Bukhatir League-1687868163189
Champions Future Mattress with the Sharjah Cricket officials during the presentation ceremony at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday night. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Future Mattress once again displayed their supremacy in Sharjah tournaments, emerging as the champions of the 29th Bukhatir T20 League at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday night. This win marked Future Mattress’s third title triumph out of the seven Sharjah Cricket tournaments held this season. In a final, Future Mattress secured a seven-wicket victory over Seven Districts.

Restricting Seven Districts to 156 for 7 in 20 overs, Future Mattress swiftly chased down the target in 16.1 overs, primarily thanks to opener Sandeep Singh’s explosive knock of 68 runs off just 30 balls, which included six boundaries and six sixes. Twelve teams clashed for the title in this tournament, with 38 matches resulting in 10,500 runs, 800 boundaries, and 400 sixes.

In the battle for third place, Collaze Bake House clinched a thrilling three-run victory over CSS Group, thanks to Touqeer Riyasat’s exceptional bowling.

Early setback

The prize distribution ceremony was attended by Khalaf Bukhatir, CEO Sharjah Cricket, Nasir Akram, former Secretary General of Emirates Cricket Board and Executive Council Member of Sharjah Cricket, Mazhar Khan General Manager Sharjah Cricket, Khalid Shah, Business Development Manager Sharjah Cricket and match referee Tehseen Javed.

Put in to bat, Seven Districts suffered an early setback as their consistent star batsman, Raees Ahmad, was dismissed by Akif Raja for a duck. Even Muhammad Saghir Khan departed early. Muhammad Kashif pushed the score to 37 but became another victim of Raja, departing for 16. Farman Ali, the next batsman, also had a brief stay at the crease, getting bowled by Umair Ali for 4.

Atta Ur Rahim contributed 24 runs to push the score to 66 but was bowled by Muhammad Azhar. Almas Ayub and Abdul Ghaffar fought hard to rescue their team from trouble. When Seven Districts were two runs short of the 100-run mark, Almas Ayub fell to Uzair Khan for 34. Abdul Ghaffar played some exquisite shots and, along with Nabeel Arshad, took the score to 119 before Nabeel was dismissed by Akif Raja for 9. Ghaffar remained unbeaten on 42 off 26 balls, hitting four boundaries and three sixes. Wahab Hassan finished on 9 not out as Seven Districts posted a fighting total.

Aggressive approach

In pursuit of the target, Future Mattress lost their hard-hitting opener Alishan Sharafu early but the other opener Sandeep Singh unleashed a variety of strokes to dominate the bowlers. Dawood Ejaz provided him valuable support. Sandeep Singh finally succumbed to Wahab Hassan off a well-judged catch by Raees Ahmad for 68 that came off just 30 balls including six boundaries and six sixes.

Dawood Ejaz and Yasir Kaleem took the score to 121 in 12.4 overs when Ejaz was stumped by wicketkeeper Muhammad Kashif off Wahab Hassan for 36. The consistent Yasir Kaleem then guided Future Mattress to the target with an unbeaten 33, supported by Syed Haider Shah (11 not out). Future Mattress clinched the final in 16.1 overs.

Brief scores:

Future Mattress bt Seven Districts by 7 wkts. Seven Districts 156 for 7 in 20 overs (Atta Ur Rahim 24, Almas Ayub 34, Abdul Ghaffar 42n.o, Akif Raja 3 for 23) Future Mattres 158 for 3 in 16.1 overs (Sandeep Singh 68, Dawood Ejaz 36, Yasir Kaleem 33n.o, Wahab Hassan 2 for 30)

Other awards

Player of the final: Sandeep Singh

Player of the tournament: Zohaib (CSS Group)

Best Batter: Raees (Seven Districts)

Best Bowler: Zeeshan (Seven Districts)