Dunes-Kannur Veerans emerged champions of the inaugural Kerala Premier League (KPL) Dubai tournament when they beat Wayanad Highlanders by five wickets in a low-scoring final at ICC Global Cricket Academy ground on Friday.
KPL Dubai sponsored by Santhosh Kumar, Chairman of Capital group of companies, and conducted by the Dubai Cricket Council offered a total of Dh155,000 in prizemoney making it the richest tournament.
Veerans spearheaded by a fine all-round performance from man of the final Arfan Haider walked away with the winners' prize money of Dh60,000.
Wayanad electing to bat first on a bouncy track were shot out for a meagre 88 in 19.3 overs despite the presence of former Sri Lanka international Dilhara Lokuhettige.
UAE star Saqib Ali top scored with 29 as Veerans easily chased down the target with ten balls to spare.
Wayanad got off to a disastrous start as Amjad Ali offered a return catch to veteran left arm spinner CTK Mashood having swept him to the fence earlier.
Raziq Khan and Lokuhettige then added 30 runs. But Raziq (11 with two boundaries) perished attempting to hoist Mashood for Krishna to pouch a superb catch at deep mid-wicket.
Lokuhettige tried his best to stem the rot but after making 19 he mistimed a drive off compatriot Manjula Guruge and skied it for Arshad Ali to take a well judged catch. He hit three fours and a six in his knock.
Waynad were then rocked as they lost Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammed Nabi who tried to cut a well pitched delivery from Arshad Ali and managed only a faint edge which was gleefully accepted by wicket-keeper Prashanth Braggs who has had a good tournament behind the sticks.
Two run-outs followed as Azam was dismissed by a good throw from skipper Mashood and Arun Alex was beaten by a good throw from Saqib Ali.
The tail did not wag as Arshad Ali and Manjula picked up a wicket each to polish off Waynad.
Chasing a small target, Kannur lost opener Arshad Ali with just 4 runs on the board trapped plumb in front.
Arfan Haider and Amjad Javed then played sedate cricket to put on 30 runs for the second wicket.
Haider’s patient knock came to an end as he was bowled by left arm spinner Mohammed Azam for a well made 20 with two boundaries.
Amjad Javed also departed soon as he was smartly run-out by Raziq Khan to have Kannur in some difficulty with three down for 36.
Saqib Ali partnered by Krishna Chandra played doggedly at first as Azam and Nabi bowled a tight line.
Krishna broke the shackles with a six over long-on and was then lucky to edge one from Nabi through the vacant slips area to make 10 runs in an over.
In the next over he then chanced his arm against Nasir Aziz but was smartly taken by Lokuhettige at long on for a vital 17 with the total on 58.
Prashanth Braggs joined Saqib as the pair then played with responsibility to edge past the target.
Haider was voted the man of the match for his 20 runs and one wicket for 11 runs.
Post match awards were presented by the Chairman of Capital group of Companies Santhosh Kumar, Kerala MLA Jose Thettayil, Malayalee film star Suresh Gopi, Indian cricketer S. Sreeshanth, KPL Director-Paul Joseph, DCC Honorary Secretary Mohamed Lokhandwala, KPL Directors CTK Nasir, Roy George, Anand Kumar Thomas Philip and Sanu Mathew who presented a long list of awards, mementos and trophies and total cash awards.
Dunes Cuisine - Kannur Veerans beat Trotters - Wayanad Highlanders by 5 wickets
Trotters Wayanad Highlanders 88 all out in 19.3 overs (Raziq Khan 11, Dilhara Lokuhettige 19, Muhammad Azam 14, Mashood CTK 2 for 19, Manjula Guruge 2-12, Arshad Ali 2-17, Arfan Haider 1-11)
Dunes Cuisine - Kannur Veerans 90 for 5 in 18.2 overs (Arfan Haider 20, Saqib Ali 29, Krishna Chandran 17, Dilhara Lokuhettige 1-10, Muhammad Azam 1-12)
Man of the Match : Arfan Haider of Dunes Cuisine - Kannur Veerans
Umpire : Bahadur Ali Khan and Akbar Ali.
Best Bowler from Kerala - Dh1000 - Mohammed Shanil of Wedlock Mallapuram
Best Batsman from Kerala - Dh1000 - Aneesh Mallayakkal of Wedlock
Best All-rounder from Kerala - Dh2000 - Mohammed Shanil of Wedlock
Most Promising Youngster U-22 - Dh2000 - Mohammed Rameez of Yogi Thrissur
Most Entertaining Player - Dh3000 - Shaiman Butt of Yogi
Maximum sixes in a match - Dh1000 – Faizan Asif of Yogi Thrissur
Maximum Sixes in the tournament - Dh1000 – Shaimab Butt of Yogi Thrissur
Catch of the tournament - Dh1000 – Divyendu Shekhar of Trotters-Waynad
Best Fielder - Dh3000 – Wasim Bari of Springs Trivndrum
Best Wicketkeeper - Dh3000 – Prashanth Braggs of Dunes Kannur
Best Batsman - Dh3000 – Dilhara Lokuhettige of Waynad
Best Bowler - Dh3000 – Shanil Mohammed of Wedlock
Best All-rounder - Dh3000 – Arshad Ali of Kannur
Man of the final - Dh3000 – Arfan Haider of Kannur
Fourth place team – YOGI Thrissur - Dh10,000
Third place team - CSS Alleppey - Dh10,000
Runner-up team – T. Waynad Dh30,000