The Under-17 opener for Sheikh Khalifa Pakistani School Abu Dhabi (SKBZ) wasted no time in making his presence felt in the ADIB National School League Cricket as he delivered the season’s best individual batting performance yet at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium on Saturday. Mahmood put on a masterful innings of 98 not out, reaching the lofty total in just 67 balls thanks to 10 fours and a six.
His onslaught not only comfortably cleared the previous individual high score of 74 set by Kent College’s Vriitya Sasirekha, it also helped SKBZ set the highest team total, their 230 runs edging GEMS Modern Academy’s 221.
The result was an easy victory against Al Nadha National School, who were all out for just 61 runs in their 17 overs.
“We played very well and the pitch wasn’t very hard for batting,” said Mahmood. “(Malik) Saad supported me in the crease and
he also played well.
“I’m feeling very happy about it. It was nice to hit such a high score. I’ve scored over 100 runs before, but in the NSL it was my high score.
“I’m feeling very good. I wanted to be very aggressive.”
Not only were SKBZ playing in their first game of the season, but it marked their first appearance since featuring in the tournament’s inaugural edition in 2014.
After a year off, Mahmood and Co were quick to remind everyone what they’re capable of.
Bright Riders School, meanwhile, swept their competition with both the U-14 and U-17 sides immediately looking ready to contend.
The U-14 squad’s respectable mark of 106 provided too much of a chase for Cambridge English School and the U-17 team reached Asian International Private School’s 71 in just nine overs.
More than just talent, the fast start to the season for Bright Riders was indicative of their fine form coming into the tournament.
“Our team was actually building well,” said Saharsh Patil, who led a formidable bowling attack with two wickets for two runs surrendered.
“Everyone was alright with their performance and the feel they had. Batsmen were batting well and bowlers were bowling good, so yeah we came with good confidence this time.”
At Sharjah’s Skyline University, meanwhile, Dubai sides GEMS Modern Academy and Jumeirah College secured quarter-final berths in U-14 and U-17, respectively.
Both schools sit top of the table with nine points after Modernite’s win over Our Own English High School and the Heat’s victory over English Language School Dubai.