NEWS

Zayed Academy crowned champions of inaugural Academies tournament

Published on May 6, 2017

Zayed Cricket Academy were crowned the champions of the inaugural UAE National Academies tournament.

Meeting G-Force for the second time after defeating them in the league phase of the competition, they reproduced that form to win the final at the Ocean Fair Oval at the Dubai Investment Park on Saturday. Electing to bat first, Zayed Academy posted 178 for nine before skittling out G-Force for 120 to emerge winners by 58 runs in the 30 over-a-side format.

Jonathan Figy and Osama Hassan were the batting backbone of Zayed Academy. They both fell short of their half centuries, but laid the foundation while the others around them chipped in with brief but useful contributions to put up a challenging total on the board. The visitors got off to a shaky start, losing two early wickets, before Figy and Hassan steadied the inning with an 80-run stand for the third wicket.

Anwar Khan was needlessly run out in the very first ball he faced after Figy had carted 11 off the first five deliveries he faced in the first over. Fazal Shahid (6) fell at 27.

Figy stroked a 51-ball 48, highlighted by four fours and a six over deep square leg, and Hassan hit three fours and two hits that went sailing over the deep mid-wicket fence for a 43 off 44 balls. However, they both fell in successive overs. Figy departed at 107 in the 18th over and Hassan at 109 eight balls later. The captain Abhishek Prakash (16 off 25) held the inning together while the others around him went after the bowling to add some quick runs in a bid to push the total.

G-Force in reply got off to a flyer with Hrithik Bhatia smashing 23 off 13 balls, but the introduction Karthik Meiyappan, the leading wicket taker in the tournament, did the trick. The leg spinner came in to bowl in the third over to get rid of Bhatia and then Krishna Lakhani s run out one run later from a throw-in by Figy from backward point.

G-Force still maintained a healthy run rate of six until the 10th over but kept losing wickets at regular intervals as the Zayed Academy spinners took control of the game. Meiyappan and Khalid Mahmood took two wickets apiece while Safeerullah, Umair Ashgar and Anwar grabbed a wicket each.

The competition conducted by the Emirates Cricket Board played over eight months drew 12 elite academies from around the UAE. The top four teams at the end of the group round reached the semi-finals.

Scores in brief:

Zayed Cricket Academy 178 for 9 in 30 overs (Jonathan Figy 48, Osama Hassan 43, Sushain Thapar 2-23, Krishna Lakhani 2-24) bt G-Force 120 all out in 26.2 overs (Sushain Thapar 32, Karan Kapur 29, Hrithik Bhatia 23, Khalid Mahmood 2-14, Karthik Meiyappan 2-15).

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