UAE Nationals win Gulf Cup cricket thriller

UAE Nationals CC captain Alawi Albraik receiving the Gulf Cup from Kanak G. Khimji, President Oman Cricket Board, and Waleed Bukhatir, member UAE Emirates Cricket Board. (SUPPLIED)

UAE Nationals cricket team showed great strength of character to defeat an equally-determined Oman Nationals side in the final to win the Gulf Cup, organised by the Sharjah Cricket Council, at the Sharjah stadium on Sunday night.

The final, which had all the ingredients of a thriller, ended in a tie after both teams scored an identical 138 in the allotted 20 overs, forcing the issue into Super Overs to decide the winners.
The drama continued with both teams scoring 19 each in the first eliminator over, but the home team held on to their nerves to settle the score in the second eliminator over, smashing 15 runs against just seven by the Oman Nationals.
UAE Nationals, who lost to Oman in a league match, were determined to change the script when it mattered most.
Batting first, they fell short of their intended target, but their bowlers rose to the occasion, preventing the Omani team that vital one run they needed to overhaul the UAE team’s score.
Fahad Al Hashmi, who was later named man of the final and the best batsman of the tournament, scored a fine 36 off 30 balls with one four and two sixes while Marwan Khamis (27 off 25 balls with three fours), Mohammed Tauqir (18 off 12 balls with two fours and one six) and Salman Farooq (16 off 17 balls) made useful contributions to give their bowlers a decent score to defend.
Mohammed Ishaq Khalid Moosa and Mohammed Rafiq bowled well for the Omani side, taking two wickets each.
Oman Nationals, in reply, had their chances, but they failed provide the finishing touch despite a brilliant effort by Yousuf Rahim, who remained not out on 51 off 34 balls which included four fours and three sixes. Sharif Fainook (28 off 20 balls) and Mohammed Rafiq (10 off 11 balls) were the other main scorers.
For UAE Nationals, Salman Farooq and Fahad Al Hashimi snared three wickets each to suffocate Oman Nationals’ hopes of achieving what, at one stage, looked a reachable target.
The Oman team, however, had some consolation when Khalid Moosa was adjudged Player of the Tournament for his all-round performance (239 runs and seven wickets) during the tournament.
Brief scores:
UAE Nationals CC beat Oman Nationals CC by seven runs in super over: UAE Nationals 138 for 8 (Fahad Al Hashmi 36, Marwan Khamis 27, Mohammed Tauqir 18, Salman Farooq 16; Mohammed Ishaq 2-14, Khalid Moosa 2-23, Mohammed Rafiq 2-28) Oman Nationals 138 all out in 20 overs (Yousuf Rahim 51 not out, Sharif Fainook 28, Mohammed Rafiq 10; Salman Farooq 3-14, Fahad Al Hashmi 3-17).
First eliminator Over: Oman Nationals 19 runs. UAE Nationals 19 runs.
Second eliminator Over: UAE Nationals 15 runs, Oman Nationals seven runs.
Umpires: Fidel Jaary and Iftikhar Ali.
Individual Tournament Prizes:
Man of the Final: Fahad Al Hashimi (UAE Nationals CC)
Best Batsman: Fahad Al Hashmi (UAE Nationals) – 188 runs
Best Bowler: Salman Farooq (UAE Nationals) – nine wickets
Player of the Tournament: Khalid Moosa (Oman Nationals) – 239 runs and seven wickets. 
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