Phoenix Medicine and Abu Dhabi Gymkhana meet in Bukhatir League final

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Phoenix Medicine and Abu Dhabi Gymkhana posted convincing victories to enter the final of the 39th Bukhatir League ‘A’ Division Tournament organised by the Sharjah Cricket Council.

While Phoenix Medicine thrashed Alubond Tigers by five wickets, Abu Dhabi Gymkhana humbled Danube Lions by 92 runs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

In the first semifinal, Phoenix Medicine were spearheaded by brilliant half centuries from Haroon Ahmed and Mohammad Qasim to successfully chase down an imposing 271-run target.

Ahmed scored 81 from 94 deliveries consisting of 11 boundaries and a six while Qasim ensured he remained till the end hitting 87 not out from 96 balls that included nine hits to the fence.

Earlier, opting to bat first, Alubonds Tigers also made a fine start with openers Abdul Shakoor and Safdar Naize scoring 63 for the first wicket.

Shakoor kept scoring at a steady pace but was unlucky to miss out on a century when he succumbed for 97 coming off 117 balls. His knock was studded with 10 fours and one six.

In the other semifinal, Abu Dhabi Gymkhana put their experience into full use to secure an easy win.

Batting first, Abu Dhabi Gymkhana got off to a strong start with openers Arfan Haider (17) and Saqib Shah (59) sharing 89 runs for first wicket.

Three quick wickets suddenly seemed to threaten Abu Dhabi Gymkhana’s run flow but Ghulam Farid and Asim Khursheed controlled the proceedings to ensure Abu Dhabi Gymkhana achieved a healthy 221 in 49.2 overs.

While Farid scored 42 from 68 deliveries consisting of two boundaries and a six, Khursheed hit 55 facing 89 balls with the help of two fours and a six.

For Danube Lions, Zahoor Khan and Naved Haider bagged four wickets each.

In reply, Danube Lions were jolted early with an exceptional bowling from pacer Adeel Raja.

Raja accounted for three wickets to remove the top order as Danube Lions were left tottering at 15 for three.

The setback was too much for Danube Lions to digest as the other batsmen succumbed under pressure with only Syed Maqsood (30) and Naved Haider (25) offering some resistance before they were bundled out for only 129 in 37.3 overs.

The final will be played on March 1.

Brief scores:

Phoenix Medicine bt Alubond Tigers by 5 wickets: Alubond Tigers 270 for 6 in 50 overs (Abdul Shakoor 97, Safdar Naize 21, Ariz Kamal 28, Hasan Raza 44, Mohammad Arif 44;  Mohsin ANwer 2-38). Phoenix Medicine  271 for 5 in 47.5 overs (Adil Mirza 20, Fahad Ansari 23, Haroon Ahmed 81, Mohammad Qasim 87 not out,  Saqlain Haider 19; Mohammad Azam 2-43).  Man of the Match: Mohammad Qasim. Umpires: Itikhar Ali and B M Abdullah.

Abu Dhabi Gymkhana bt Danube Lions by 92 runs:  Abu Dhabi Gymkhana 221 all out in 49.2 overs (Arfan Haider 17, Saqib Shah 59, Ghulam Farid 42, Asim Khursheed 55; Zahoor Khan 4-45, Naved Haider 4-26). Danube Lions 129 all out in 37.3 overs (Syed Maqsood 30, Naved Haider 25, Ajmal Shaikh 16 not out; Adeel Raja 3-30, Arfan Haider 2-27, Zeeshan Safir 2-13). Man of the match: Asim Khursheed. Umpires: Arshad Ansari and Naveed Ismail.

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