Rohan Mustafa of Alubond Tigers plays a shot on Sunday.
Sharjah - The winners take on Danube Lions for the top prize on Thursday
United Bank Limited stormed into the final of the 42nd Bukhatir League 50-over cricket tournament after taming Alubond Tigers by four wickets in the semifinal played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday night.
The winners take on Danube Lions for the top prize on Thursday.
Winning the toss, Alubond Tigers amassed 269 for 9 from their allotted 50 overs only for UBL to chase it down with four balls to spare for the loss of six wickets.
Openers Shahid Sadique and Rohan Mustafa gave the Tigers a rock-solid start scoring 98 runs in 19 overs. Shahid's sedate knock of 42 from 64 balls (1x6, 6x4) came to an end but Rohan and Hassan Raza joined hands for another useful partnership of 60 runs for the second wicket.
Both batsmen were going great guns after scoring their half centuries. Mustafa clobbered two sixes and eight fours during his knock of 73 from 82 balls, while Raza struck six fours during his 60 from 90 balls. But their dismissals, one after the other, triggered a collapse and put the Tigers on the back foot.
Thanks to Sultan Ahmed who threw his bat around to come up with a fiery 45 off just 24 deliveries, peppered with three boundaries and as many sixes, it ensured Alubond had a good total. For UBL, Mujahid Amin scalped three wickets to earn the man of the match award while Umar Farooq and Rizwan Sadiq claimed two each.
It might have looked a stiff target but UBL chased it down after openers Syed Maqsood and Amjad Ali laid the foundation.
with a 95-run partnership.
Maqsood slammed 45 (44b, 5x4, 2x6) and Amjad Ali 49 (47b, 7x4, 2x6).
Mohammad Boota further consolidated the innings with a 45-ball 50 with the help of two boundaries and four sixes.
Bilal Azmat (32, 53b, 5x4) and Mohammad Shakir (23, 35, 1x4) held the innings firm as UBL were sailing smoothly towards the target.
But it needed a brilliant 42 not out off 45 deliveries from Saqlain Haider to finish off the formalities as UBL reached 272 for six in 49.2 overs.
Barry Bremner, general manager of Zayed Sports City, during a media roundtable. — Photo by Nezar Balout