Taiwan Southerners Cricket Club (TSCC) had a fairly tense victory over the Pakistan Badshahs in the final of the Taichung City Cup on Sunday.
The tournament, originally to be held in Taichung, was hastily rescheduled to the Yang Ming Baseball Stadium in Kaohsiung because of stadium booking problems.
The rescheduling meant the five-team competition was reduced to three teams after the Formosa and Pakistan cricket clubs pulled out because of problems traveling to the new venue.
After persistent morning rain the final got under way at around 2:15pm under cloudy, gray skies. The Southerners set the Badshahs a formidable total of 159 for five from their 18 overs after skipper Duane Christie won the toss.
Mike Maslin made 56 not out, Jarred Painter 42 and Andrew Carrick hit a quick-fire 18. The Southerners recovered well after losing Captain Christie early to a tight run-out decision.
In reply, the Badshahs got off to a terrible start, losing opener Majhid for a duck off the bowling of Painter.
More trouble was to follow when Painter produced a jaffer to get rid of star batsman Kashif Syed, leg before wicket for 19.
After 12 overs, Badshahs were just 75 for six and all looked lost, even though a large contingent of Pakistanis had come along to support the hosts.
Opening batsman Sabir was still there and he was the Badshahs last hope as he went into overdrive smashing TSCC bowlers to all parts of the ground. Sabir finally fell for 72 and with him their hopes as they finished on 150 for 8 off their 18 overs.
Good bowling performances from speedster Mike Maslin (2 for 22 off four overs) and Jarred Painter (2 for 25 off four overs) won the game for TSCC.
Game 1: TSCC 116 for 4 in 15 overs: Badshahs 119 for 6 in 14 .5 overs.
Game 2: TSCC 127 for 8 in 15 overs: Tainan swingers 24 all out.
Game 3: Tainan Swingers 87 for 8 in 15 overs: Badshahs 82 all out.
Semi-final: Badshahs 106 for 3 in 10 overs: Tainan Swingers 72 for 7 in 10 overs.
Final: TSCC 159 for 5 in 18 overs: Badshahs 150 for 8 in 18 overs.
Earlier, the group stages had produced some tight finishes with all teams having a win and a loss, with the TSCC finishing on top on run rate, automatically putting them in Sunday afternoon’s final.
The semi-final between Tainan Swingers and the Badshahs was reduced to a 10-over affair after rain halted proceedings on Sunday morning.
The Tainan Swingers had celebrated a surprise victory against the Badshahs the day before by beating them by 5 runs in one of two close matches on Saturday.
But the Badshahs batted first and scored 106 for three in 10 overs, too much for the Swingers who only managed 72 for seven in reply.
The highlight of Saturday’s play saw Swingers bowler Raj pick up a hat-trick against TSCC.