Kashif Daud the star as Sharjah claim victory over Fujairah in Emirates D20 final

Unbeaten half-century saves Sharjah from early losses

DUBAI UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 24 DECEMBER 2020. Emirates D20 Final, Sharjah (Orange) vs Fujairah (Blue) at the Dubai International Stadium. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Amith Passela. Section: Sport.
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FINAL SCORES

Fujairah 130 for 8 in 20 overs

(Sandy Sandeep 29, Hamdan Tahir 26 no, Umair Ali 2-15)

Sharjah 131 for 8 in 19.3 overs

(Kashif Daud 51, Umair Ali 20, Rohan Mustafa 2-17, Sabir Rao 2-26)

Fujairah fell at the final hurdle to hand Sharjah victory in the inaugural Emirates D20 tournament at the Dubai International stadium on Thursday.

Sent into bat first, Fujairah were restricted to 130 for eight and after a shaky start Sharjah held their nerve to knock off the winning runs with three balls to spare for the loss of eight wickets.

Kashif Daud was their hero, smashing a match-winning 44-ball unbeaten 51 after walking to the middle when his side were 21-3 in the fifth over.

DUBAI UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 24 DECEMBER 2020. Emirates D20 Final, Sharjah (Orange) vs Fujairah (Blue) at the Dubai International Stadium. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Amith Passela. Section: Sport.

“We had an up-and-down tournament but we delivered when it mattered,” Sharjah captain Fayyaz Ahmed said.

Rohan Mustafa took two wickets in three overs while Akif Raja struck in between to leave Sharjah in a bit of trouble.

Mustafa took a skier at long-on to send back captain Fayyaz (12) and then plucked Mohammed Boota (12) at cover to leave the opposition 73 -5 in the 13th over.

“It was a pressure match even though we reached the final without losing a game,” said Mustafa, who was standing in place of captain Ahmed Raza who return to Pakistan to attend his father’s funeral.

“Nevertheless we had a very good tournament, winning 11 out of 12 games and losing the last game in the last over. Of course we missed Ahmed who was a key bowler who could come and contribute with the bat.”

The Emirates D20 tournament organised by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is a bid to revive top-flight competitions after years of decline of the division one competitions in the country.

The domestic tournaments with live television coverage of all games is a first in the UAE and Mustafa, the former UAE captain, believes it has put the sport on the right path.

“This is the first time a tournament of this scale with live television coverage is held and it can only improve from here,” he said.

“The concept of the Emirates Cricket Board is very simple. It brings together the best talent in the country and those who perform can be considered for national team selections.

“Those who don’t get the opportunities can still attend the camps and show their skill levels and talent. I believe a D50 tournament is also in the pipeline, and if it does happen, it would be a perfect pathway to develop the domestic game.”

The UAE play Ireland in four ODI’s next month and Mustafa believes the D20 tournament has provided them a solid start with some competitive matches.

“The format is different but to play some cricket in any format these days is a massive benefit for the players,” he added.

“We are still lucky because we have got to play a lot of games while most other countries don’t get to play because of the lockdown due to the pandemic situation.”

In the play-off for third spot, Ali Shan Sharafu smashed 97 not out from 58 balls for ECB Blues to defeat Dubai by five wickets with three deliveries to spare.

FINAL SCORES

Fujairah 130 for 8 in 20 overs

(Sandy Sandeep 29, Hamdan Tahir 26 no, Umair Ali 2-15)

Sharjah 131 for 8 in 19.3 overs

(Kashif Daud 51, Umair Ali 20, Rohan Mustafa 2-17, Sabir Rao 2-26)

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