirely in Kannur’s favour. Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammed Nabi too fell cheaply as wicket-keeper Prashanth Braggs took a fine catch off the bowling of Arshad Ali, who took two wickets for 17. Manjula was quite impressive as he operate and a tight line and length while bagging two for 12 from 3.2 overs. Irfan Haider, who later scored 20 runs, operated a tidy spell, taking one for 11 in his four overs.

The final total of 88 indeed looked an easy one to achieve, but Wayanad fought really well and an addition of another 20 runs could have changed their fortunes.

Trotters gave a real scare to Kannur by bagging the wicket of UAE player Arshad Ali for a duck and went on to take two more quick wickets to put Dunes in a spot of bother at 36 for three. However the calm presence of UAE’s star batsman Saqib Ali and Krishna Chandra’s aggressive instincts guided the team to safety. Krishna smashed two fours and one six in his 14 ball 17, but fell to Nasir Aziz when the score was 58. One or two wickets there could have posed problems but Prashanth added eight runs before falling to Dilhara. But Saqib’s composed innings guided the team to victory with 10 balls remaining. Saqib remained not out on 29 off 35 balls, including three hits to the fence.

The Kannur team, owned by M C Jaleel of Dunes Cuisine, told Khaleej Times: “We had firm faith in our balanced team. Our decision to pick top UAE players helped us in winning the tournament.”

The award function was attended by Kerala ex-minister and MLA Jose Thettayil, film star Suresh Gopi, Indian cricketer S Sreeshanth, DCC honorary secretary Mohamed Lokhandwala, CMC group managing director J R Santhosh Kumar and KPL directors Paul Joseph, Anand Kumar, CTK Nasir, Roy George, Thomas Philip and Sanu Mathew.

pradeep@khaleejtimes.com


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