It was a case of joy and pain, and triumph and tragedy all rolled into one for DBMSC (Dubai Building Material Supply Centre) at the OSN Winter Indoor Cricket Tournament at Dubai Sports City.
That was because DBMSC-1 won the tournament – but to do so it beat DBMSC-2 in the final.
In a first at the ICC Academy, two sides from the same organisation battled through to the Grand Final of an indoor tournament and they produced a tense encounter.
DBMSC-1, batting first, scored 51, a testing but by no means insurmountable score. But the pressure of chasing with the title on the line proved too much for DBMSC-2 as it could muster only 37 in response.
Player of the Grand Final was Kashif Nisar for DBMSC-1 as he took four wickets for minus eight runs to follow up his 13 runs with the bat.
The format for all matches in the OSN Winter Indoor Tournament saw each side face 12 overs per in-nings with batsmen batting in pairs for three overs each and five runs deducted every time a wicket fell.
DBMSC-1 captain Saqib Nazir said: “We are thrilled to win this tournament as we are building a new team.
“We had a target of 60 (when we batted) but we revised that after six overs of our innings to 50, which was good enough with our bowling and fielding.
We had three direct hits (for run-outs) and that was the difference between the teams.”
Captain of the losing finalist DBMSC-2 Amit Chaturvedi said: “We lost some crucial wickets and were 30 runs short and, when we were fielding, we conceded a lot of overthrows and extras.
That was 10 to 12 runs lost and that has cost us the match. It is totally our fault, we cannot blame anyone else for this.”
The all-DBMSC final was set up when DBMSC-1 won their final match in Pool B, beating Transmed by 80 runs.
That meant they topped the Pool and so avoided DBMSC-2 in the semi-finals as the latter side topped Pool A.
In the semis DBMSC-2 beat Transmed by 54 runs with player of the tournament Abdul Shaikh scoring 13 before taking three wickets for minus six runs, while DBMSC-1 overcame SkyBridge Freight Solutions by 63 runs.
That second semi-final was remarkable as the winners did not lose a single wicket in scoring 85, while Kashif Nisar once again proved a key man, scoring 11 and taking three wickets for minus seven runs.
The OSN Winter Tournament is one of nine indoor events scheduled during the course of a 12-month period at the ICC Academy.
UAE captain Khurram Khan believes the back-to-back victories in the warm-up games has put his team in a buoyant mood ahead of their ICC World Cup Qualifier against Nepal at Rangiora Oval, Christchurch, South Island on Monday.
UAE trounced Uganda by 73 runs in the first warm-up match on Friday and followed it up with another impressive six-wicket victory over fancied Netherlands on Saturday.
Salman Faris (47 and 34), Amjad Ali (3 and 70), Khurram (56), Shaiman Anwar (59), Rohan Mustafa (48 and 18 n.o.), Swapnil Patil (23 and 26 n.o.) shared the batting honours while medium-pacer Amjad Javed (1-17 and 3-23) and left-arm spinner Ahmed Raza (0-10 and 2-22) fared well in the bowling department.
“The victories in the warm-up games have been a big morale booster,” Khurram told Sport360°.
“It was not just one or two batsmen who performed, everybody got starts and did well. The fast bowlers are also in good rhythm."
The team think-tank shuffled the batting and bowling around to ensure everybody in the 15-member squad got adequate match practice.
UAE, the top seeds, are among the 10 teams who will battle out in New Zealand over 20 days for two spots in the 2015 World Cup.
Khurram & Co are placed in Group A alongside Canada, Hong Kong and Nepal. Group B comprises Netherlands, Kenya, Namibia, Papua New Guinea and Uganda.
The top three sides from each group will progress to the Super Six stage and the top two from this phase will progress to the final to be played at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln on February 1.
UAE will be up against a feisty opponent in Nepal, who have taken rapid strides in the last two years. They qualified for the 2014 World Twenty20 and are determined to replicate it in the 50-over version having landed in New Zealand two weeks ahead of the qualifiers to get acclimatised to the conditions.
However, things have not according to plan as they lost both their warm-up games narrowly – by four runs against Namibia and by one wicket against Kenya.
While admitting Nepal are a “good team”, Khurram believes UAE have settled in nicely since they landed in New Zealand four days ago.
“We are confident of our abilities and are taking one match at a time to achieve our target of qualifying (for the 2015 World Cup).
“Climate-wise it is quite similar to that what we experience in the UAE during these months which makes it a bit easy to settle down,” he added.
The two victories in the warm-up games meant that UAE have hit the ground running. Amjad Ali stole the show on Saturday with a superb 70 off 86 balls as UAE recording a convincing victory over the second-seeded Netherlands.
Fast bowlers Amjad Javed (3-23) and Manjula Guruge (2-38) and leftarm spinner Raza (2-22) had set the tone by dismissing Netherlands for 189 in 47.2 overs.
Amjad Ali added 88 runs with Salman Faris (34) for the second wicket and Swapnil Patil (26 not out), helping the side reach its target with nine overs to spare.
A new chapter is about to be written in the evolution of cricket in the UAE with the inaugural Danube ‘Test’ Series – the first ever two-day match tournament in the country – beginning at the ICC Academy from today.
The tournament, which was launched last night by Pakistan Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez and a few members of the team, will feature six of the top teams in the UAE.
The six teams were divided into two groups, with Hafeez picking the lot.
Group A has GMW Royal, Yogi Group and Emirates Group, while Group B features Danube Lions, Wings Group and Dubai Lions.
The first match of the tournament will be played between Danube Lions and Wings Group at the ICC Academy, starting 9.30am.
Each day will comprise of 95 overs. First innings for both sides are restricted to a maximum of 75 overs.
There is a maximum limit of 150 overs to constitute an outright victory. Within those overs, teams can push for four innings to winning the match outright.
The remaining 40 overs from the 190 overs (on the second day) will be a T20 match.
A brainchild of Danube’s Anis Sajan, the tournament has received the backing of Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) and Dubai Cricket Council (DCC).
Speaking at the launch, Sajan said: “Almost all cricket in UAE is either T20 or 50 overs a side. This is our attempt to introduce the longer format here, and hopefully, this will be the start of a journey that will see UAE become a Test-playing nation in the future.”
Hafeez praised the effort of the organisers. ECB’s Waleed Bukhatir and Mazhar Khan, Dubai Cricket Council’s Mohammad Reda Abbas and Mohammad Lokhandwala and Abu Dhabi Cricket Council’s Wajahat Hussain were also present during the occasion.
Points will be allocated to each team on the basis of the results of the match, first inning, the T20 match, as well as batting and bowling performances.
For example, an outright win and first innings lead will earn the team 20 points. If they win outright but were behind in the first innings, they get 12 points.
If the match is decided on the basis of the first innings with no outright result, the team gets 10 points.
Victory in the T20 match will add five points to their tally.
Similarly, if a team makes a score of 300-plus, there are four batting points, coming down to one point for a score in the region of 150-200.
Bowling points are four for bowling out a team, down to one for taking between 2-4 wickets.
While Danube are the title sponsors, the tournament also enjoys the support of co-sponsors Emax and Delhi Darbar, radio partner 89.1 Radio 4, clothing sponsor YAS Sports and Web Channel.