Samiullah Younis scored a decisive unbeaten half century to guide Danube Lions to a thrilling one-wicket victory over Ibsons Group in the opening match of the 42nd Bukhatir League cricket Tournament 2016.
At the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Ibsons won the toss and got off to a fine start with skipper Baber Malik scoring an impressive 47 from 61 deliveries at the top. However, it was a cracking innings from wicket-keeper batsman Faisal Ather that provided Ibsons the right platform.
Ather blasted a superb 78-ball 81. peppered with six boundaries and four sixes. Sajjad Ali (28, 29b, 1×4, 2×6) and Fayyaz Ahmed (26, 31, 3×4) were the other significant contributors.
Danube Lions’ Ali Afzal (4-46) bowled an amazing spell picking up four crucial wickets in the middle order as Ibsons reached 249 in 49.1 overs.
Farhan Ahmed was the other successful bowler to claim 3-39 in his 8.1 overs. Chasing a tricky target, Danube Lions were in for a rude shock when pacer Umaid Asif scalped two wickets in his first over.
Habib Ghazi complemented Asif’s efforts as he also bagged a wicket in the next over to leave Danube Lions reeling at 4 for 3. Shaiman Anwar (54) then added 22 runs for the fourth wicket with Adnan Mufti (4) and put together another decent partnership with Gulraiz Sadae (17).
It was then that Younis stepped up to the challenge. Along with Amir Hayat, he put on 32 runs for the sixth wicket, before Asif (6-41) came back to haunt the Danube batsmen with two more quick wickets towards the end.
The last pair needed six runs off the last eight balls and Younis did not disappoint and finished it off with a fine boundary. Younis was eventually unbeaten on 92 in 91 deliveries, which included 11 fours and two sixes.