Jaffery Blues 234 – 5 (25/25 overs) beat Jaffery Reds 183 all out (24.2/25 overs) by 51 runs
BLUES TOO GOOD FOR LISTLESS REDS AT THE SEVENS
Johar stars with the bat as Blues put on strong all-round performance to ensure easy victory over Ali Mombasa’s Reds
May 13, 2011
Dubai, With electric poles at fine-leg a thing of the past, the Jaffery cricket team played a 25 overs a side internal match at the state of the art Sevens ground on Friday evening.
The players sported black armbands in memory of Mehdi Raza Bhojani, who passed away earlier in the day.
Blues skipper Abul Qasim Baksh won the toss and elected to bat on a sluggish wicket which offered unpredictable bounce.
The Reds opening bowlers Maisam Raza and Mohamed Suleman were woefully wayward as they sprayed the ball on both sides of the wicket. Blues openers Johar (62) and Murtaza Khimjee (15) feasted on the loose bowling, plundering 17 runs off Mohamed Suleman’s second over.
The Reds finally broke the opening partnership when Azhar Esmail came on to bowl and had Murtaza Khimjee’s off stump pegged back with a sharp off-cutter.
Murtaza Mazher (20) joined Johar at the crease and hung around for a while before perishing attempting an agricultural hoick to cow corner off Mujtaba Khimjee, and getting bowled in the process.
Building off a strong start, Muntazir (17) was next in and he knocked the ball around until Kazim Suleman uprooted his leg stump with a quick leg cutter.
Meanwhile, Johar continued unperturbed at the other end, hitting the ball cleanly to the fence and running hard between the wickets. He brought up his half-century with a slog-sweep for four.
With Johar looking good for more, it would take something special to get rid of him, and a moment of brilliance from the Reds Muhammad Mazher came up with just that.
Play of the day
When Johar smashed a Mujtaba Khimjee length ball towards the long-on boundary, he must have thought it was half a dozen for all money.
But Muhammad Mazher had other ideas in mind. He covered good ground to reach the ball, and timed his jump to perfection to take a superb catch well over his head. But the momentum of taking the catch was pulling him over the boundary.
Showing superb anticipation and presence of mind, Mazher tossed the ball back into play, regained his balance, leapt back inside the ropes like a cat on catnip, and snatched the ball with both hands inches from the ground.
Abul Qasim (16) came in next and was given an early life when Mujtaba Khimjee dropped a straight forward chance in the deep. The spill did not cost much though as Muhammad Ali Khan had Abul bowled an over later.
A quickfire 44 from the well built Qamar which included five monstrous sixes took the Blues to a commanding 234 for the loss of five wickets at the end of their allotted 25 overs.
“The way they started it looked as if they would reach 300 with ease,” said the disappointed Reds skipper Ali Mombasa. “We lacked discipline with the ball early on and paid the price for some ordinary bowling.”
With the daunting task of scoring nearly nine runs an over from the start, the Blues opened the batting with Kazim Suleman and Mujtaba Khimjee. Khimjee (17), dropped on one by Muntazir, got things underway with a couple of glorious sixes over long-off.
But the stylish right hander from Nairobi couldn’t make the most of his start when he feathered a rising ball from Abul Qasim to keeper Murtaza Khimjee. Kazim Suleman departed soon after as well, middling a pull to Mujtaba Sultanali at short midwicket off the bowling of Syed Haidar Shah.
From then on, it was all downhill for the Reds. Muhammad Mazher’s (16) promising stay at the crease was cut short by a bowl that kept devilishly low from Mujtaba Sultanali, and Azhar Esmail was trapped LBW first bowl by the same bowler.
The left-handed Rizwan Kanji crawled to 24 before being adjudged leg before off the slippery off-spin of Ammar Suleman, while Ali Mombasa missed a straight ball from Hasanain Khimjee and was bowled for a duck.
The rest of the Reds, barring Muhammad Ali Khan who top-scored for his team with an entertaining 30, succumbed to spin on a crumbling track as their target of 234 proved too lofty a mountain to climb. They managed to reach a respectable 183 all out, 51 runs short of the Blues score.
Towards the end of the Reds inning, Blues wicketkeeper Murtaza Khimjee made a strong case for wearing a helmet whilst keeping wickets. He sustained a nasty blow above his left eye when the ball, en-route to him from the deep, took a bad bounce and hit him flush on the face. Despite the bloody scenes in the middle, Khimjee seemed alright and walked off the ground unassisted.
All in all, it was a top performance from the men in Blue, who thoroughly deserved their victory.