Pakistan Cricket Club of Taiwan (PCCT) beat Taiwan Cricket Association (TCA) to win the Northern Taiwan Cricket League title on Sunday. It was their second victory of the tournament over TCA, having also beaten Formosa Cricket Club in group play and Indian Cricket Club (ICC) in last week’s semi-final.
After losing the toss and being asked to field, PCCT bowled well enough to contain the TCA batsmen, but their fielding let through a few more runs than they would have liked. Moin Syed (2-28) and Shezhad Khan (1-18) snaffled the TCA openers, but a substantial partnership from Girish Hiranandani (34) and Gitanjal Deka (31) was helped along when PCCT captain and man of the match, Mujahid Muhammad, dropped Hirandani in the ninth over.
Deka edged the last ball of Mubashir Sheikh’s four overs (1-19) to be caught behind and Hiranandani was finally bowled. It was a brave innings after the wicketkeeper/batsman had been struck on the helmet early in his innings. The pair shared three big sixes, the best being Deka’s shot smashed back over the bowler’s head. Their departure cost TCA momentum and they finished with 119/6 from their alloted 20 overs.
With only six an over required, TCA needed to take wickets to win. They got an early breakthrough when Krishna Reddy (1-22) bowled Rehan Raheem, but Muhammad led a charmed life at the other end. He was dropped at slip early on, survived a strong leg-before-wicket appeal and several good deliveries had him in some discomfort. However, he also played some powerful pull shots, depositing a couple of short deliveries over the square leg boundaries for six and also playing strongly through the covers and point. He was ably supported by Khan (30) until the latter was stumped charging at the off-spin of TCA captain Manoj Kriplani.
By that stage, the game was practically out of reach for TCA although they finally picked up Muhammad’s wicket so it was left to Amjad Zafar and Uptal Patel to hit the winning runs with seven wickets and 19 deliveries to spare.
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