Anjuman-I-Islam lift the Coca-Cola Cup with five-wicket win.
SO used to winning trophies are Rizvi Springfield that they can never be pulled up for suffering from big-stage fright. But even champion teams can be excused for having an off-day.
But we can be rest assured that the Bandra-outfit were making no excuses at the end of the day after having faltered quite disappointingly against a spirited Anjuman-I-Islam Allana English (CST) outfit in the final of the Coca-Cola Cricket Cup U-16 Inter-Schools Cricket Tournament at the Western Railway Ground,Mahalaxmi on Wednesday. And Anjuman in fact ran away easy winners in the end,winning by five wickets.
The final started on a very positive note for the eventual victors after their skipper won the toss and elected to field,a risk nevertheless considering the might of Rizvi’s batting force. To their credit,led by Shoeb Khan’s left-arm spin,they managed to silence the behemoth,skittling out their fancied opponents for a mere 202 in less than their stipulated overs.
Having done the difficult part right,Anjuman surpassed the target with five wickets and seven balls to spare. Mehboob Shaikh guided his team home with an unbeaten knock of 62 after Aman Farooqui gave Anjuman a solid start with his knock of 67 from 101 deliveries.
And Farooqui was instrumental in his team setting off on the right foot,as he shared a 74-run stand for the first wicket. However,some needless,risky shots did see Anjuman lose wickets at regular intervals to infuse hope into the Rizvi camp,but Shaikh’s 76-ball knock ensured that the South Mumbai outfit never lost their way completely,and eventually eased to victory.
Earlier in the day,Rizvi never got going,losing early wickets,before Siddharth Singh and Armaan Jaffer put on 78 runs for the third wicket to steady the ship. However,Shoeb then began to spin a web around the Rizvi batsmen,wading in with a hat-trick to have his powerful opponents reeling. It was only a rearguard effort from Siddak Singh (67) and support from Singh that brought Rizvi back into the game briefly and ensured that they crossed the 200-run mark.
Anjuman-I-Islam (Allana)s English Shaikh was declared the man of the match for his excellent batting,while Rizvi’s Jaffer was adjudged the man of the series after finishing with 160 runs and eight wickets overall.
Anjuman also ended up Rs 50,000 richer for their efforts and also earned the right to represent Mumbai in the Coca-Cola Inter-State finals to be held in Delhi from April 24.
(Final): Rizvi Springfield High School,Bandra 202 all out in 44.1 Overs (Siddak Singh 67,Siddharth Singh 48,Arman Jaffer 46; Shoeb Khan 4/25 [including hatrick) lost to Anjuman-I-Islam (Allana) 203 for 5 in 43.5 Overs (Aman Farooqui 67,Mehboob Shaikh 62 n.o.,Hashir Dafedar 37); Man of the series: Arman Jaffer.