Not only are they through to their second consecutive semi-final but also claimed the bragging rights over their rivals DPS Falcons following their thrilling seven-wicket triumph at The Sevens, Dubai.
History between the two teams has always produced closely-fought encounters and Saturday’s clash was no different.
After Falcons recovered from 45-3 to reach 77-7 in their 15 overs, Sharjah would have fancied their chances of an easy run chase.
Instead, Falcons made it tough for their rivals with Harsh Bobade striking in the first over to remove Arkandeep Das for a duck before Zahan Zahir was run out.
When Tanishq Babu claimed his side’s third wicket, the game was still in the balance with Sharjah needing 35 from 30 deliveries.
But it was one crucial over that saw the game turn in Sharjah’s favour. With 18 balls remaining, opener Nathan Shibu (25no) and skipper Nikhil Ratesar (20no) took charge to score a mammoth 19 runs in the 12th over to seal victory.
“I think that over was the difference,” admitted Ratesar. “Before that we were behind the run-rate and needed boundaries and those runs helped us to the semi-finals.
“Overall, it’s good to go through. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and we needed that test to get the best out of us.”
The reward for Ratesar and Co is a semi-final against Abu Dhabi Indian School (ADIS) on Friday.
The capital outfit arrived at the stadium nearly one and half-hours ahead of their last-eight match against IHS Knights and the extra practice paid off.
Sailles Jaishankar and Nathan D’Mello were in red-hot form with the ball, sharing five wickets between them as Knights reached 66. Skipper Nooran Thakur (32) and D’Mello (19) set up the chase to ease to a nine-wicket triumph.
Despite the big margin of victory, Thakur insists there’s still a lot of work to do. “They played very well and put us under pressure,” said the 13-year-old. “But we stuck together and our hard work paid off but there’s room for improvement.”
Completing the last four line-up are Modernite and Our Own Zenith.
Two-time U-13 champions Modernite overcame BRS Tigers by 27 runs with Varun Ravi top-scoring with 21.
The Dubai side face a stern test against Zenith, who overcame GOOIS Warriors by eight wickets thanks to a captain’s knock of 46 not out from Shoun Roger.
The all-rounder is happy his side passed the first hurdle. “They put a bit of pressure on us early on but we kept scoring the runs,” he said.
“We’ve been trying a long time to be in the semis and go on and win the cup and it’s great to be here.”