CP Rizwan makes point with T20 blitz in Sharjah Ramadan Cup final

UAE batter takes Inter Globe Marine to title against outgoing champions Future Mattress

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CP Rizwan fired a reminder of his ability with a dominant batting display to secure the 33rd Sharjah Ramadan Cup for Inter Globe Marine on Tuesday night.

The final, against defending champions Future Mattress, involved an array of players from the UAE national team.

Intriguingly, it pitted together a number of the players who are competing for places in the middle order of the senior representative side.

Alishan Sharafu and Mohammed Usman had the first chances to impress after Future Mattress were invited to bat first.

Sharafu, who captained UAE at the Under 19 World Cup in the West Indies earlier this year, made 32 from 19 balls.

Usman, who is the highest-ranked UAE batter in one-day international cricket yet has been sidelined of late, played a sparkling cameo in the late overs worth 25 from 14 balls. That included sixes which went over the stands and out of the stadium on either side of the ground.

The target they set of 183 from 20 overs was not enough, though, thanks to a pair of batters who have suffered tricky times while on international duty of late.

Asif Khan earned a first call up to the national team in March. Although he made 81 not out in an ODI win over Papua New Guinea, he subsequently found himself out of the team. But he got IGM’s chase in the cup final off to a flying start with an innings of 59.

Rizwan himself endured a lean run in the back-to-back Cricket World Cup League 2 series played in UAE last month.

The national team won five of their eight matches, but Rizwan had a tough time. He managed a best of 40 from seven innings, was spoken to by the match referee for showing disappointment at an umpire’s decision, and attracted criticism for his slow scoring rate.

His effort in the Ramadan Cup final belied that assessment, though. The Keralite batter hit four sixes and five fours in a 40-ball stay worth 70 not out. It gave his side an eight-wicket win with nine balls to spare.

Updated: April 20, 2022, 6:57 AM