All Stars gone Black

All Stars gone Black

Wombats Dubai Super League 2016 – 17.
12th November 2016.

Wombats Blacks Squared up against the All Stars on Saturday. Immediately as the coin hit the floor at the toss and before the umpire could announce that The Blacks had won the toss, Captain, Tauseef Qadri did not hesitate to make his decision clear, “Bat first” he exalted with a gleeful smile. The All Stars Captain, the formidable Akif Hamid had similar intentions to bat first on a sublime pitch that could only be described as… a road!

As expected, Muhammad Ali and Rehan Ali came out and gave The Blacks a promising start. They were asserting the presence in typical style, with some powerful boundary shots and sharp singles. Rehan bullying the bowling around with particular ease with 5 fours. Rehan is a sight for sore eyes when he is in this kind of aggressive form! However, the inform Muhammad Ali, played a loose slog sweep off the bowling of A Raza that he didn’t quite get a hold of, to haul out to midwicket to a fancy catch… by TF Fancy! Rehan Ali followed a few overs later to an attempted pull shot that didn’t rise high enough, the ball clipping his stumps. Hasnain, as now Wombats has been accustomed to see got off the mark with a nonchalant push to the extra cover boundary. So effortless was this shot that even the scorer gasped in awe. Hasnain has to be the most stylish batsman displaying his remarkable talents in Aqua Properties DSL. By the time Tauseef Qadri joined him at the crease, it was time to build an innings after a reasonable start, the Blacks cruising at this stage at 8 runs an over.

The pair eased themselves in knocking the ball around and picking up singles and doubles at ease. As the two built strong foundations, by the time the 15th over arrived, they were ready to launch an attack. An audacious attack it was. Tauseef skipped down the wicket to bludgeon the biggest six of the match off the bowling of AK Khan, the ball landing far over the long on boundary after a flirt with the stratosphere. The next ball was promptly dispatched straight over the bowlers head for a one bounce four, the ball after that was creamed through the covers with an expansive coverdrive, the batsman holding his pose admiring that shot. Hasnain at the other end, started to maneuver the field and cracked a few boundaries of his own, a loft over cover was particularly sweet. The brutal onslaught continued. The last over required Tauseef to score 12 runs for a century. Although the frenzied Wombats Blacks players at the boundary screamed their lungs out to inform Tauseef, he might as well have had cotton plastered deep inside his ears, for that matter, Hasnain struggled to put away a couple of average balls, 2 dot balls and a single. Tauseef dispatched the 4th ball for a six, 6 more needed! The next ball they ran 2, needing 4 on the last ball of the innings, Tauseef could only sneak a single in… 97 not out off 61 balls. At the other end, Hasnain notched up another classy 75 off 50 balls. 234 for 2, not bad, not bad at all.

All Stars had a task at hand to chase down a monster score. The were not helped when Aashir ripped through the opener, A Raza’s defences with a fine delivery that swung back in to the left hander. He was dismissed for 3. Two balls later, Waheed was also bowled by Aashir, this time for naught. It is hard to face Aashir when he is in this kind of an aggressive mood. Simply too good for the batsmen. By the time Akif, the formidable monster of a batsman came out to join Haq, All Stars were staring down a monumental task or a monumental loss…

Akif was out to a loose shot to Tashfen who bowled with discipline and guile in ample measure, hauling out to mid on to a shot he tried to replicate the over before where he whacked Aashir for four, it didn’t work for him a second time. The spinners came in and as is so often the case, they are a force to reckon with, putting on the breaks and pecking away at the batsmen. Haq made a valiant 47 before he had to retire hurt, he is a stylish batsman and DSL would love to see him play more, lets hope he recovers from his injury soon. The spinner quartet of Salah Shakeel, Adeel Safvi, Adnan Qaisar and debutant Kaylan all picked a wicket a piece, keeping it tight. It was attritional cricket. Although the batsmen held fort, the spinners didn’t quite press home the advantage until late in the innings, the slow blocking of the All Stars to atleast try to go not out meant that everything on the field was lethargic… I could watch paint dry with more interest. Alas, the wickets all tumbled, 135 all out, Wombats Blacks enjoyed another emphatic win. Next match please.