Taipei’s Pakistan Cricket Club (PCCT) won the Chinese Taipei Cricket Association’s four-team tournament in Kaoshiung yesterday after a well-fought, low-scoring final match against Taipei’s Indian Cricket Club (ICCT).
PCCT chose to bat first and started very slowly, having some trouble with the accuracy of Anant Patel (2/9) and Hitul Jogani (3/19). Openers Mujahid Muhammad (23) and Amjad Zafar (24) provided a start, but only Ninad Malwade (18) could capitalize. He watched from one end as seven wickets fell for just 21 runs.
ICCT capped of a fine display with the ball with the tenth wicket, denying PCCT a chance to score off the last over.
Though the target was just 91, the job got a lot harder as Mushtaq Ahmed (1/9) bowled Patel with the first ball. It got even more difficult as Shoaib Meer (1/27) had Vinit Shah (1) caught in the covers. It fell to captain Nirav Shah (21) and Alok Gupta (20) to put the chase on track and, when Gupta fell, Sandeep Patel (29) lifted the tempo.
Malwade (0/14) bowled with good bounce and control to see the game into the final overs with 22 runs required, but Sandeep launched Zafar over midwicket for four to leave 14 required from the last over.
Enter Joseph Praveen who, though being hit down the ground, kept his line straight enough to avoid boundaries and seal the match.
In earlier matches, PCCT beat the other two teams, first bulldozing the IndoPak side with only Syed Imran (17) contributing to the total of 44. Zafar and Muhammad got their eye in, seeing victory inside five overs.
Then the Formosa Cricket Club also struggled with the bat, posting 90 of which Danish Bhatnagar (20 and 2/14), Craig Mitchell (18) and Shiv Bhatt, with a late flurry of 17 well-hit runs, contributed most.
The defense was spirited, but Muhammad (34) was in a determined mood, playing for the most part too carefully to allow anything but a PCCT victory.
Points table: PCCT 9, ICCT 7, FCC 5, IndoPak 3.
Scorecards are available at CricHQ.com or on the Taiwan Cricket Facebook page.