Dubai: Friends Kuwait won the richest and world’s most popular tennis ball cricket tournament defeating Globelink West Star Shipping team by 11 runs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The final of the third edition of the third 10PL, which is considered as the World Cup in tennis ball cricket, was watched by over 100,000 on YouTube and over a 1,000 spectators at the Sharjah Stadium. More than one million viewers tuned in to watch the event on YouTube.
The organisers made the final day of this Dh250,000 event, which was contested by 16 teams from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman, into a spectacular occasion with drum beats and a fireworks display. The winners received the richest prize money of Dh110,000 while runners-up Globelink received Dh70,000.
Batting first, Friends Kuwait got off to a poor start losing opener Krishna Satpute, known as the Sachin Tendulkar of tennis-ball cricket, for 4, his partner Ajith Mohithe for a duck and Thomas Dias for 3 and were reeling at three wickets down for seven runs before Yogesh Pawar played a knock of 31 runs. Vishwajith Thakur, who was instrumental in India defeating Pakistan in the clash of the rivals on Wednesday night, emerged as the hero of the final too chipping in with a timely 15 runs to help Kuwait post 72-8 in 10 overs. Thakur then went on to produce a deadly spell of four wickets for seven runs to destroy Globelink’s hopes. In fact, Globelink got off to a good start through their openers Tushar Randivee (17) and S. Maggi (20) before Thakur struck repeatedly.
Globelink needed 14 runs off the last over. Thakur took two wickets with consecutive balls and produced a superb over to ensure his team an 11-run win. He was adjudged as the man of the tournament for his haul 13 wickets and over 50 runs from this edition. The winners’ trophy was received by Ankur Singh, who also captained India to victory over Pakistan, making him the skipper to lift two trophies in this tournament.
Speaking to Gulf News on the successful staging of the third edition, Latif said: “We are delighted that this tournament, supported by UAE based company Petromann, is getting more popular and that we could stage this edition as bigger and better than previous editions as promised. We want to make the next edition even stronger and increase the number of tennis-ball cricket around the world. The India-Pakistan tie as well as the final being followed by over 100,000 fans is a positive sign.”
The prize giving function was attended by Mazhar Khan of the Sharjah Cricket Council and all the sponsors.