Massive congratulations to the team for their victory in a spectacular showdown held against C&M Cougars on 20th October, 2017 at SMME ground. Both the teams had remained unbeaten in the tournament, often winning their matches after one-sided affairs. The match promised to be a mouth-watering clash between the two heavyweights of the tournament.
The Cougars won the toss and decided to have a bat first. They got off a good start. After the loss of Rashid on the first ball of the second over to Butt, Israr and Naveed Shah consolidated the innings with a good partnership. Israr was the more aggressive of the two, regularly finding the boundary with an exemplary display of power-hitting. In the sixth over, Naveed Shah got run out for 17, kick starting a cascade of wickets that saw the Cougars go from 60-1 to 70-3. The Cougars lost their main man Sheraz in this spell too, departing after making 7. Irfan dug in, hitting a couple of sixes to accelerate the scoring rate in the death overs. The last two overs saw two more run outs, Irfan being one of the victims after scoring 25 runs to help Cougars to a decent score of 108-7. 13 of those runs came from extras. Israr top scored with 34, while Murtaza finished with 2 wickets.
The Scorpions, in reply, got off to a good start too. After scoring 13 runs in the first over, they lost their star batsman Abid to a beautiful yorker by Satti. Nouman came in and immediately went through with his shots, making sure the bowlers don’t get settled. The second over went for 20 runs. Adnan departed on the first ball of the third over, caught in the deep while trying to clear the long-on boundary. Nouman and Murtaza then stabilized the innings, both of them playing their shots and clearing the boundary at regular intervals. Naveed Shah provided the next breakthrough, getting rid of Murtaza for 14. His over still went for 18 runs, as Nouman proved to be difficult to contain. The Scorpions were 73-3 after 5 overs, and it looked like they would easily win it and clinch the title.
The Cougars responded well. Their bowlers tightened the screws on the batsmen, not allowing them any loose deliveries to score boundaries on. The number of dot balls increased, as well as the pressure on the batsmen. Haseeb responded by hitting a couple of fours to make it 12 runs required off 12 balls. Nouman hit a boundary in the second last over bowled by Awais. That brought it down to 4 runs required off the last over. Satti returned, and his first ball was signaled wide by the umpire. The Cougars protested, and the umpire had to take his decision back. He ordered for a re-ball, which coincidentally went wide again. Nouman finished the match in style on the next ball, smashing it over the square leg boundary for a six. He remained not out on 54, while Haseeb returned unbeaten on 20.
The victory saw the Staff Scorpions being crowned the champions. The entire team rushed on to the field and mobbed Nouman as soon as the match ended. The match was played in good spirits. Both the teams were friendly, yet competitive.
The entire tournament was full of exciting matches, wonderful bowling spells, flamboyant batting displays and most importantly, a great display of sportsman spirit. It was played for a cause, to help collect funds for students in need. It achieved that, as well as providing memories to savour for both the players and the spectators. Staff Scorpions don't stand just as winners of the tournament; they stand as beacon of hope for all those in need.
It is heartwarming to see the support of NUST family for our cause. UAO appreciates the compassion shown by players, supporters and organizers. The tournament would not have been possible without you. Your generosity will redefine futures of countless lives.
The tournament may have come to an end but our mission to #SupportAScholar continues. Stay tuned for upcoming campaigns. Together we will help build future of our nation, one scholar at a time.