It was a fine sunny morning with the intermittent gust of cold wind blowing from the south at the Moin Khan Cricket Academy on Saturday, 25th of November 2017; perfect weather for a cricket game between Karachi Grammar School (KGS) cricket team against the boys representing their alma mater and playing under the banner of Old Grammarian Society (OGS). OGS captain Tariq Aijaz won the toss and having inspected the pitch earlier, gave his decision without any hesitation to field first.
KGS started in terrible fashion as captain Zair Riaz was out after having scored just 1 run as Khawaja Shamoun Ilyas trapped him with a slow paced floater that deceived him and crashed into his stumps. Saif Ali with 12 runs and Khizer Saqib with 23 runs put up a partnership but could not convert their good starts into a larger score and were dismissed by Ali Samir and Daniyal Alvi respectively. The KGS prospects for a large score were further dented as Sameer was out for 17, again to the ferocious spin of Daniyal Alvi while Suleman was adjudged leg before after having scored 5 runs as Owais Balagamwala claimed his solitary scalp of the match. Khurram Jamali and Saad Khamisani combined to stem the run flow through some economical bowling and with KGS struggling at 84 for the loss of 5 wickets on a difficult two paced pitch that was supporting the bowlers, Mustafa Habib (16 runs) and Taimoor (32 runs) put up some resistance. Burhan Mirza was however undeterred and determined to pull back the run flow as he clean bowled Mustafa and got Taimoor run out in quick succession. Danish Elahi also sprung into action for OGS and managed to run out Ammar after he had scored 6 runs while Ali Samir bowled a beautiful fast paced in swinger to clean bowl Rafay on the first ball he faced. KGS ended at 141 for the loss of 9 wickets in the designated 20 overs.
During the lunch break that consisted of light and healthy kebab rolls from one of the premier eateries in the city, both teams put their heads together in their respective dressing rooms and strategized how best to emerge as the victors.
OGS started off their innings in slow fashion as Suleman Sajjad bowled a maiden and Tayyab R Balagamwala was dismissed for just 5 runs. Khawaja Obaid brought his experience to the crease at one down and with fellow opener Jamil Akber, who was struggling initially, managed to get together a partnership before Jamil was out after having scored a valuable 35 runs off 27 deliveries as Mustafa Habib claimed his first scalp of the innings. Omayr Sheikh, in his usual confident albeit a bit exuberant manner joined the crease and showed his class with some excellent strokes around the park before he was dismissed after having scored 20 runs by Zair Riaz while Khawaja Obaid followed suit after having scored 26 runs and was dismissed by Zia Ali. OGS were in a spot of bother at 95 for the loss of 4 wickets, and in this critical moment, Danish Elahi decided to play an anchor role with 10 runs off 18 deliveries while Daniyal Alvi displayed finesse, power and some sublime strokes in his aggressive knock of 36 runs off just 18 balls at a strike rate of 200% as he along with the ever reliable Danish Elahi ensured that OGS crossed the finish line with more than 2 overs to spare.
At the end of the match, Dr Wall presented the runners up trophy to Zair Riaz while the winner’s trophy was presented to Tariq Bin Aijaz, the over joyed captain of OGS whose strategic maneuvers ensured that OGS emerged as the victors in this friendly battle among two champion teams.
It is pertinent to mention that this very important encounter was sponsored by Blue Ex and Pakistan Cables whose valuable support helped ensure the event was a huge success.
OGS won by 6 wickets.
Man of the match: Daniyal Alvi (OGS)