Wed, Nov 13, 2013 - Page 20 News List

PCCT triumph as longer format tests cricket teams

By Daylin Paul  /  Contributing reporter, with staff writer

PCCT’s Shezhad Khan, left, holds the trophy for best player of the final of the Taiwan Annual Cricket Tournament in Chiayi City on Sunday.

Photo: courtesy of Mary Mullan-Christie

The Taiwan Annual Cricket Tournament held in Chiayi City on Saturday and Sunday introduced a longer format of the game to local teams.

Taipei’s Pakistan Cricket Club (PCCT), Taiwan Stars, Formosa Cricket Club and Taiwan Daredevils took part in a 40-over tournament which presented unique opportunities and challenges for the teams, who are used to 20-over matches.

“Before the tournament, we were wondering: ‘Can our team bowl for 40 overs?’ So, our strategy was not to worry about bowling the other team out, but instead we focused on lasting until the end of 40 overs and that strategy really paid off for us. We loved playing the 40-over game,” PCCT captain Mujahid Mohammed said.

PCCT were rewarded for their patience as they were crowned champions, beating Formosa in Sunday’s final.

Shezhad Khan and Rehan Naeem shared an 186-run partnership for the third wicket. Khan hit 106 not out from 92 deliveries, while Naeem was bowled by Formosa captain Ric McGrail for 68.

PCCT’s 293-run total led to a 177-run victory.

McGrail was magnanimous in defeat.

“Unfortunately, cricket can be a cruel mistress, one day she’s kind, the next day she’s mean. However, we were happy to play in this 40-over format,” McGrail said.

Formosa played well in their opening game on Saturday, before being outgunned by PCCT in the final.

As well as Khan, three other players scored centuries as the longer innings allowed them to settle and choose their shots more carefully, instead of going for the risky, big hits which are synonymous with the 20-over game.

Rigert van Eeden was one of the players to make a century when leading Formosa to victory over the Daredevils to put them into the final.

The extra overs also forced captains to think differently when it came to field placings and the calling of power plays.

Daredevils skipper Duane Christie enjoyed the change.

“It’s great to be playing 40-over cricket. This allows for a higher standard of cricket as is evident by the four centuries that were scored this weekend,” Christie said.

Christie was one of two Daredevils players to score a ton as he contributed an innings of 135 not out.

Daredevils opener Mahroof Hussain also scored 120 in the same match to help his side to victory in the third-place playoff against the Stars on Sunday.

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