SHARJAH // Javed Ismail turned in a superb performance to guide Gyan Steel to a fine three-wicket victory over United Arab Bank in the 23rd Sharjah Ramadan Tournament for the Interface Transworld Cup at the Sharjah Stadium on Saturday night. The all-rounder first took two wickets for just nine runs and then smashed 45 off 38 balls to help his side seal the victory in 22.4 overs. The 25-overs-a-side tournament is organised by the Sharjah Cricket Council (SCC).
United Arab Bank, electing to bat first after winning the toss, could only muster a modest 119 before being all out in the last over. Tahseen Zaidi (27 off 33 balls) and Sohail Ahmed (24 off 34 balls) were the only two batsmen who offered any worthwhile resistance to a disciplined Gyan Steel attack. Mustafa did most of the damage, taking four wickets for 32 runs while Ismail and Mubasher Ali kept up the pressure on the United Arab Bank batsmen by picking up two wickets each.
Gyan Steel, in reply, lost some early wickets, but Ismail and Mubashir Ali stuck to their task effectively to ensure a winning start for their side. Mubasher Ali followed his two-wicket haul with a solid 32 off 55 balls. Tauqir Abbas took three wickets for 17 runs for the bank side, but Gyan Steel were always in control. Meanwhile, Fayyaz Ahmed and Kashif combined effectively to steer Ibsons Group to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Al Futtain Panatech in the opening match of the second Al Dhaid Ramadan Twenty 20 tournament at the Al Dhaid Cricket Village. The tournament, also organised by the SCC, is for the Conmix Cup.
Fayyaz produced a tidy all-round performance while Kashif struck an entertaining half-century as Ibsons CC overhauled Al Futtaim Panatech's score of 137 for seven in just 14.4 overs. Fayyaz played a key role in restricting Al Futtaim Panatech to a modest score by picking up three wickets for 23 runs and then chipping in with a fine 29 runs off 20 balls with four fours and one six to earn the man-of-the-match award. Kashif, on the other hand, led the Ibsons Group's run chase in style, scoring a 50 off 31 balls, including six fours and two sixes.
Earlier, Al Futtaim Panatech, batting first after winning the toss, built their innings around Harhirt Panwar, who made 55 off 40 balls with eight fours and one six. Abbas (29 off 19 balls) was the other major scorer, but all the other batsmen struggled to string together innings in the face of a nagging Ibsons attack. Ibsons, in reply, dominated the proceedings and cantered home, even though Shahid picked up a couple of wickets for 16 runs.