Cricket concludes – T20 Premiere League and KVCC finals in grand style!

Division A champions, Aartech CC.

KUWAIT: On the weekend of Dec 7, Kuwait Cricket held the grand domestic finals upon the completion of all the league matches of the first edition of the top 2 leagues of the 2017-18 season, KC T-20 Premier League and Kuwait Veterans MG7 Cup.

The grand finals along with the presentation ceremony was held at the picturesque Entertainment City ground in a magnanimous style on a highly entertaining and chilly Friday evening. Spectators enjoyed the thrilling finals from all 4 (A,B,C & D) divisions of Kuwait Cricket on an action packed weekend. The finals were streamed live on the Kuwait Cricket official Facebook page (@kuwaitcricketofficial) which received an overwhelming response from more than 30,000 viewers online across Kuwait.

Kuwait Cricket Council led by the Chairman Mahmood Bastaki was the dignitary for the occasion along with Sajid Ashraf, Rishi D Jayan (Director of Seniors Cricket& IT), and Robert (Director of Facilities and Logistics) who were present for the occasion throughout the weekend and awarded all the trophies, medals and cash prizes ($10,000 across all the divisions) for the winners, runners-up and top individual performers for all the divisions of the concluded tournaments. The presentation ceremony was conducted professionally by Umer Slahuddin.

The spectators and guests at the venue witnessed and enjoyed the highly thrilling and nail biting contests between all the finalists and the evening was further spiced up with complimentary refreshments for the entire audience that included tea, chicken karahi and chana masala with a live tandoor being setup for the entire audience that touched almost 500 people on the ground at peak time along with live DJ, music and entertaining commentary by KC marketing team (Sami, Sibtain, Naeem Jan, Umer and Husnain etc) for all the matches that kept everyone present at the ground on their toes.

Division B champions, The Tigers CC.

Match Briefs

The highlight of the grand finale was undoubtedly the clash for the Division A title between Aroma CC and Artech CC and both sides filled with talent, passion and the “never give up” attitude really rose to the occasion. Artech CC elected to bat on a batting paradise wicket. Explosive opener Rahul Dev began the innings in fine fashion and Artech cruised to 53 runs in 4.3 overs. Rahul smashed 35 runs from 18 balls. Arjun Mahesh played the anchor role and batted brilliantly for a match winning knock of 78 off just 55 balls complimented by Aphsal Ashraf who chipped in with a valuable 31 off 28 that helped Artech post a very good total of 190/4 in their allotted 20 overs. Left arm spinner Mohammed Aslam was the pick of the bowlers with 2 wickets for Aroma CC.

In their pursuit of 191 as the target, Aroma CC’s experienced campaigner Kashif Sharif rolled back the years with some excellent stroke play. At one stage Aroma were cruising with 124/2 but right after losing Kashif, they lost 4 wickets in quick succession which proved out to be the turning point of the match. Arjun Mahesh who enjoyed an excellent time with the bat proved out to be the hero with the ball too. Kashif’s magnificent knock of 78 off 45 balls went in vain as Aroma fell short by 7 runs. Senior cricketer Mohammad Ahsan played a fantastic cameo towards the end that had a couple of huge hits and boundaries but not enough to cross the finishing line. Artech CC clinched the trophy and Arjun Mahesh was elected as the Man of the Finals for his excellent all round performance.

The Division B finals matched it toe to toe in terms of excitement. Stack CC elected to field first. Diju Xavier who hardly put a foot wrong throughout the tournament continued his excellent form and lit up the occasion with another Century. Diju scored 108 from 63 balls and was a one-man army in terms of runs scored. With his fine effort, Tigers posted 160 runs on the board. The target seemed to be below par but Tigers never gave in, even though Stack CC needed just 13 in the last 2 overs. Tigers were able to pull off a magnificent victory of just 1 run to win the title. Diju was adjudged as the man of the finals.

In Division C, Panthers Kuwait took on MG7 CC and the former chose to bat first after winning the toss. Panthers were able to post 155/7 in 20 overs with notable contributions from Delishous John with 42 from 37 balls and Vinod Nair with 30 from just 14 balls. Mg7 looked in control throughout and with both their openers Saifullah and Faraz scoring 50 plus scores, they chased down the target in 18 overs to win the title. Saifullah Rafiq was the man of the finals for his fine performance.

Division D saw Al Bader taking on Cochin Hurricanes. Al Bader had no hesitation in choosing to bat first after winning the toss. But they failed to post a challenging total and ended up only with 132 runs on the board. Ismail Banwa was the top scorer for Al Bader with 54 runs form 62 balls. Cochin Hurricanes openers were in an attacking mode from the word go. Openers Raj Mohan and Abilash Rajappan both scored terrific 50s to chase down the total in just 11 overs to lift the title. Raj Mohan took home the Man of the finals award for his fine display.

KVCC Mg7 cup, which is a growing competition for senior veterans playing active cricket in Kuwait saw Stack CC take on Mg7 in Division A and Indian Tigers take on Global Champions in Division B respectively. Mg7 who won the toss and elected to bat scored 141 runs, and they were able to restrict Stack CC for just 127 runs. Saifullah Rafiq was chosen as the man of the finals for his excellent all-round performance.
Division B, Indian Tigers had an easy ride in the finals as they swept Global Champions away by 8 wickets. After restricting Global champions for just 112 runs, they chased down the total in 16 overs. Vijay Kumar who took 4 wickets for Indian Tigers won the Man of the finals accolade.

This article was published on 17/12/2017