Dubai: Dunes Cuisine Kannur Veerans lived up to their name — which in Malayalam means ‘brave warriors' — to beat Trotters Wayanad Highlanders and lift the inaugural Capital Kerala Premier League trophy.
Kannur bowled out Wayanad for 88 and, despite losing five wickets, kept their nerve to reach the target with ten balls to spare at the ICC Global Cricket Academy Oval on Friday night.
It was a spectacular finish to one of the finest tournaments ever held in UAE domestic cricket, with thousands turning out for the absorbing final.
Kannur skipper C.T.K. Masoud showed the way with a brilliant opening spell.
Bowling his fast left arm spin he picked up two early wickets to limit the Wayanad run rate.
Pacer Manjula Guruge took the prize wicket of Dilhara Lokuhettige, the tournament's highest runscorer with 316, for 19, when he skied a ball which was well caught by Arshad Ali.
Ali went on to clean bowl Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi.
As Wayanad pushed towards the end of their innings, they lost their way a bit with two batsmen run out.
Despite the low total, Wayanad weren't about to lie down.
Raziq Khan trapped Ali leg before Amjad Javed, the hero of Kannur's semi-final victory, was run out.
Then Arfan Haider hit a quickfire 20 before he was bowled by Mohammad Azam.
When Kerala Ranji Trophy player Krishna Chandra also fell for 17, Kannur were in trouble at 58 for four.
Wicketkeeper Prashant Braggs and Saqib Ali took the score to 81 before Braggs fell.
But Saqib Ali's patient unbeaten 29 eventually ensured victory.
Speaking to Gulf News after receiving the Dh60,000 winners cheque, Masoud said: "No chase is easy and the wicket was not an easy one too. Saqib Ali played a responsible knock. Our team combined brilliantly to prove we are the best."
"Our win is the result of team work," said coach P.G. Sundar, a former Kerala Ranji Trophy star.
"Despite the presence of many senior players they played to a plan."
Dunes Cuisine Kannur Veerans beat Trotters Wayanad Highlanders by five wickets. Wayanad 88 in 19.3 overs (Dilhara Lokuhettige 19, C.T.K. Masoud 2 for 19, Manjula Guruge 2 for 12, Arshad Ali 2 for 17). Kannur 90 for 5 in 18.2 overs (Arfan Haider 20, Saqib Ali 29).
Team winners: First Kannur Dh60,000; runners-up Wayanad Dh30,000; third CSS Alleppey Dh10,000; fourth Yogi Thrissur Dh10,000.
Individual prizes (Dh3,000 each): Man of the final — Arfan Haider; best batsman — Dilhara Lokuhettige (Wayanad) 316 runs; best bowler — Shanil Mohammad (Mallappuram) 18 wickets in seven matches; best all-rounder — Arshad Ali (Kannur) 14 wickets and 152 runs; most entertaining player — Shaimon Anwar (Thrissur) 26 boundaries and 14 sixes; best fielder — Wasim Bari (Trivandrum) six catches; best wicketkeeper — Prashant Braggs.
Dh1,000 each: Most sixes in tournament — Shaimon Anwar 14; most sixes in a match — Faizan Asif (Thrissur) 6; catch of the tournament — Divyendu Shekhar (Wayanad).