Courageous Challengers v Defenders of Peace – Match 10 Result

The Challengers stepped up to issue their challenge to the so far impressive Defenders of Peace in the simultaneous KCL fixture taking place at Cheam CC. Having won the toss, Tahir Kang’s side thought the best way to go would be to bat first and put a score on the board to defend.

Looking to make the most of their opportunity, the Challangers failed to take the initiative as their top 4 were soon back in the dug out having lost 4 wickets by the end of the powerplay, with the score at 40-4. This was largely down to the excellent new ball work of Hamza Iqbal, Fareed and Hadi as the pacers Hamza and Hadi both took 2 wickets each, banking on the good work by Fareed who built pressure with economical overs. Naghman again tried to power his side out of the predicament with captain Tahir trying to hold one end, but this too proved to be unsuccessful as Naghman’s wicket in the 8th over with the score at 57-5. Tahir found a partner to stand with him in the form of Shahid Cheema, as the pair gradually pushed the score with a 38 run partnership for the 6th wicket.

The fall of Tahir in the 14th over spelt a lot of trouble for the Challangers who were once again in danger of getting bowled out for a cheap score, but late innings cameos by Ehsan ul Haye (20 off 9) and Rizwan Baloch (15 off 5) enabled the Challengers to muster up a score of some sorts with the final total at 145-7. Not the best effort having won the toss and electing to bat, and this was largely down to excellent bowling efforts of Hamza (4-27) and Hadi (3-32). With runs on the board, Tahir had to get the best out of his bowlers to avoid a second defeat on the trott.

In response, whilst Hadi stood firm at one end, the wickets kept tumbling at the other, as Azmat, Hafiz Zafar and Safeer couldn’t add much to the total. Hadi’s brilliant knock of 57 (38 balls) included six maximums and was doing most of the damage with the score at 73-3 by the end of the 8th over. Seemingly, the Defenders were cruising to victory, however Nasar’s removal of Hadi in the 10th over threw a spanner in the chase with the score at 84-4. The chase was still in check with Irfan Ahmed watchful in ensuring the runs were being scored, but his wicket on the stroke of the 14th over turned out to be pivotal; as this enabled Ehsan ul Haye and Tahir to deliver 3 crucially economical overs that only cost 9 runs (including a maiden 15th over by Ehsan).

With unnecessary pressure built upon themselves, it was still the Defender’s game to lose requiring 19 off 18 balls. Fazl-e-Omar’s wicket of Daniyal Latif in the 18th over now made things a lot more trickier for the Defenders. Captain Haseeb wasn’t going to let these 2 points go to waste and showed some positive intent early on with Hamza at the crease with him. A good 19th over by Rizwan gave Fazli 7 runs to defend for the final over, still you would believe that the Defenders should chase this? Bringing all of his experience and class to the fore, Fazli first removed the dangerous Hamza on the first ball of the final over, which then left Fareed and Haseeb to get the job done. Hardly giving any opportunity to free their arms, Haseeb and Fareed could only muster singles and the odd double, and requiring 3 to win on the final ball, Fazli held his nerve and only allowed 2 runs to be scored with Haseeb on strike. This meant that the match was tied with both teams getting a point each.

The Challengers had got out of jail there having tied the match with the Defenders cruising to victory at one point. Haseeb and the Defenders would be kicking themselves having not ensured a victory that was well within their grasp. None the less, an excellent game of cricket which enabled the Challengers to open their account on the league table with a point, and the Defenders still remaining un beaten so far in the tournament.