It was raining runs with UAE players hogging the limelight at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Saturday night as Marina Contracting & Décor Alleppey Amigos and Lifeline Jewellery Thrissur Tigers entered the semifinals of the Kerala Cricket League (KCL) Twenty20 tournament organized by Willows Cricket Club and held under the auspices of Sharjah Cricket Council.
In the quarter-finals Alleppey Amigos chased down a massive 198-run target in the penultimate over to secure a five-wicket victory over Parco Group Kannur Royals, while KTDC Wayanad Warriors fell short by 27 runs despite a brilliant century by UAE player Amjad Javed while chasing an improbable 205 set by Thrissur Tigers.
Alleppey Amigos’ decision to field first turned sour while Kannur Royals enjoyed the benefits of batting first despite the top order looking ordinary with only Abdul Shakoor scoring 24. It was Fayyaz Ahmed who set the ball rolling hammering an unbeaten 45-ball 83 runs with six hits to the ropes and five over it. Significant contributions further from Shamsheer Chelathil (26, 30b, 3x4) and Shahzad Mana (25, 16b, 1x4, 2x6) ensured Kannur Royals had a strong total of 197 to defend.
But Kannur Royals’ celebrations were short-lived as Alleppey Amigos openers sang a similar tune completely devastating the bowlers.
Bakthiyar Palekar and Mohammad Azam, both UAE players, raced away to a brilliant start giving Alleppey Amigos exactly what they needed at such situation to accumulate 62 runs from the first five overs.
Both showed no mercy to the bowlers before Palekar was unlucky to be run out at 57 from 41 balls with the help of seven boundaries.
Azam continued the assault hitting six sixers and four boundaries during his 61 runs from only 31 balls. Abdul Jaleel took just 15 balls to score a gritty 28 including three sixes to inch closer to the victory as Vishnu PM scored a six during his 14 from 11 balls to ensure Alleppey Amigos entered the semi-finals.
The other match was no less entertaining as the bowlers had a nightmare day.
Chasing a tough 205 to win, Wayyanad Warriors put up a brave fight especially Amjad Javed who knocked off 101 runs in only 56 deliveries studded with 13 fours and three sixes. UAE veteran player Saqib Ali further stepped up the chase chipping in with a significant 50 not out but his efforts were not good enough as they managed 177 for five in 20 overs.
Earlier, put in to bat, Thrissur Tigers received an early jolt but Malintha Perera and Krishna Candran shared an unbeaten 131-run for the third wicket to take them past the 200-run mark.
While Perera was unbeaten on 76 from 54 deliveries consisting of seven boundaries, Chandran dealt with only maximums scoring a total of eight sixes and a lone boundary to reach 90 not out from only 41 balls.
Brief scores: Alleppey Amigos bt Kannur Royals by five wickets. Kannur Royals: 197 for 6 in 20 overs (Abdul Shakoor 24, Fayyaz Ahmed 83, Shamsheer Chelathil 26, Shahzad Mana 25; Mohammad Azam 2 for 40, Rahul Dav 2 for 30). Alleppey Amigos: 198 for 5 in 19.5 overs (Bakthiyar Palekar 57, Mohammad Azam 61, Arun Poulose 17, Abdul Jaleel 28, Vishnu PM 14 not out). Man of the Match: Mohammad Azam.
Thrissur Tigers bt Wayanad Warriors by 27 runs. Thrissur Tigers: 204 for 2 in 20 overs (Shaimon Anwar 16, Malintha Perera 76 not out, Syed Umar Javed 16, Krishna Chandran 90 not out). Wayanad Warriors: 177 for 5 in 20 overs (Amjad Javed 101, Saqib Ali 50 not out; Krishna Chandran 2 for 16). Man of the Match: Krishna Chandran.
Umpires: Ifthikar Ali and Gopa Kumar. Scorers: Zameel Hameed and Thassim Junkeer