Pakistan Cricket Club Taipei (PCCT) claimed the Jan Hong trophy in Chiayi City over the weekend after a tense finish against the Taiwan Stars.
No. 11 batsman Prakash Malliah, in his first innings for six months, came to the wicket with PCCT needing two runs in the last over. A wide tied the scores, Malliah played out two dot balls and then hit a boundary to seal the win.
PCCT bowler Mushtaq Ahmed took two wickets in the first over of the match, including Kashif Mansour well caught by wicketkeeper Asif Tanoli.
Imran Shah led the recovery effort, and in their 20 overs the Stars managed 137.
Man of the match Amjad Zafar and Tanoli powered the chase. Zafar hit 56, including nine fours and two sixes. Tanoli chipped in with 22 before the climax.
When Malliah is not rescuing his team from tough batting situations, he performs the role of team scorer, which is a job not many do and fewer do well.
Cricket is a sport that relies upon its numbers to generate a sense of establishment and history. The example Malliah sets by submitting his team’s efforts to www.cricHQ.com is one that needs to be emulated.
On Saturday, the Group B matches were tightly contested, with net run rate being the deciding factor. Taipei Cricket Association (TCA) were the unlucky team.
They put the Daredevils under pressure with a 12-run victory, but the southern team responded with the match of the weekend against PCCT. Mahroof Hussain (49) and Jeff Black (58) combined to add 115 for the second wicket in a total of 152, which was just too many for PCCT, despite captain Mujahid Muhammad’s 61. Hussain also picked up 3-23 with the ball.
TCA were their own worst enemies in the final match, losing wickets at regular intervals and posting only 86 in the 15-over contest. Gitanjal Deka (32) was their top scorer, but 3-7 from Ninad Malwade capped a fine bowling performance. PCCT won in 12 overs which pushed TCA’s net run rate just low enough to send them home.
Group A was a more straightforward affair. Formosa put in an underwhelming couple of performances allowing the Royals and the Stars to qualify for the semi-finals.
“A mishap due to our team and lack of understanding of each other,” Formosa player Samuel Butler said.
“All in all lots of people and cultures, a good atmosphere, a few Taiwanese playing. Great weekend even though it didn’t go our way,” he said.
At the ground was Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Development Officer and former Bangladesh Test batsman Aminul Islam, who spoke with the players. He was in Taiwan with ACC umpire educators Bomi Jamula, a former ODI umpire from India, and Liu Jingming, an umpire from China.
They conducted an umpire’s training course last week for the Chinese Taipei Cricket Association.
“We were extremely happy and satisfied with their enthusiasm about cricket though this is a new sport for them. Now they know the coaching and umpiring pathway to move forward with Taiwan cricket,” Islam, who played in his country’s first ever Test match in 2000, said.
Cricket returns to Chiayi City with a four-team, 40-over Taiwan Annual Tournament organized by the Chinese Cricket Development Association on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10.
On the same weekend, the Taipei Cricket Federation has its CKS Tournament lined up for Taipei.
Additional reporting by Amjad Zafar