Saud Arif was the unlikely hero as he led the MCC-Zayed Cricket Academy to their second win in the Arabian Cricket Festival Under 13 tournament in Sussex, England, with a triumph over Jersey. Walking in as the last batsman, Arif had to survive two deliveries from Will Harris, the medium-pace bowler, or score two runs to win the match. And the diminutive wicketkeeper held his nerve to loft the first ball he faced over the ring of fielders for a one-wicket win at the Hursterpierpoint College grounds on Tuesday.
The Abu Dhabi academy scored at a brisk pace but lost wickets regularly as Jersey shone with the ball. They were 87 for six, when Muhammed Nasif (28) and Gurusimarjit Singh (eight) revived their hopes with a 33-run stand, but three wickets fell after the partnership ended, and it was left for Arif to complete a memorable win. Bilal Passela (25) and Sriram Balaguru (16), had steadied the inning with a 38-run stand for the third wicket.
Earlier, Balagurutook three for 21 to restrict Jersey to 131 for nine with his off-spin bowling. Meanwhile, Sharjah Cricket Academy's Under 14 team - on their tour of England - had a half-century from Dhruva Praveen to thank as they scored 157 for eight to beat Spencer Club by one run. * With agencies