Dubai: It was a nail-biting finish to the Kerala Premier League contest between Concord Ventures Palakkad Harvesters and Thumbay Kasargod at the ICC Global Cricket Academy grounds on Sunday night.
Sixteen-year-old Kulith Rabel stole the thunder by bravely cracking the last ball of the match to the boundary to steer Palakkad to a one-wicket win.
Palakkad needed 14 runs to win with just one wicket in hand off the last over from Ali Assad, the tall and lanky former UAE medium pacer. Former Kerala Ranji Trophy player Chandrasekhar struck a six and four off the first two deliveries and took a single off the third delivery.
The mantle of scoring the remaining runs fell on young Rabel, a budding star of the Desert Cubs Cricket Academy. He ran a bye off the fourth ball and Chandrasekhar took another single off the fifth ball to tie the score. Rabel rose to the challenge and cracked the last ball, a full toss, to the mid wicket boundary to usher in the victory.
The last-over drama meant former Tamil Nadu Ranji Trophy player Syed Maqsood’s elegant unbeaten 74 off 55 balls with three sixes and six boundaries for Kasargod were all in vain. Kasargod had posted 149 for 3 through Maqsood and Asim Ijaz’s 45 runs.
Maqsood had also sparkled with the bat on Saturday night, cracking 63 runs off 58 balls with seven fours to help Kasargod post 132 for 4 against CSS Alleppey Ripples. Once again he ended up on the losing team despite his effort as Alleppey raced past the target in 16.4 overs. Abdul Shakoor hit 82 runs off just 44 balls to ensure Alleppey’s victory.
Meanwhile, also on Saturday, Faizan Asif cracked a breezy 84 with a shower of ten sixes to steer Global Distribution Malappuram Knights to a 15-run win over Trotters Wayanad Highlanders.
Malappuram, after posting 185 for 6 bowled out Wayanad for 143 runs despite Afghanistan star player Mohammad Shahzad’s knock of 47 runs. Shafaqat broke Wayanad’s middle order with a spell of 4 for 22.