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The carnival of school cricket reached its climax as Pakistan School & College & Future Star Cricket academy reached the final of Kuwait’s Cricket’s U-18 school tournament sponsored by Gulf Four.
In the first semifinal, Carmel School took on Pakistan School & College and surprisingly decided to field first. Splendid batting effort spearheaded by keeper Abdul Wahab (25 runs) and Qassim (21 runs) enabled the PSC team to put on a 54 runs opening partnership. Thereafter, a businesslike cameo innings from Mohammed Fouzi & a fruitful partnership with captain Abdul Jabbar laid the foundation of a huge score as Pakistan school posted 215 runs for 6 wickets in 20 overs. The pair looked to push some quick singles to keep the score ticking over and Mohammed Fouzi in particular got off to a flyer as he played with superb timing and picked up the lengthy deliveries to beautifully play it all over the ground. A neatly timed flick over the midwicket fence was the shot of the day. Fouzi’s entertaining knock of 84 runs contained 8 superbly timed sixes and four well hit boundaries while Jabbar scored 26 runs. Carmel school bowlers Waseef (2-36) & Heinz (2-25) bowled exceptionally well to contain the batsmen.
Carmel school started off well but the sheer pace of lanky paceman Shahrouk who produced plenty of bounce was too hot to handle and in a chase scored 128 runs for 8 wickets in 20 overs. Opener Aleem stood among the ruins to score a solid 50 runs. Shahrouk took 2 for 25 runs while spinners Abdul Jabbar & Abdul wahab took 2 wickets each to fetch Pakistan School & College a right place in the final. Principal of Pakistan School & College presented the Player of the match trophy to Mohammed Fouzi for his splendid batting performance.
In the second match of the day, Future Star cricket Academy, working like a well oiled unit produced their best so far to upset the applecart of Friends XI and reached the final. The highly rated Fiends XI after winning all the matches in the robin round league, were confident and fielding first restricted the Future Star academy team to 117 in 20 overs. Captain and south paw Ali Zaheer played well to score 25 runs and Zakaria supported him well to score 16 runs. Friends XI spinners Ahmed (2-19) & Bassem 2-16 produced exceptional bowling skills to skittle the Future star team to a moderate total.
A highly confident Friends XI started well as in form Mudassar cracked a magnificent 33 runs and along with Nabeel who anchored the innings with 20 runs put on 55 runs partnership. Anyway, the introduction of spinners put the brakes on the scoring rate and wickets fell like nine pins to the superb bowling performance by Bilal who took (3-3) & Murshed who flighted and turned the ball well, rattled the Friends XI innings to 105 runs. Ali Zaheer also bowled exceptionally well to capture 2 wickets for 22. Jassim who fought till the end scored 20 runs for Friends XI. Murshed was declared Player of the match for his excellent bowling performance.