velloCricket hosted its first Cricket Festival on September 1st at Marine Park. Americas Cricket Academy hosted Punjab in the friendly encounter, which was contested fiercely from ball one. Punjab batted first after winning the toss. Opening with Shabaz and Bilal, Punjab were circumspect in their approach. Anthony Karim induced the first chance for the Students as Bilal was caught at short third man by Chris Singh. Shabaz was joined by Junaid Alam as the pair took control with an partnership of 108 Junaid benefited from a chance as Ravello failed to hold on to a return catch. Shabaz remain composed as he scored 60 with Junaid scoring 48.
Dino Cho Wee Nam worked Junaid Timber to break the partner as he accounted for .Wahab Munir leg before. Ata Khan had Irfan Naseem leg before and Imran Mahzar caught at cover trying to push the scoring rate at the close of the innnings. Ravello bowling the final over ensured there was no late flourish concede a mere three runs as Punjab closed on 163 off the allotted 20 overs.
The Academy were in all sort of trouble as Cho Wee Nam steered Wahab Munir to gully for the first duck, Babar taking a simple catch. Zafar Khan got into the action from ball one with Abdullah Syed caught at first slip by Mahzar. Jahanzib Alam joined Hugo D’Oliviera but would soon see the back of his partner. D’Oliviera bowled for the third naught of the innings. Munir was not done as he had Anthony Karim caught a slip by Mahzar for no score. Zafar had his second first ball victim of the innings, Andre Kirton bowled, Americas Cricket Academy reeling at 15/5 chasing 164.
Jahanzib was joined by Sameet Khawaja set about the repair job as they saw out Munir and Zafar. Khawaja rotating the strike for his partner, no stranger to frenetic finishes. Earlier in the season Khawaja partnered with Rafique Nazeer to pull off a three wicket win against Travel Treat needing 30 runs from 18 deliveries. This time around longevity was required, as Jahanzib dishes the Punjab bowling for maximums and boundaries, Khawaja played the perfect anchor role. The pair added 116 for the sixth wicket to claw the Academy back into the match. Jahanzib piled on the runs taking a liking to Babar’s off spin, but it would be Babar who would get his man, Jahanzib falling six shy of a century.
Ravello joined Khawaja with an equation of 33 runs required from 36 deliveries. Khawaja fell caught at the wicket, for a well played 38 as Ata Khan came to the wicket. Ravello picked off the singles and doubles before Khan was leg before to Saqib. Ravello was then joined by Sean as the pair worked away at the total. Ravello chipped down the wicket to dispatch Saqib straight down the ground for a boundary to keep the equation in the Academy’s favor. With 5 runs needed off the last over, Naseem bowling for the first time, concede two singles and a double in the first three deliveries. Ravello had the luxury of a break on the fourth ball, then replicated the stroke which yielded a boundary earlier off Saqib. Americas Cricket Academy recovering from 15/5 to win by two wickets and take the first velloCricket festival.