Wombats Dubai Super League 2016 – 17.
19th November 2016.
The hottest team in the Aqua Properties DSL received their first dose of reality as the Cool Boys handed them their first defeat of their campaign. The match promised plenty of firepower and it did not disappoint. On a damp dew filled morning at the Ajman Oval, the teams squared up as Cool Boys won the toss and elected to bat first. Wombats Blacks were handicapped with only 10 players with star batsman, Muhammad Ali (Google) pulling out last minute due to illness.
Both teams started aggressively. Captain, Tauseef took the new ball on a remarkably flat track and immediately found swing in the air. At the other end, although Tashfen, the wily seamer got movement, Cool Boys took a liking to his bowling. He did however, create some chances. First of which, was M Rumman who skied one in the second over off Tashfen, a simple catch was put down when the ball thudded on the ground beside the bowler. That was to prove a big mistake in this high stakes game. The next ball was dispatched to the long on boundary by the hard hitting, talented batsman, Nouman with arrogant disdain. A powerful striker, he can be a destructive force, however, as he skied the next ball high into the crisp morning sunshine, Hasnain took a fantastic tumbling catch at mid off. Although Faisal Arif came and went without troubling the scorers too much by hauling out to mid on, Adeel Safvi taking a simple catch off the bowling of Tauseef.
At the other end, Rumman looked in sublime form lacing the cover boundary as the Blacks continued to leak runs. A comical 5 runs being gifted in Tauseef’s last over when a sharp run out chance ricocheted off the stumps and trickled to the boundary whilst the team continued their desperate appeal and no one chasing the ball. As the spinners swooped in, Rumman was unable to find many partners, however, it looked like he would continue on his merry way alone. And that he did. Although, Adnan Qaisar continued his fine bowling form, restricting the batsmen by only giving 4 runs an over and picking up two crucial wickets. The Blacks however kept releasing the pressure from the other end with a combination of shoddy bowling and even weaker fielding, indeed, at times it looked like the fielders were accompanying the ball to the boundary. Except, Salah Shakeel took a quite brilliant diving caught and bowled to dismiss left hander, S Jalil cheaply. Blacks fielding and bowling efforts however, were well complimented by relative new comer, Kaylan D’Souza’s sledging. A sparkling barrage of taunts and also asking if The Cool Boys batsman, Maisam Hussain was seen out partying with him the night before, another display of the wonderful variety we see in Aqua Properties DSL. To be fair to the Blacks, there were gaping holes in the field with only 10 players. Several catches and a stumping also went down bolstering Rumman’s and Cool Boys hold on the game. They made 214 in their allotted overs, including an astonishing 138 not out by Rumman. Well played sir, he is definitely a batsman to watch in DSL.
Wombats Blacks started their innings disastrously, with Omar Hayat, Wombats stalwart, ex opening batsman looking to assert his claim to the top spot, bowled by Kashif for 2 runs. In walked the absolutely sublime, Hasnain Raza. His calm command of batsmanship took hold of the game with his languid strokemaking. As he guided, stroked, flicked and caressed his way about the crease, Rehan at the other end began to play some characteristically powerful shots. One particular lofted on drive was as good as it gets as he held the pose. A natural timer of the ball, Rehan looked brilliant in the middle, until… an unfortunate run out when he was turned back and a case of “yes, no maybe, sorry” occurred. He returned to the dug out to score 30 runs. Tauseef and Hasnain, put on a steady partnership, the former playing a patient support role as the Blacks took hold of the asking rate and taking command of the innings. The Cool Boys were visibly concerned as they rotated their bowlers around. However, in the 18th over, Tauseef was adjudged LBW, dubiously as the batsman (ironically the writer too!!!) complained about the ball hitting the bottom of his bat and not his shoe, to no avail. He made 27 patient runs.
Unfortunately for the Blacks, it was down hill from there as the new batsmen couldn’t quite make contact with the ball. Shiraz bowling a particularly definitive spell by taking 3 wickets and only conceding a miserly 6 runs an over. By the time Hasnain was out for a scintillating 93 runs in the 23rd over to a spectacular catch at the deep square leg boundary by S Jalil, hope was lost for a tight finish. The Blacks left to rue their missed chances and wondering what a difference the 11th player and an additional batsman could have made… what if, what if? The Cool Boys played brilliantly and fully deserve this win.