Alubond Tigers pose with the trophy with Sharjah Cricket Council officials Waleed Bukhatir and Mazhar Khan. Image Credit: SCC

Sharjah: Alubond Tigers defended the prestigious Bukhatir League title with an emphatic five-wicket win over Phoenix Medicines in the 44th edition of this tournament at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday. This is their second 50-overs triumph after their recent success in Abu Dhabi.

This tournament is among the few top 50-over tournaments in the UAE and is organised by the Sharjah Cricket Council. After restricting Phoenix to 246 in 49.3 overs, Alubond raced to the target in 42.2 overs through in-form batsman Faizan Asif’s knock of 118 runs off 104 balls with six boundaries and 10 sixes.

Alubond’s Shareef Asadullah (4/47) Asif Mumtaz (3 for 41) and Sultan Ahmad (2 for 57) were responsible for restricting Phoenix to a gettable total despite three half centuries starting from UAE skipper Rohan Mustafa (59), Ahmad Raza (50) Mohammad Ikram Jura (57).

Speaking to Gulf News, winning captain Nasir Aziz, who has been leading this team for over a decade, said: “We have a good combination as all of us have been playing together for many years and know our roles very well. We were unbeaten throughout the tournament and played like the defending champions.

“Our batsmen Asif, who had also hit a century in the Abu Dhabi 50-over tournament final against Multiplex, did it again for us. Our bowlers made sure to restrict all opponents with tight bowling and our win over the formidable Noor Al Yemen Group by two wickets in the semi-final was purely due to our bowlers. The support from our management that ensures regular practice has helped.”

Aziz had led from the front, wrecking Noor Al Yemen with a deadly spell of four for 34.