Dubai: International Cricket Council Academy, Dubai could have easily been mistaken for a cricket ground somewhere in Downtown Srinagar on a Thursday night. It buzzed with Kashmiris living in the United Arab Emirates, shouting on top of their voices to egg on their respective teams. It was an all Kashmir setting.Cometh the summit clash, cometh the tournaments best crowd. The build up to the big finals was indicative of how tournament- Drehomes Kashmir Super T-20 League- was embraced by Kashmiris working in the
desert land. Cricket proved to be the tool to come together but the quality of the sport wasnt lost to the never seen before togetherness.
Teams fought. Some won. Some lost. But all fashioned ever-lasting memories. After couple of weeks of some quality cricket featuring eight teams with the names of various towns of Kashmir, it came down to the finals between Safa Kadal Stars and Raj Bagh Floodies.
True to the importance of the finals, hundreds made their way into ICC Academy and many a Kashmiri tuned to live streaming on the tournaments Facebook page.
The final lived up to its billing. Teams didnt disappoint. They played to out of their skins to be part of the nail-biter which saw SK Stars prevail over Raj Bagh to take home the trophy.
The pressure of the occasion got into the psyche of the both teams but SK Stars managed to come trumps during the important moments edging past the opponent by just seven runs.
Put into bat first, SK Stars were dealt with blows upfront, with Raj Bagh reducing them to 23 for the loss of three wickets. It needed skipper Naseer Hazaris cool and calm composure to drive SK Stars forward. He hit a solid 36 laced with four boundaries as SK Stars posted a decent 159 in the allotted 20 overs. Nasir Khan hit a 15-ball 26 last down the order. Suhaib was the pick of the bowlers for Raj Bagh, taking a brace of wickets.Raj Baghs chase had a stop-start approach, as they wilted under the scoreboard pressure in the big game. They were well on course to scale down the target with scoreboard reading 93 for the loss of one wicket but middle order collapsed, falling short by seven runs in the end.
Umer bowled took two wickets for the winning side. Mohsin was the highest scorer, making a solid 40-ball 51 punctuated with five fours and a solitary six. Umer Mir was declared Man of the Match for his game changing spell.
Crowd had a ball, chanting slogans for their respective teams in Kashmiri language as they were treated to unadulterated skill level and passion.Mudasir Wani, Managing Director Drehomes Real Estate Dubai, who was the brain behind the tournament, was chuffed about the success of the league. The tournament, according to him, played a huge role in
bringing together Kashmiris working in various field in Dubai.
For me its not only being passionate about cricket but also bringing our Kashmiri community together and staying connected to our roots. It created a home away from home, Wani told Kashmir Observer.DRE Homes, Stonehouse Real Estate and Ottomans were the sponsors for the event. Naveed, Sameel, Abrar, Imad, Zubair and Mushahid proved to
be an able of army of volunteers that made tournament a huge success.
KASHMIR SUPER T-20 LEAGUE
Most number of runs: 506 (Mahfooz Ilahi)
Man of the Match: Umer Mir
Man of the Series: Mahfooz Ilahi
Best Batsman: Iffi Mir
Best Bowler: Shabir Bhat
Best Fielder: Majid Khan
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