Cambridge win school cricket title twice in-a-row

Published on Feb 28, 2013

ABU DHABI // The Cambridge High School retained the Abu Dhabi inter-school title for a second year in-a-row, defeating Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Pakistan School in a repeat of last year''s final.

Shivank Vijaykumar and Moaaz Qazi, both UAE hopefuls for next year''s under 19 World Cup hosted in the country, smashed half centuries and shared an 81-run partnership to complete a superb win at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Vijyakumar hit five fours and three sixes in a top score of 58 not out in 42 deliveries and Qazi battled through pain after twisting his ankle to smash a 39-ball 55 not out highlighted with eight boundaries.

Pakistan School electing to bat first were off to a good start. Ahmed ur Rehman and Simon Charles added 84 in 10 overs before Sahal Baji, who went 32 in three overs, provided the vital breakthrough.

The medium pacer had Rehman out to a well-judged catch by Moiz Qazi at long off for a breezy 51. He faced hit eight fours off 38 deliveries.

Pakistan School were well placed at 107 for one in 15 overs when Bilal Passela took two wickets in two deliveries, including Charles, his UAE under 16 teammate, for 41 to stem the run flow and restrict them eventually to 145 for eight.

Vijaykumar and Passela (15) provided a sound start before the latter was deceived by a slower delivery from Rehman for Cambridge to lose their first wicket at 34 in the fifth over.

Then there was a little wobble as Bikramjeet Singh (7), Liam Azer (run out for 1), and Moiz Qazi (4) left Cambridge at 66 for four before Vijaykumar and Moaaz Qazi saw them through with more than four overs to spare.

Cambridge also won the ''Spirit of Cricket'' award sponsored by Dilawar Mani, the former CEO of Emirates Cricket Board, for the team deemed to have best upheld the tradition of the game.

''I am very, very proud of our lads. Hopefully it is a learning experience for us and the students where we can cement relationships with the other schools. That''s the whole point of sport, making friends,'' said Peter Lugg, the Principal of Cambridge High School.

David East, the chief executive of the Emirates Cricket Board, said he was ''absolutely committed to strengthening and growing'' the schools tournament for 2014.

''From my point of view the school cricket is crucial for the ongoing development and I want to see it go strength to strength,'' he said. ''There is an enormous amount of talent in this country and we just want to ensure we nurture and develop them in the best way we can.''

The champion Cambridge team: Moaaz Qazi (Captain), Bilal Passela, Shivank Vijaykumar, Bikramjeet Singh, Liam Azer, Moiz Qazi, Sahal Baji, Sachin Jha, Aashish Menon, Maninderjeet Singh, Salman Zulfiqar, Muditha Kapukotuwa. Coach: Retheesh Abraham.

Scores in brief: The Cambridge High School 145 for 8 in 25 overs (Ahmed ur Rehman 51, Simon Charles 41, Ikram Uddin 14, Moaaz Qazi 2-17, Bilal Passela 2-20, Moiz Qazi 2-33). Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Pakistan School 147 for 4 in 20.5 overs (Shivank Vijaykumar 58 not out, Moaaz Qazi 55, Bilal Passela 15, Simon Charles 2-36).

Man of the match: Shivank Vijaykumar (Cambridge). Best Bowler: Moaaz Qazi (Cambridge). Best Batsman: Simon Charles (Pakistan School). Most Valuable Player of the Tournament: Ahmed ur Rehman (Pakistan School). Spirit of Cricket Award: Cambridge High School.

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