Sai Majeed reports on the Ucare Asian Sports Gala T20 event. “The 2017 Scottish Asian Sports Gala T20 cricket match took place on Sunday 13th August at Titwood, the home of Clydesdale Cricket Club. The match, which was arranged by The Ucare Foundation to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Pakistan’s Independence, was contested by The Scottish Pakistani Pumas (‘Greens’) and The Scottish Pakistani Panthers (‘Blues’).
“In a departure from the usual format, teams comprising players from the north, east and west of Scotland, as well as guest Pakistani professional players, and led by Mohammed Ramzan and Nazar Hussain, did battle on Glasgow’s southside. The Panthers skipper Nazar Hussain won the toss and invited the Pumas to bat first and was rewarded when he had Qasim Sheikh caught by Kayyum Sarral, without scoring, in the third over with the score on 10. Shahid Rafiq and Anwar Hafeez took the total to 28 before Rafiq was caught by Rizwan Akhbar, off of the bowling of Kayyum Sarral, for 15 in the sixth over. At this point, the Pumas skipper, Mohammed Ramzan, joined his teammate Hafeez at the wicket and together they led the fightback with a partnership of 65 for the Greens. The partnership was finally broken with the score on 93 when Ramzan was stumped by Kashif Hussain from the bowling of Asif Ali, for 23 from 29 balls, in the sixteenth over. Anwar Hafeez followed two overs later, trying to force the pace, and was run out for a well-played 67 from just 53 balls, which was the mainstay of the Pumas eventual total of 127 for 4 from their twenty overs. Nazar Hussain (1 for 14), Asif Ali (1 for 25) and Kayyum Sarral (1 for 15) shared the wickets to fall in the Pumas innings’ and the Panthers would have been happy to have restricted their opponents to a reasonably low total.
“That feeling didn’t last too long though, as the Panthers slumped to 5 for 2 inside three overs as both Anas Mahmood and Asif Ali fell cheaply, to the bowling of Kess Sajjad and Umair Khan respectively. For the second time in the match a fightback was required, and once again it was the captain who led the way, as Nazar Hussain and opener Kashif Khalil (29) added 46 for the third wicket in eight overs and three balls. Unfortunately, when Hussain departed for 26, caught by Umair Khan from the bowling of Anwar Hafeez, the innings lost momentum despite the best efforts of Khalil. The introduction of Moneeb Iqbal caused the majority of the damage to the Panthers innings, as they slipped from 51 for 3 to 78 for 9 in seven overs, with the East Kilbride spinner picking up an impressive 5 for 15, as the Blues were bowled out for 94 in 19.5 overs. So, it was Mohammed Ramzan who collected the trophy on behalf of the Pumas, as they secured a 33-run win, in front of a large and good-natured crowd, who enjoyed the contest.
“In the other match played on the day, the Blues, led by Imran Malik, comfortably defeated the Whites by 87 runs. The Blues batted first and amassed 180 for 6 in their twenty overs, with Renfrew professional, Farhan Khan, top-scoring with an unbeaten 100 from 53 balls, while Saleem Sajjad (19) and Shahid Chaudhry (15) making good contributions. In reply, the Whites were in serious trouble as they slipped to 20 for 6 inside six overs, as Imran Malik (4 for 14) and Waqas Arshad (2 for 5) did the damage. They did recover, thanks mainly to a 38 ball 55 from Zaighum Ahmed, but he could not prevent his side from being dismissed for 93 in 14.1 overs.
“The organisers would like to thank all of the volunteers who gave up their time to help make this event happen, with a special mention to the two match officials, Billy McPate and Keith Scholes, who umpired both matches on the day in very warm conditions.”