Pakistan Assn punish wasteful Little Sai Wan

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 May, 2010, 12:00am

An error-prone performance from JKN Little Sai Wan saw the Sunday League Grand Final gift-wrapped for Pakistan Association for the second successive year with a comprehensive seven-wicket victory at Kowloon Cricket Club.

The blunders came thick and fast for Sai Wan, who, after electing to bat first, failed to post a competitive target, reaching 161 for nine in 47 overs when time was called on their innings. Then defending their paltry score, they bowled 10 no-balls and dropped four catches.

Sai Wan skipper Tabarak Dar scored a painstaking 61 not out and carried out his bat. But with no one else sticking around long enough to build a sizeable partnership, Dar's innings was more about keeping his wicket than scoring runs quickly.

'We were short by about 50 runs, and 160 was not a defendable total ,' Dar said. 'Our innings lacked momentum and we also failed to hold on to our catches. We didn't handle the pressure at all.'

A hostile opening spell of fast bowling from Tanveer Afzaal, who grabbed the wickets of Nadeem Ahmed, Suresh Pandey and Nizakat Khan, saw Sai Wan struggling on eight for three in the first eight overs.

The one batsman who could have powered the innings - Irfan Ahmed - seemed to be in good nick and was middling the ball well, but tragedy struck when he was run out with the score on 31. Playing uppishly to point, Irfan set off for a run but was sent back by Dar and failed to beat the throw. His loss was huge and when other big-hitter Munir Dar (23) was caught on the long-off boundary, the writing was all but on the wall for Sai Wan.

Left-arm spinners Anas Khan (two for 27 off 10 overs), Najeeb Amar (none for 21 in 10 overs) and Tanveer (three for 30 in 10) were the most impressive bowlers for Pakistan Association, and they were well backed in the field with all catches pouched - the best being a one-handed catch by Ankur Sharma on the mid-wicket boundary.

Sai Wan couldn't emulate that. Hussain Butt was dropped first ball and went on to score 32. Sharma, who top-scored with an unbeaten 60, and Najeeb Amar (39 not out) were both given lives, and made the most of it as they comfortably steered their side to victory with 19 overs remaining.

'We played like a champion side today,' said a pleased Pakistan Association captain Ilyas Gull. 'The guys bowled and fielded well. It would have been more of a match if they had scored more than 200, but we did very well to restrict them to a modest score.'