Balaguru's efforts go in vain for MCC-Zayed Cricket Academy

Dorset beat the Zayed Academy by 12 runs n the Arabian Cricket Festival Under 13 tournament at the Sussex Academy grounds in Blackstone.

SUSSEX, ENGLAND // Sriram Balaguru's effort with the bat went in vain as the MCC-Zayed Cricket Academy suffered their first defeat in three games in the south of England. They were defeated by Dorset by 12 runs in the Arabian Cricket Festival Under 13 tournament at the Sussex Academy grounds in Blackstone yesterday. Chasing 198 for eight set by Dorset, the Zayed Academy were left teetering at 51 for five when Balaguru, who made a top score of 66, joined by Anson Quadros raised their hopes with a superb 75-run partnership. Quadros's inning ended when he was bowled by Nico Macdonagh after a well struck 30 with four fours, but it Balaguru's run following a mix-up with Syed Mehdi, which turned the game around in Dorset's favour.

Mehdi hit an almost run-a-ball 30 not out and added 33 for the eighth wicket with Hisham Sheriff (7), yet it was not enough at the end. Balaguru, who has scores of 46, 16, and 66 in the three matches, hit five fours and a six. Bilal Passela struck half-a-dozen fours in a breezy 29 but the rest of the top order batting failed to fire again. William Caldwell (43) and Will Hendy (66) gave Dorset a solid start with an opening wicket stand of 110. Mohammed Riyan, the diminutive opening bowler, took two for 27 from seven overs. Both, the Zayed Academy and Dorset, are now on two wins and a defeat in the six team league headed by Surrey, who are unbeaten in three games.

Surrey won by two wickets against the national team of Holland, and Jersey overcame Guernsey by six wickets in the other matches. Scores in brief: Dorset 198 for 8 in 40 overs (William Caldwell 43, William Hendy 66, George Wilson 15, Nico Macdonagh 22, Mohammed Riyan 2-27). Zayed Cricket Academy 186 for 8 in 40 overs (Bilal Passela 29, Sriram Balaguru 66, Anson Quadros 30, Syed Mehdi 30 not out, Dominic Clutterbuck 4-31). Man of the Match Will Hendy.