Cricket – Wombats Dubai Super League
17th October 2017
On a sunny afternoon at the ICC Oval, the fifth edition of the Aqua Properties Dubai Super League commenced with Wombats Yellows batting first on what seemed to be a batting friendly pitch. A strong exhibition of swing bowling saw both Yellows openers back in the hut in the first 2 overs of the game, with the pitch showing signs of assistance for the bowlers. At no. 4, in came 17 year old Abdul Murad, who would go on to play an innings to remember. Greeted with the typical Darjeeling sledging, the young left handed batsman continued to play his shots as wickets fell around him, lacing a drive through extra cover and dismissing the bad balls to the boundary while rotating the strike regularly. As wickets continue to tumble, Abdul Murad refused to give his wicket away and played a mature innings. As captain Adeel Safvi came in, a crucial partnership of 78 was formed between the pair, saving Yellows from a miserly total. The pair began to accelerate when Safvi was dismissed in the 21st over, in which Abdul Murad switched gears and began to pepper the leg side boundary with a brilliant display of range hitting, scooping and flicking the Darjeeling seamers to the boundary. Yellows ended up with a strong total of 176/9, thanks to a final partnership between Rafay and Abdul Murad. The beginning of the second innings saw an excellent display of seam bowling by the experienced Tashfen Yasin, dismissing both Darjeeling openers early on. The young spin duo of Salah Shakeel and Abdul Murad would then come on to tighter the screws, both taking a wicket each. As the pressure began to mount on Yellows, off spinner Abdul Rafay continued to impress with a spectacular display of spin bowling, taking a 5 wicket haul, highlighted by accurate lines and difficult lengths. An excellent fielding display by Mohammad Ali and Salah Shakeel saw Yellows home, with Abdul Murad being awarded the man of the match for his whirlwind knock of 82 off 70 and 1-36.