Teams vie for final spots in Challengers Cup last eight

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Motoring into the quarters: Al Tayer.

The door is closing for those sides still trying to make it through to the business end of the SNTTAMakemytrip Challengers Cup at the ICC Academy at Dubai Sports City.

Just two quarter-final places remain up for grabs in both the Bronze and Silver sections of the tournament, while Danube has established a vice-like grip at the top of the Gold section.

In the Bronze section, Team Legendary, 3M, Emax Electronics, Al Tayer Motors, Dubai Building and Farnek Mannschaft are all through to the last eight, while seven sides still harbour hopes of joining them, although only two can advance.

Pharmatrade is a strong contender for a last eight spot from Pool E, but their fate hangs on the outcome of the game between Omnicom Media Group and Sinnara Gold.

In Pool H, it is still all to play for between Carfare Group, Europcar Team, NAMSHI and Mediclinic Welcare 1, but only one of these sides can progress.

Six of the quarter-finalists in the Silver section have also been decided. In Pool A, Dulsco and DNA Health will both go forward, although the upcoming meeting between them will determine which side tops the pool.

In Pool B, Oxford Marine and Radio 4 are through to the last eight, and in Pool C AEN CC and the Fitness Firsters can start preparing for the knock-out stage.

In Pool D, matters are still to be determined with Transmed, Bafco, One Dream and Jumbo Electronics all still in with a realistic chance of progressing.

In the Gold section, Danube, the winner of four indoor titles at the ICC Academy in 2013, rule the roost with three wins from three so far.

Danube’s position is significant as the side that tops the group goes straight through to the Gold section Grand Final.

The matches are eight-a-side, played over the shortest format of the game of just eight overs an innings. Teams bat in pairs, with each pair spending two overs in the middle, with five runs deducted every time a wicket falls.

The Cup involves three sections – Gold, Silver and Bronze – featuring 100 matches played by 54 teams over 41 days through to mid-May.

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UAE crush Oman to qualify for ACC Championship

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The UAE ended the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Premier League in impressive fashion as they crushed Oman by 57 runs to secure their third consecutive victory of the tournament and claim second in the table behind Afghanistan.

Having suffered defeats to Nepal and Afghanistan in their first two fixtures, the side led by Khurram Khan have responded superbly well and once again had their bowlers to thank for the victory over minnows Oman.

After being sent in to bat by Oman, Amjad Ali continued to look in supreme form as he raced to 20 before edging a Munis Ansari delivery behind to wicketkeeper Sultan Ahmed.

Captain Khan would then arrive at the crease but would immediately be heading back to the pavilion after he was clean bowled by Ansari first ball. 

Swapnil Patil would fall for just nine runs and the UAE looked in trouble at 55-3, before Mohammad Shahzad would steady the innings as he hit a superb half-century before being run out.

Youngster Krishnachandran Karate grinded out 25 from 61 deliveries, while Salman Faris added 22 but there was little else as the UAE eventually succumbed for just 162 from 38.4 overs.

In response Oman looked as though they would have a chance of a surprise victory as they reached 75-4 in the 22nd over.

However, a collapse from the middle and lower order saw Ahmed’s side lose their final six wickets for just 30 runs as Kamran Shazad (3-27), Fayyaz Ahmed (3-14) and Mohammed Naveed (2-20) excelled with the ball in hand.

Vaibhav Wategaonkar was the only batsmen to put up serious resistance as he made 34 from 64 balls, but once Ahmed claimed his wicket then Oman were always struggling.

Victory for the UAE means that they end the tournament in Malaysia with three wins and two losses from their five games, and they have qualified to take part in the ACC Championship that runs from 7-14 December.

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Tendulkar given honorary lifetime membership at Els Club Dubai

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Legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s growing love for golf was recognized  in the UAE when he was given honorary life membership of The Els Club at Dubai Sports City.

Tendulkar received his membership from Dubai Sports City Partner Abdulrahman Falaknaz during his recent stay in the UAE, where he was with IPL team Mumbai Indians as their mentor.

Not only did Tendulkar play nine holes at the course, he also took a lesson with Justin Parsons, Director of Instruction, Butch Harmon School of Golf (BHSG). 

Falaknaz said: “Sachin has given so much to the world of sport, both through his performances and also the way he has conducted himself. 

“Therefore, it was fitting for us to have given him something while expressing our thanks and recognition for all that he has achieved.”

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