Wombats Dubai Super League 2016 – 17
14th October 2016
Billed to be a ‘Clash of the Titans’ contest in the pre-match toss report, it did not quite live up to expectations. Despite a first over mauling by the Titans opening batsmen, Manal Siddiqui being particularly vicious to Wombats Blacks opening bowler, Aashir Hasnain. He smashed 2 fours and a six over square leg in the opening over. The Titans had made their intentions clear.
On the other end, 17 year old left arm spinner, Abdul Murad made his intentions clear as well, ‘I dare you to hit me’, must have been his sentiment as he sent down 5 straight overs of extremely tight overs and conceding just 18 runs. Going for only 3.6 runs an over is a tall achievement in this format of cricket, especially when only two fielders are outside the circle. He was unlucky, however, not to pick up a wicket. The first wicket fell in Aashir’s 4th over, although the bowler had been assaulted by the Titans opening pair, he kept charging in. He bowled a peach of a delivery on the off stump that swung only a fraction away, clipping the outside edge and ricocheting towards first slip, yet rather miraculously, Omar Hayat, the wicket keeper diving to his right clipped what must be deemed as one of the best catches of his career. What followed was absolute jubilation on the pitch whilst Omar made his own lap of honour in celebration, partially forgetting that this a cricket match and not a marathon. Nonetheless, his ecstatic teammates chased him and caught up. In all this ecstasy, there was despair and possibly disbelief for Siddiqui, arguably the Titans most destructive batsman was back in the hut to an unbelievable catch. Wombats drew first blood as the Titans were handed their first mortal wound.
The game continued at a remarkably different trajectory, the run rate progressing at a grindingly slow pace as the bowlers took charge on a slow pitch and the fielders backing them up. Tauseef and Tashfen bowled a neat 2 over spell to put the locks on. Then arrived the spin twins, Adeel and the youthful Salah Shakeel. With their mystery and guile they continued to make the batsmen work hard for every run. They bowled intelligently and Salah claimed two wickets. Sheraz made a composed run a ball 64 before being dismissed to a great catch my Krishna at the boundary.
Wombats Blacks only had to chase 154 to win. Another clinical batting performance saw them home. Mohammad Ali scoring a measured 35 whist Hasnain Raza made a notable 72 off 55 balls to secure the win. Aashir Hasnain came in to boost the bonus point chances by smashing a lusty 26 off a mere 12 balls. Wombats Blacks chasing the score down and winning by 7 wickets, and securing the bonus point, thereby, slaying the Titans.
Wombats Blacks continue their impressive start, 3 wins out of 3… how many more one wonders!