The Taipei Cricket Association (TCA) topped Taiwan Cricket’s Annual Tournament in Chiayi City yesterday after proving their bowling was not their only asset.
In the decisive match, TCA beat Taipei’s Pakistan Cricket Club (PCCT) with a dedicated and powerful batting performance backed up by enthusiastic fielding.
Batting first, Apoorav Srivastava and Jonty Rakesh held out the probing lines of Shoaib Meer and Shezhad Khan.
They played out a maiden first up as Srivastava found Meer unplayable, but he soon settled into his work, hitting Khan through the covers for four.
After six overs, fielding restrictions came off and the score was 27 for no loss. With the fielders able to retreat, captain Mujahid Muhammad brought on his change bowlers, which prompted Srivastava to up the pace. He slammed consecutive boundaries and Rakesh got in on the act as well with a six.
Though Rakesh was shortly after run out for 16, Gitanjal Deka continued the onslaught with a liking for the long-on boundary as he cleared it four times on his way to 37.
When he was clean bowled by a full delivery, the run rate was very healthy. With 40 from Srivastava and 22 not out from Jayesh Parmar the target swelled to 162.
The PCCT chase started well, with Muhammad hammering a pull shot for six and Khan flicking fours, but in the fifth over Krishna Reddy changed the game by inducing an edge from Khan that resulted in a sharp catch to Mohit Sharma at gully.
Better was to come as Deka got a slower ball to cut back appreciably and bowl Muhammad.
Deka’s bowling was expensive, 45 came off his four overs, but the only wicket he claimed probably won the match.
However, the chase was far from over as Amjad Zafar and Rehan Naeem reacted to the change bowlers as TCA had done before them. Amjad was severe on anything full, driving to long-off, while Naeem picked up 47.
The match turned for the last time with three overs to go when TCA’s captain ran out Naeem’s runner, who was looking for a quick single. The 16 runs needed off the last two overs proved too much for the tail-enders.
In the earlier matches, the Daredevils turned around their poor showing on Saturday with wins over Formosa Cricket Club (Duane Christie 64 not out, Hercules Malan 3-23) and the Badshaws, while PCCT thrashed Formosa (Zafar 42, Meer 42, Muhammad 71 not out).
TCA lost their final match against the Badshaws (Touseef Ashraf 42 not out, Muhammad Tanveer 4-15), but their earlier performances had already sealed the trophy.
Final Standings: TCA 10 points, PCCT 10, Daredevils 8, Badshaws 8, FCC 4.
(TCA won the tournament on the head-to-head rule.)