Sharjah: Capital Group Cochin Cannons and Calicut Paragon Calicut Challengers won their respective semi-finals to set up what promised to be an exciting battle to become the Kerala Cricket League champions.
The two teams were due to face off in the final of the month-long Twenty20 tournament organised by Willows Cricket Club, held under the auspices of Sharjah Cricket Council, on Monday night.
The semi-final between Cochin and Marina Contracting & Decor Alleppey Amigos witnessed a fine display of accurate bowling from Cochin’s Fahad Khan and C.T.K. Mashood. They bowled out Alleppey for a paltry 121 after Cochin had posted a challenging 186 through S.P. Nathan’s elegant half-century.
Thalaivan Salgunan hit 35 from 19 balls including three sixes and Nathan’s 28-ball 53 with the help of five sixes ensured the Canons put up a good total.
Alleppey opener Bakthiyar Palekar gave his side a good start in reply, hitting a quick 26, and Unni Krishnan added 29 from 21 deliveries. Former Kerala star Mashood took three wickets to put the brakes on the flow of runs and Khan bagged four wickets to destroy the Amigos’ dreams.
In the second semi-final, the consistent Bijay Menon and Mohammad Qassim steered Calicut Challengers to an exciting two-wicket win over Lifeline Jewellery Thrissur Tigers.
Chasing Thrissur’s total of 148, Calicut reached the target with five balls to spare. Their victory was mainly due to openers Jeevan Gangadharan’s 46 off 28 balls and Amith Sidharth’s 27. Together they put on 68 runs to set the base for victory. Menon then hit 47 from only 22 balls with five sixes and three fours and Qassim struck a 35-ball 41.
Shaimon Anwar’s knock of 45 and Previn Authan’s 41 for Thrissur went in vain.