Sri Lanka, Pakistan stars to light up Al Aqili Ramadan Cup final

UBL to take on mighty Alubond side with first-class international players sprinkled in both sides for the summit clash.
The powerful Eurocon side will feature the Sri Lanka international, Mahela Udawatte, above, as one of the key players.
The powerful Eurocon side will feature the Sri Lanka international, Mahela Udawatte, above, as one of the key players.

ABU DHABI // Eurocon Alubond will aim to win a second title in a week when they play United Bank Limited (UBL) tonight in the final of the Al Aqili Ramadan Cup at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

In attempt to add to the Danube Ramadan Cup they won recently, Eurocon will field a powerful side, that includes two Sri Lankan internationals, Mahela Udawatte and Dilhara Lokuhettige, and Azeem Ghumman, the Pakistan opener at the Under 19 World Cup in New Zealand in 2009.

Ghumman, who captained the Pakistan A team on their tour of Sri Lanka in January last year, will be joined by compatriot Ali Mudassar, the 22-year-old paceman who plays for Karachi, as the team's fourth overseas player.

Boasting such a formidable team, it is little surprise Eurocon are favourites for a hat-trick of trophies, as they are also in the quarter-finals of the Interface Ramadan Cup at the ICC Global Academy in Dubai.

Udawatte, the 25-year-old opener, is using the Abu Dhabi tournament as preparation for next month's Twenty20 Champions League where he will represent Sri Lanka's Ruhuna Rhinos.

He smashed 65 from 47 balls to lead Rhinos to victory over Wayamba in the Inter-Provincial T20 final last month and has transferred his form to the UAE, hitting 43 not out off 31 deliveries in the semi-final win over William Hare Abu Dhabi Gymkhana. "It is better to play competitive matches that spend time in the nets," Udawatte said.

"Some of the teams, particularly those who reach the knockout phase, are strong teams with most of their players having played top class cricket in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the UAE.

"For me, it is an excellent opportunity to play against some pretty good teams and to play outside Sri Lanka. And also a fine opportunity for my preparation for the Champions League".

Udawatte has played in nine one-day international's and five T20s for Sri Lanka, but has been overlooked since the tour of Zimbabwe in 2008.

"Obviously I want to get back in the Sri Lanka team," Udawatte said. "That has always been my objective."

UBL also have six first-class cricketers from Lahore, Pakistan, and four UAE internationals in their side. They beat Yogi Group, one of the tournament favourites, in the quarter-finals and followed that up with victory over Ibsons in the semi-final.

"Everyone in the team has chipped in with either bat or ball, or in fielding. To play as a team has been our biggest strength," Qazi Ayub, the UBL captain, said.

Follow The National Sport on @SprtNationalUAE

Published: August 25, 2011 04:00 AM


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