Najeeb and Jawaid ensure thumping win for powerful Blue
Najeeb Amar and Jawaid Iqbal spun Independents Blue to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Kowloon Cricket Club in the HKCA Super League at Cox's Road yesterday.
But the other game between Independents Green and Hong Kong Cricket Club ended in a stalemate with batsmen from both teams hogging the limelight over the two days.
It was all joy for the Tabarak Dar-led Blue, who twice bowled out KCC to register an outright victory in the inaugural tournament. KCC, who were struggling at 94 for six in their first innings overnight, were bowled out for 143.
Dar enforced the follow-on and, despite a half-century from Roy Lamsam, KCC were unable to bat themselves out of trouble, folding for 196 leaving the visitors' with just 27 needed for an outright victory, which they achieved for the loss of three wickets.
'We could have batted instead of enforcing the follow-on, but in that case they would have had the opportunity to bat out for a draw,' Dar said, delighted with having gained maximum points.
Najeeb and Jawaid combined well, grabbing four wickets apiece, as KCC were bowled out in their second innings with just 27 runs ahead overall.
It wasn't enough by any means and, despite Blue giving their youngsters a go in the second innings and losing early wickets, the target was hardly a problem.
'But we still don't know how many points we won, although I believe we get 14 for an outright victory plus all the bonus points,' Dar said.
'We are still finding our way as the rules regarding the points are all new. But it doesn't matter as long as you win.'
Up at Hong Kong Cricket Club, they knew exactly how the points were divided at the end of the day - HKCC finished with 12 and Greens with 11.
HKCC began the day on 171 for four with Mark Eames unbeaten on 60.
He added another 25 runs as the hosts reached 254 for eight in their allotted 60 overs - 27 runs behind their opposition on first innings.
Independents Green went on a run spree in their second innings and reached 318 for five in the 40 overs available thanks to a breezy innings of 113 by Nasir Hameed, who was well supported by Rizwan Sattar (65), Nadeem Ahmed (35) and Munir Dar (38).
Needing 346 to win, HKCC finished on 186 for two with Tim Smart scoring an accomplished 108 not out and fellow-opener Nathan King hitting 62.
But HKCC edged out the Green on the points thanks to bowling them out in the first innings.