Abdul Shakoor in action during the Ajman Cup semi-final match.
Abdul Shakoor celebrated his birthday through a match-winning unbeaten knock of 83 and gifted Delhi Bulls – Future Mattress a place in the final of the AJMAN T20 CUP powered by Sky Exchange.Net.
His unconquered knock off 47 balls studded with 12 boundaries and two sixes helped defeat Bangla Tigers-Karwan by nine wickets in the second semifinal at the Ajman’s Malek Stadium. Delhi Bulls – Future Mattress will now take on Maratha Arabians Brothers Gas in the final.
After having restricted Bangla Tigers — Karwan to 127 for 7, Delhi Bulls – Future Mattress opener Shakoor and one-drop batsman Zawar Farid (39n.0) put on an unbeaten 125-runs partnership to win the match in 14 overs.
Earlier, Delhi Bulls – Future Mattress won the toss and elected to bowl. Bangla Tigers – Karwan’s openers Fayyaz Ahmed and Sagar Kalyan put on 44 runs in 4.5 overs. Then Fayyaz fell leg before to Zawar Farid for 24.
At the score on 50, the aggressive Sagar Kalyan too departed when Nilansh Keshwani at covers pulled off a spectacular one-handed catch off Umair Ali Khan for 19. Ali Khan too fell at the same score run out for a duck, followed by Fawad Nawaz who got trapped leg before to Sultan Ahmed for 8.
Ten runs later, Ameer Hamsa got caught by Sultan Ahmed at mid-wicket off Mohammad Azhar for 13. Then Furqan Khalil and Arsalan Jawed kept the scoreboard moving. They put on 50 runs for the sixth wicket.
Furqan top scored with 33 runs off 29 balls with two sixes and one boundary before getting bowled to Zawar Farid. Arsalan Jawed remained unbeaten on 21 off 17 balls with one boundary and a six to ensure a total of 127 for 7 in 20 overs.
Chasing the total, Delhi Bulls – Future Mattress lost an early wicket when opener Syed Haider fell leg before to Arsalan Jawad for 6 to the second ball of the second over.
However, opener Abdul Shakoor did not let the bowlers dominate and he hit Bangla Tigers – Karwan’s star bowler Sheraz Ahmed for three consecutive boundaries in the third over. Zawar Farid played an elegant shot off Arsalan Jawad and took 12 runs off the fourth over.
Shakoor then hit Umaid Khan for two consecutive boundaries in the fifth over to take the score past the 50-run mark. The partnership thus began to get stronger and Shakoor reached his half century in the eighth over. By the ninth over, Delhi Bulls – Karwan needed only another 49 runs more to win.
In the 11th over, Shakoor was severe on Ameer Hamza and hit him for two sixes. With his second six of that over, Delhi Bulls – Karwan crossed the 100 run mark. Needing just 23 runs, and with nine overs and nine wickets remaining, Delhi Bulls – Karwan took a firm grip on the match. Zawar Farid speeded up their race to the target hitting Babar Iqbal for a six. He also hit a six off Babar Iqbal as the winning shot.
Speaking about his knock that won his team a place in the final, Shakoor, after receiving the Man of the match, said: “After we were restricted to less than 100 runs in our last match (against Deccan Gladiators – MGM), we wanted to make sure that such a show was not repeated. I decided to stay on and ensure the victory. Thought it was a different kind of wicket, I ensured that we handle the pressure well and win the match.”