Abuja — Abuja Pakistanis Cricket Club made a perfect start to the maiden Iris Smart Technologies Abuja Cricket League, as they cruised past Aso Rock Cricket Club (ARCC) by 9 runs, at the Package B of the Abuja National Stadium Cricket Oval, yesterday.
The win was inspired by Adnan Akbar, who emerged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the match who scored 61 runs off 38 ball strongly supported by Danish Michael with 45 runs off 40 balls.
In the keenly contested opening match, Abuja Pakistanis batted first and scored 157 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in the 20 overs, while in the second innings, ARCC batted and scored 148 runs for loss of 8 wickets in the 20 overs.
Musa Ehizoje scored 37 runs off 33 balls supported by Ariyor Gbenga with 37 runs off 28 balls and Onwindiwe Jamal with 36 runs off balls. Saad Butt got three wickets for 28 runs in four overs.
In second match, Abuja Indians outdid their opponents, CCA Panthers by 17 runs to begin their campaign on a winning note. Abuja Indians won the toss and elected to bat scoring a total of 136 runs for the loss 8 wickets in 20 overs with Abinav Sharma emerged the top scorer with 39 runs off 38 balls.
Abhay Singh got 3 wickets for 15 runs in 4 overs as the best performer with the ball for CCA Panthers CC.
In the second innings, CCA Panthers stated slowly but gradually got their innings together but eventually fell short to record 119 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 20 overs. Adil Bhatia scored 60 runs off 45 balls but was not enough to rescue his team.
Adil Bhatia was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the match with 60 runs and 2 wickets
Speaking on the sidelines, Dare Aimola, North Central Representative on the Board of the Nigeria Cricket federation, described the commencement of the league as a greater step toward the development of Cricket in Nigeria.
He said the league will avail youths of the North Central and Nigeria in general the opportunity to express their talents positively.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP Sports on the significance of the league, spokesperson of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), Musa Ehizoje Bodies, said the idea of the league was created out of the desire to engage the Abuja based cricket clubs in competitive spirit and encourage youth participation in the game of cricket.
He said the organisers in their desirability to achieve mass participation of youths in cricket, will also set up developmental structure in schools for grassroots development.
The League is expected to take place and climax April 28, 2019 when the final game is expected to be played. At the end of the League the best team is expected to smile to the bank with cash prize in the tens of thousands and a trophy as well as various winners of best bowler, best batsman, best fielder and Best All Rounder who will also smile to the bank with various cash prizes and trophies.