Monday, April 9, 2012


Ravens Cricket Club C 104 for 3 (Ahmadzai 52* Harish 1-21) beat Royal Cricket Club B 83 for 6 (Shah 24, Shukla 3-8) by 21 runs.

Ottawa, Ravens Cricket Club C were crowned the winners of the Ravens-OVCC Winter League 2012 after storming to victory in the finals against the Royal Canadians Cricket Club B on Saturday night at Carleton University.

While Ayub Ahmadzai (52*) starred with the bat for the Ravens with a whirlwind innings of 52 not out off 23 balls, the bowlers put in a disciplined effort to seal a comprehensive triumph for the men from Carleton.

After winning the toss and electing to bat on a wicket that had a tinge of green on it, Ravens skipper Salman Arshad (17) opened the innings with Ahmadzai.

The two plundered the Royal’s bowling from the first over - Ahmadzai upper-cutting Varun Harish for six before thrashing a wide ball to the cover fence for four next ball.

Although he started slowly, Arshad wasn’t about to be overshadowed by his opening partner. He got going with a sweetly timed six over point off the bowling of Daniyal.

The two ran hard between the wickets as well, and brought up the Ravens fifty in only the third over.

But Haidar Abbas broke through for the Royals when he forced Arshad to top-edge a pull into the ceiling.

With the platform set for a big total, the stage was set for Canada U-19 superstar Zain Mahmood (29) to shine.

And the explosive right hander from Lahore didn’t disappoint.

Mahmood dispatched the first ball he faced over long-on for half a dozen, and then flicked nonchalantly off his pads for six more the next ball.

Meanwhile Ahmadzai continued to hit the ball sweetly at the other end. The Afghan national brought up his half-century with a glorious cover drive for six.

“Coming into the final we knew we were up against a good team with lots of big players,” said Ahmadzai, who hit five sixes in his innings.

“I think because we played as a team we did well today.”

He remained not out till the end as the Ravens finished their allotted seven overs on a commanding 104 for 3.

Knowing they had to score at nearly 15 runs an over from the start, the Royal's openers Karandeep Singh (14) and Ahmad Shah (24) had their work cut out.

But it was Ravens speedster Mostafa Popalzai who set the tone for the innings with some high quality fast bowling.

Taking his lead, the bowlers that followed ensured that the Royal’s batsmen found boundaries hard to come by, restricting them to singles.

Barbadian Mykell Reifer ended Karandeep’s resistance with a cutter that made a mess of the stumps, and when left-arm seamer Vivek Shukla bagged a hat-trick in the fifth over, it was all but over for the Royals who finished on a respectable 83-6 at the end of their seven overs.

Ravens skipper Salman Arshad said that while he wasn’t surprised his team met the Royals in the finals, he wasn’t quite expecting the drubbing they dished out.

 “We didn’t think we’d beat them so comfortably, but it all goes down to hard work – the team worked very hard for this win throughout the league,” he said.

 Arshad also said he was proud of how his side fought through tough times during the season, constantly battling with a shortage of players.

 “There were times when the team spirit was down because we played most of our games short [of players]. Even today in the finals we were short.”

 In addition to a trophy, the Ravens were also awarded with a cheque of $500 in prize money.

 So after a successful three-month long indoor season, cricket in Ottawa will now move outdoors with things set to kick-off in early May.

 Expect more fireworks as the teams hit the field for a summer of intense cricket action.

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