Pak talented brigade lift Asia Cup

taken from the Newsletter of the ACC Development Programme, January 2003

Pakistan’s young cricketers continued their dream run when they produced yet another terrific all round performance on the big day to dispose off Sri Lanka by 46 runs in the final of the Asia Cup U-15 tournament played at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium. There is no euphemism to describe such a complete victory when their raw talent and utter enthusiasm annihilated Sri Lanka.

When Pakistan is on a roll, there is no stopping them and that’s exactly what happened when they recovered brilliantly after a shaky start and never looked back then, eventually coming out of the competition with flying colors. They indeed battered the talented Lankans to smithereens. It was hard and tough stuff by the lads, whose cricket all through was truly wonderful.

An incomparable knock of 76 off 55 balls with 3 fours and 4 sixes from man of the match Raza Ali Dar took the match away from their rivals after Pakistan were in considerable trouble at 63 for 4 at one stage.

He combined superbly with Salman Akbar (49 off 63 balls with 5 fours) and added a match winning 120 runs for the 5th wicket that won the day for them as Pakistan ultimately posted an imposing total of 233 for 7 in the allotted 40 overs.

Opener Suleman Ali (24 off 29 balls with 3 fours) and Owais Ahmad (22 not out off 13 balls with 2 fours) provided some quick runs while Shalika Karunanayake (2 for 47) was the most successful bowler though he got the stick. Sudesh Fernando (1 for 14) and Rajeev Weerasinghe (1 for 18) bowled economic spells while Malinda Pushpakumara (1 for 45) and Sachitra Serasinghe (1 for 52) received scant respect from the rampant batsmen.

Set to chase a stiff victory target of 234, Sri Lanka were never ever able to build a serious momentum for the chase as Pakistan bowlers once again demonstrated their depth and class in awesome fashion.

Though, Sri Lanka fared well in the beginning and kept pace with the asking run rate but ultimately they were dismissed for 187 in 40 overs.

The twin blow that resulted in the early dismissal of promising opener Sameera Soysa and the unfortunate run out of skipper Angelo Matthew (16) dashed their hopes after they were doing well at 91 for 2 at one stage.

From there onwards it looked a doomed cause as wickets fell at regular intervals that ultimately led to their dismissal at 187 though Prabudda Perera with an unbeaten 43 did keep the hope alive but the writing was always on the wall given the background of the escalating run rate.

Opener Sachitra Serasinghe (40 off 33 balls with 7 fours) and Thulanidu T (27 off 28 balls with 5 fours) fought gamely early on before the rot set in. Raza Ali Dar (2 for 30) had a memorable day in the field.
Prizes were given away by Jasjit Singh Jaaj, General Manager (Circulation) of the sponsors Khaleej Times, Saeed Ateeq Salem, Vice President, ECB, Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, Vice President, ECB, Syed Zakir Hussain, Development Manager, ACC, Ashraful Huq, CEO, ACC, Redha Abbas, ECB, Iqbal Sikander and Roger Binny, Development Officer, ACC, Mansoor Javed, President ADCC, Mazhar Khan, Administrator, ECB and other officials. – Courtesy uaecricket.com

Skipper Fazal Mohammad of Pakistan receiving the winners cup from Jasjit Singh Jaaj of Khaleej Times. Also seen are Ashraful Huq , CEO, ACC, Saeed Ateeq Salem, Vice President, ECB, Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, Vice President, ECB, Mansoor Javed, President ADCC, Redha Abbas, ECB Iqbal Sikander and Roger Binny, Development Officers, ACC.