Bright Riders triumph in Abu Dhabi School League
The champion Bright Riders School celebrate after the presentation ceremony along with Sudhir Shetty, David East, Qazi Ayub, tournament director, and Shahnawaz Hakim, operations manager of Abu Dhabi Cricket Council. - Supplied photo
Bright Riders clinched their first cricket silverware in only their second season in the Abu Dhabi School League (ADSL).
They were crowned the UAE Xchange U-12 ADSL champions after a clinical demolition of Abu Dhabi Indian School (ADIS) by eight wickets with more than two overs to spare at the Zayed Cricket Stadium. Nikhil Menon played the anchor role, scoring 51 not out off 42 balls, and he featured in two key partnerships in chasing down 126 for nine put up by ADIS.
He shared a 66-run stand for the second wicket with Soorya Sathish (19) and a 48-run stand with Krishna Pathak for the third wicket.
Bright Riders lost Nimalan Babu (6) in the third over at 12 off Faraas Nadeem but his opening partner Nikhil joined by Soorya Sathish (19) shared a 66-run stand for the second wicket before Aniket Duggal provided ADIS the second breakthrough.
But that was the only success the ADIS had as Nikhil and Krishna Pathak, who smashed 36 not out off 27, took them home with a 48-run partnership.
Earlier, ADIS were struggling at 50 for six in the 13th over before Snehal Shetty (36), Aniket Duggal (22 not out) and Ariyan Raguvanshi (16) chipped in with useful contributions to take their total to some respectability and set a score of 126.
Sudhir Shetty, president of UAE Exchange Centre and sponsor of the ADSL from its inception in 2008/2009, said Dr BR Shetty, the former president of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council and chairman of both the schools would be the happiest person. "He has been a passionate supporter of cricket for the past 27 years, particularly schools cricket, and I am sure, for him, it would be like a dream come true to see these two schools play in a final," he said.
"As a sponsor I thank all those schools that took part in all four age groups in the ADSL and our support for school cricket will continue."
David East, chief executive of both Emirates Cricket Board and Abu Dhabi Cricket Club, said it was a privilege for kids as young as 10 and 11 to play the final at a Test venue.
"I look back when I started playing cricket at this age back home in England, and I was playing on school grounds and municipality grounds, and I couldn't have even dreamt playing a final on a Test ground," said the former Essex wicketkeeper-batsman.
"I was lucky later in my years I played in many Test grounds in England and throughout the world. But at 11 years of age, I would have never got this experience. And part of this experience is because the support of our sponsor's making it possible."