It has become apparent as we’ve ticked over and into the second half of the 2020-21 Dubai Cricket season, that the ‘norm’ for a 25 over cricket match is for it to distill itself down, over a period of four hours, to needing a handful of runs off the final over. In Friday’s DCC League of Mammoths match between Dubai Exiles Cricket Club and Jabal Ali Mammoths Cricket Club, 5 runs were needed off the final over by Exiles to win the match…
It would also appear that the ‘norm’, at least for Dubai Exiles CC, is to get off to a fantastic start with the bowling attack and reduce the opposition to something under 50 for 4 wickets. On this occasion it was 48 runs for 4 wickets, as usual, the Exiles were off to a great start and full of smiles, there were plenty of thumbs up signs being shared around the cricket oval.
Khalid Raja looking serious
Young Sami Khan had another great game
Another wicket taken by Aditya Khurana
Hat catching practice pays off
Jabal Ali put a decent total together for Exiles CC to chase
Jabal Ali Mammoths’ opener Bibin Jacob had been clean bowled for a duck by Hamza Shujaat off only the third ball. Mukund Srinivasan came to the wicket, faced seven balls and found himself walking back to the splendid Sevens Stadium Cricket Pavilion after being trapped lbw by Usman Azim. 22 runs on the board. Abdul Rehman Butt was also clean bowled by Hamza Shujaat and opener Vinay Tolani had finally made an error and been caught and bowled by Aditya Khurana.
Exiles were cruising at this point, the field was filled with energy, chat and enthusiasm, but the Jabal Ali Mammoths middle order had their own ideas and definitely had their own plan.
Rejee Mohan surveys the oval
Bhavik Thakkar looks pretty confident
Close Usman Azim?
Siddhant ‘Sid ‘ Jhurani is always full of energy
Sundeep Raina has a habit of making a battle of things, and with the more than able assistance of Rejee Mohan they set about making a fist of things and pushing the Jabal Ali scoreboard along into a beyond the realms of respectability. By the time Ejee Mohan was bowled by Exiles’ Shayan Khan, he’d added 49 runs and hit 8 boundaries off just 35 balls. Sundeep Raina had been slightly more cautious, but still contributed 35 runs before he was bowled by Moin Deshmukh in his first over of the match.
Sheridan Hadfield and Rajesh Thadani were facing the Exiles’ bowling attack as the final overs arrived. Hadfield had a great knock, finishing on an unbeaten 35 off 22 balls including 4 boundaries and a 6. Rajesh Thadani arrived at the wicket, contributed one run before being caught by Vikram Nayak off Aditya Khurana‘s bowling of the final ball of the innings. Dubai Exiles Cricket Club was left to chase 172 runs for the win.
Moin Deshmukh opened the batting…
…with teenager Sami Khan
Teenager Sami Khan (14) opened the batting for the Exiles, alongside Moin Deshmukh. They got off to a decent start too, Sami found the boundary in the first couple of balls and Moin was already looking to be pretty settled in front of the wicket. The wicket of Moin Deshmukh was the first to fall, but not before 35 runs had been posted on the board. Moin had been caught by Sundeep Raina off the bowling of Mukund Srinivasan.
Siddhart Jhurani was next up for the Exiles, and set about things with his usual boundless energy and enthusiasm. ‘Sid’ is known for his industrious running between the wickets. It was the run collecting enthusiasm of both Sid and Sami that eventually caught up with young Sami Khan, being run out, but not before he had contributed 30 runs which included four boundaries.
Vikram Nayak came to the wicket with some purpose. He was looking to make shots and helped steer the Exiles run chase to 111 before Sid Jhurani was trapped lbw by Rajesh Thadani. Exiles were 111 for 3 with plenty of batting to come.
When Khalid Rajah entered the match, the run chase had reduced to just 60 runs needed. Abdul Rehman Butt delivered an innocuous ball down the wicket and Khalid promptly batted it straight back to him and found himself on the way to an early shower. Bhavik Thakkar was next in for Exiles CC, a consistent performer with the bat, but on this occasion, Bhavik went exactly the same way as Khalid, caught and bowled by Rajesh Thadani.
Vikram Nayak scored 30 off just 21 balls
The comfy way to watch cricket
Vikram Nayak was the next to fall, caught by Vinay Tolani bowled by Rajesh Thadani and Vinay looked extremely happy about it! Vikram had added 30 runs to the Exiles’ tally but Exiles were now 116 for 6. Shayan Khan contributed a swift 17 runs before also being caught by Vinay Tolani off Sheridan Hadfield. Dubai Exiles Cricket Club was now 158 for 7 with 2 overs remaining.
It was left for Hamza Shujaat and Usman Azim to perform the heroics for Exiles CC and the pair duly delivered. As the match headed into the final over, Exiles needed 5 runs for the ‘w’ in the League of Mammoths table and with just 3 balls remaining the task was completed.
Sami Khan also added 30 runs to the Exiles total
Vikram Nayak worked hard between the wickets
Sid Jhurani sends one away for 6
Hamza Shujaat hit an unbeaten 21
Jabal Ali Mammoths
Dubai Exiles Cricket Club – Falcons
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Dubai Exiles CC v Jabal Ali Mammoths Cricket Club
Dubai Cricket Council ‘League of Mammoths’ (8th January 2021)