UAE player Rohan Mustafa produced a superb all-round performance to help Calicut Paragon Calicut win the opening match of the inaugural Kerala Cricket League (KCL) at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday night.
Calicut Challengers defeated Ever Live Idukki Icons by five wickets with Mustafa grabbing two wickets and then hit an unbeaten 46 as the KCL organised by Willows Cricket Club got off to a glittering start.
The opening ceremony had all the ingredients that included several cultural programmes which were graced by Sheikh Faisal bin Humaid bin Mohamed Al Qassimi and officials from the Sharjah Cricket Council. But it was a huge king-sized cake which was cut prior to the start of the match, that drew huge attraction at the venue.
Put in to bat, Idukki Icons made a competitive 161 but were all out with an over to spare.
Opener Shahzad Farooq gave a good start to score 22 from as many balls. But two quick wickets looked to derail the progress before Saqlain Haider took stock of the situation scoring a blistering 80 from just 46 runs consisting of 14 boundaries.
Ashraf chipped in with a handy 20 down the order but Zahid Shah and Sailesh K bagged three wickets each and Mustafa took two.
In reply, Hafeez Kaleem blasted two sixes and three boundaries to give a blazing start to Calicut Challengers but Adnan M struck twice in quick succession to shift the momentum.
Mustafa and Shajil B shared a 40-run stand for the third wicket as things began to ease for Calicut Challengers.
Man of the match Mustafa hit two fours and a six during his unbeaten knock 46 from 36 while Shajil hit 25 from 21 deliveries including two sixes and one boundary.
Aneesh K hit a quickfire 19 while Bijay Raj scored 13 to ensure Calicut Challengers got past the target in the 19th over.
Adnan scalped three wickets from his four overs.
Calicut Challengers beat Idukki Icons by five wickets: Idukki Icons 161 all out in 18.4 overs (Shahzad Farooq 22, Saqlain Haider 80, Ashraj 20; Zahid Shah 3-27, Sailesh K 3-22, Rohan Mustafa 2-35). Calicut Challengers 165 for 5 in 18.1 overs (Hafeez Kaleem 29, Rohan Mustafa 46, Shajil B 25, Aneesh K 19; Adnan M 3 for 26). Man of the Match: Rohan Mustafa. Umpires: Ifthikar Ali and B M Abdullah.