Arab Unity down GEMS to lift CSS Homeward Bound Inter-School title
Iritza Ali continued his rich form with the bat and ball during the league phase into the final of the CSS Homeward Bound Inter-School Cricket Championship with another all-round display to guide Arab Unity to a 36-run win over GEMS Modern Academy at the Fair Grounds of the Dubai Men’s College.
The tournament, which was organised by Dubai Cricket Council (DCC) and supported by Smart Bag, Petrotek, MyCricket.ae and AreaSqft.com, concluded on Sunday after a long gap as the players were tied up with examinations.
Despite the break Irtiza showed no signs of rustiness as he blasted a half century and later took three wickets to bag the man of the match award.
Opener Huzaifa Nadeem departed early scoring only six runs after his captain Ranul Perera won the toss and elected to bat but Irtiza and Ramal Perera steadied the innings with a 46-run partnership for the second wicket.
After Ramal made his way back to the pavilion scoring 17 from 34 balls, Ranul joined Irtiza and together they stitched another 46-run partnership but at a quicker pace with Ranul slamming 30 runs from 38 balls before losing his wicket.
Meanwhile Irtiza, at the other end, continued to play freely, getting to his half century with six hits to the boundary.
He received support from Salah Shakeel (17) and Arsalan Sharif (18) before some tight bowling from the GEMS lads restricted Arab Unity to 159 for 6 from their 30 overs.
It was not a stiff target to chase down but the occasion of playing in the final might have got to the GEMS players as they just seemed to have thrown in the towel from the word go.
Their top five batsmen were back in the pavilion without getting to double figures. Ammar Fayyaz did the early damage for Arab Unity bagging two wickets.
The match looked like a foregone conclusion at this stage but Aditya Mysore showed if one stayed rooted at the crease there were runs for the taking.
The No. 8 batsman plundered 54 runs from 62 balls with seven boundaries and with some support from Sushain Thapar (19) gave his school a glimmer of hope.
But Thapar’s wicket at a crucial juncture left Aditya battling a lost cause as the tail failed to wag and in a bid to accelerate Aditya too got out which ended GEMS’ hopes and gave Arab Unity the title.
Arab Unity School beat Gems Modern Academy by 36 runs: Arab Unity 159 for 6 in 30 overs (Irtiza Ali 52, Ranul Perera 30, Arsalan Sharif 18, Ramal Perera 17, Salah Shakeel 17; Varun Ravi 1-11, Ashwin Narayanan 1-29, Aditya Mysore 1-32, Sushain Thapar 1-48) Gems 123 all out in 27.1 overs (Aditya Mysore 54, Sushain Thapar 19; Irtiza Ali 3-12, Ammar Fayyaz 2-13, Salah Shakeel 1-23, Ramal Perera 1-17). Man of the match: Irtiza Ali of Arab Unity.
Best batsman: Keith Pinto 248 runs (Indian High School).
Best bowler: Sushain Thapar 14 wickets (Gems Modern Academy)
Best all-rounder: Salah Shakeel 120 runs and 16 wickets (Arab Unity School)
Man of the final: Irtiza Ali 52 runs in 50 balls and 6-2-12-3 (Arab Unity School).
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