Dubai and Sharjah book places in Emirates Cricket’s inaugural ‘UAE Cricket Leagues’ Men’s T20 Final

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Dubai CC and Sharjah CC have booked their places in Saturday night’s Emirates Cricket’s Inaugural ‘UAE Cricket Leagues’ Men’s T20 series final, following solid wins over Ajman CC and Abu Dhabi CC (respectively).

Ajman won the toss and elected to bat in Friday’s first match. Ajman never seemed to find their rhythm and despite a strong partnership by Waseem Rana and Faizan Asif, which added 66-runs (off 44-balls) to the scoreboard, they had to settle for 148-runs (for loss of 9 wickets) at the end of their innings.

Dubai openers Waqas Raja and Chirag Suri replied by smashing the Ajman bowlers around the park, recording a decent partnership of 87-runs (off 66-balls).

After the opening duo walked, Adnan Ijaz and Mohammad Qasim added another 44-runs aiding the side to comfortably pass the required number to win, carding 150-runs for loss of 2-wickets (18-overs).

In the second match of the day, both Abu Dhabi and Sharjah had their sights firmly set on a final’s berth.

After winning the toss and deciding to bat, Sharjah’s run rate was kept well under control by a quality Abu Dhabi side. Sharjah soon found themselves at 64-runs for loss of 5-wickets toward the end of the 11th over.

A quick-fire partnership between Shaiman Anwar and Syed Ubadah, of 45-runs from 21-balls, laid the foundation for their middle and lower middle order to amass 117-runs in the remaining overs, finishing with 179-runs (loss of 7 wickets).

DXB Ajman

Chasing a winning target of 180-runs, Abu Dhabi were subjected to a clinical performance by Sharjah’s bowlers, claiming wickets at regular intervals leading to the collapse of Abu Dhabi.

Despite a strong 31-runs (off 17-balls) which included 3-fours and 2-sixes by opener Fayyaz Ahmed, and a quick surge by Ashok Kumar, who added 38-runs (off 25-balls with 4 sixes), Sharjah restricted Abu Dhabi to 157-runs (for loss of 9-wickets) to comfortably securing their place in the Inaugural UAE Leagues T20 finals.

Tonight’s final between Dubai CC and Sharjah CC is expected to provide a scintillating display of cricket, and starts at 7pm at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Entry to watch the final is free.

Bringing together the four Councils of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai and Sharjah, the Men’s T20 series is the third series in the Inaugural UAE Cricket Leagues.

The Leagues will be played in the highly-popular formats of T20 and 50-over formats in boys, women’s and men’s categories, and will be played through a 28 match-schedule across the UAE.

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Surrey sign Dean Elgar as Mitchell Marsh replacement

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Surrey have signed South Africa’s Test opener Dean Elgar as an overseas replacement for the injured Mitchell Marsh in April and May.

Australia all-rounder Marsh is ruled out for at least the start of the county campaign due to an ankle injury that requires surgery.

Elgar will therefore join Surrey ahead of their County Championship opener against Hampshire next Friday.

The batsman, who has amassed 3,194 runs with 11 centuries at an average of 42.58 in 49 Tests for the Proteas, will be absent for the four-day clash against Worcestershire next month due to a prearranged commitment.

But the 30-year-old will be in contention for Surrey’s three other fixtures in the championship and five in the One-Day Cup before the start of June.

Elgar, who had a stint at Surrey three years ago, said on the county’s official website: “I am really grateful for the opportunity to be back at Surrey for the start of the summer.

“I hope to contribute for the period I am at the club, on and off the field, and I’m looking forward to seeing all involved at the great club again.”

Director of cricket Alec Stewart added: “Given the news that Mitch Marsh will need ankle surgery, to be able to bring someone of Dean’s calibre to the club, at such short notice, for the first period of the season is a real bonus.

“We know Dean well after his time with us in 2015 and his international quality and experience will be a real asset.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Matt Renshaw replaces ball-tamperer Cameron Bancroft once again - this time for Somerset

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Matt Renshaw (l) after being dismissed against South Africa.

Somerset have signed Australia opener Matt Renshaw as a replacement for his international team-mate Cameron Bancroft.

The county announced at the end of last month that Bancroft would not be joining as an overseas player following his role in the ball-tampering scandal during Australia’s Test series in South Africa.

Renshaw replaced Bancroft for the final Test at Johannesburg and he has now agreed a deal to start the Specsavers County Championship campaign with Somerset.

The 22-year-old is in contention to face Worcestershire in Somerset’s opener next week and will remain with the county until June 30 before returning on August 19 to see out the season at Taunton.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to play alongside some very experienced players and the exciting young talent that is coming through at Taunton,” said Yorkshire-born Renshaw.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the club and I understand that I will be following in the footsteps of some outstanding Australian batsmen.

“It will be a new challenge for me but it’s one that I’m really looking forward to.”

The Queensland batsman has played 11 Tests for Australia, averaging 33.47 with a highest score of 184 against Pakistan.

An emotional Cameron Bancroft (l) asked for forgiveness about his part in ball-tampering scandal.

An emotional Cameron Bancroft (l) asked for forgiveness about his part in ball-tampering scandal.

Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry said: “It has been important for us to act swiftly, but to remain pragmatic in identifying the best fit for our needs and I am delighted that we have signed Matt.

“Coming to us off the back of a title-winning Sheffield Shield season and having made a number of significant contributions with the bat, including three hundreds in the last five games, he will be arriving with us with a huge amount of confidence.

“He is a player who is highly driven to succeed and has demonstrated the ability to bat for long periods of time, but he also has the ability to move through the gears.

“He is a player of quality, is on an upward trajectory and we feel that he will certainly flourish in our environment.”

Provided by PA Sport

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