Bengal Tigers and Kerala Kings will kick off the inaugural T10 Cricket League next month after the fixtures were announced by organisers on Saturday.
The new competition takes place at Sharjah Cricket Stadium from December 14 to 17 with Bengal Tigers, led by Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed taking on a Kerala Kings side that features Eoin Morgan in the opening fixture.
On the same day, Maratha Arabians, which features Virender Sehwag and top-pick Mohammad Amir, meet Pakhtoons.
The following day, four matches will take place starting from 16:00. Punjab Legends, which will see the likes of Carlos Braithwaite and Hasan Ali in action, make their debut against Bengal Tigers, followed by Maratha Arabians’ fixture against Team Sri Lanka at 18:00.
Punjab Legends will again be back on the field when they take on Kerala Kings at 20:00 with Pakthoons clash against Team Sri Lanka at 22:00.
The remaining two days will see the tournament reach the play-off and knockout stage with the semi-final and final scheduled for December 17.
Organisers also confirmed each bowler will only be allowed to bowl a maximum of two overs with teams awarded two points for a win, and one for a draw. If the match ends in a tie, the game will be determined by super over.
18:00, Opening Ceremony
Bengal Tigers v Kerala Kings
Maratha Arabians v Pakhtoons
16:00, Bengal Tigers v Punjabi Legends
18:00, Maratha Arabians v Team Sri Lanka
20:00, Punjab Legends v Kerala Kings
22:00, Pakhtoons v Team Sri Lanka
17:30 – Semi-finals and final
Suri scored 58 runs off 105 deliveries in the hosts’ 77-run victory over Zimbabwe ‘A’ side on Thursday at Dubai’s ICC Academy. He was one of three batsmen to cross the 50-mark with new boy Ashfaq Ahmed and wicket-keeper Ghulam Shabbir hitting an identical figure of 65.
But neither of the trio was given the man of the match award with the accolade going to medium pacer Zahoor Khan after his 5-45 saw Zimbabwe all out for 206 in their chase of 283-5.
For Suri, his wait to score a fifty was finally over on his eighth attempt since being recalled to the national team in July. His previous highest score was 41 against Namibia in the four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup in September but is happy to get that first half-century off his back.
“Obviously, it’s a good feeling,” said Suri, who failed to reach double figures in his two matches in the series. “I’ve been batting really well in practice matches but in a couple of the games for the UAE, I was not able to get a start. I was getting out early and being unlucky. I spoke to the coaches and they said just put that behind me.
“I would’ve liked to have scored a hundred but played another shot but that’s cricket and something I’ll have to learn from. Definitely very happy to get my first half-century for UAE.”
Suri could have another opportunity to make it two consecutive fifties or even a maiden international century with the UAE chasing a 5-0 series whitewash in Saturday’s final game of the series.
“Yeah, definitely (there will be more runs to come),” said Suri, who was bought by Gujarat Lions in the IPL auction earlier this year.
“Once you start scoring runs, you get into that mode of scoring runs. I didn’t think I was playing my best cricket yesterday but I did on the wicket and survived. This is a good lesson for me as well. I was really patient in my innings and if I’m patient in all the games I play, hopefully can get some big runs in the bag.”
It was all smiles for Suncity Gladiators as they were crowned champions of the United Premier League after a thrilling victory over Athena Warriors.
At InSportz Club Dubai, Suncity won the toss and elected to bat, showing their trademark cool composure that saw them win three matches in the knockout phase.
All eight of their batsmen played risk-free cricket with captain Sachin Talwar leading from the front to post a daunting total of 99 in their 16 overs.
For Athena Warriors, their chase got off on the wrong foot as their first pair started with just 11 runs.
Their second pair bounced back with 30 runs but regular wickets thereafter derailed their chase as they ended up 22 runs short.
The competition was presented by Danube, and their managing director Anis Sajan said: “I was happy to be associated as the title sponsor for UPL as this was one tournament which gave chance from “ A” division to “G” division to rub shoulders against each other and gain experience.”
He added: “The passion shown by all the players of the 10 teams was the highlight of the UPL tournament.”