Dubai: The Dubai Cricket Council (DCC) for the first time introduced pink ball in their domestic cricket tournament. This council, despite reeling under the absence of their own ground to stage tournaments, has never hesitated in introducing novel and innovative methods to spread the game.
The forty’s cricket tournament has lured a new set of cricketers who were on the verge of giving up the game. The council’s women’s tournament too has attracted many girls to the sport. Pink ball was introduced purely to give players the feel of the latest innovation in cricket.
The council played with the pink ball in two matches of the Mammoths Cricket League, which is being organised by the Dubai Mammoths Cricket Club under the aegis of the DCC.
Speaking to Gulf News, Shiva Pagarani, the convener of DCC tournaments, said: “Everyone was excited to play with the pink ball for the first time. Since it was introduced in the tournament for 40 all the players said after the match that they can now tell their children that they too got to play with the pink ball.”.
In the two matches with pink ball, Zabeel Mammoths overcame Nad Al Sheba’s stiff target of 187 to win by seven wickets while Shindagha Mammoths outplayed Jumeirah Mammoths by 43 runs.
Pagarani, who picked three wickets for 26 runs for Jumeirah revealed that pink balls are costlier than red and white balls usually used in domestic cricket. “Pink balls are higher in quality and hence expensive but it was enjoyable to play with it,” added Pagarani.
Though some Test batsmen had hinted that the seam is not visible in the pink ball, Abid Chaudhary of Nad Al Sheba played brilliantly and cracked a century. His 102 runs off just 62 balls contained nine huge sixes and four boundaries. Nalin Khaitan chipped in with 38 runs off 36 balls and helped Nad Al Sheba post 184 for 6 in 25 overs.
Despite the century from Chaudhary and the impressive total, Zabeel reached the target in23.3 overs through Prasanth Shetty’s unbeaten 65 runs and Javed Siddique’s unconquered 51 runs.
The second match saw bowlers dominate as Shindaga after posting 188 for 5, restricted Jumeriah to 145 for 9 through fine spells from Vinod Nair, Aashish Bhandari and Sunil Raheja.
Shindagha bt Jumeirah by 43 runs Shindagha 188 for 5 in 25 overs (Aashish Bhandari 58, Vinod Nair 39, Qais Farooq 30 retd., Harish Menon 29; Shiva Pagarani 3 for 26) Jumeirah 145 for 9 in 25 overs (Vinan Nair 40, Sameer Ali Khan 35, Shadab Khan 25; Vinod Nair 3 for 31, Aashish Bhandari 2 for 16, Sunil Raheja 2 for 11). Man of the match: Aashish Bhandari.
Zabeel bt Nad Al Sheba by 7 wkts. Nad Al Sheba 184 for 6 in 25 overs (Abid Choudhary 102, Nalin Khaitan 38; Javed Siddique 2 for 25) Zabeel 187 for 3 in 23.3 overs (Prashanth Shetty 65 n.o., Javed Siddique 51 n.o., Atiq Mahmood 44; Rajesh Thadani 2 for 30). Man of the match: Prashanth Shetty.