x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Danube Lions' roar in Ramadan cricket soothes Rohan Mustafa

Win over Yogi Group in Al Aqili Ramadan Twenty20 Cup final in Abu Dhabi gives club fourth trophy in debut season, writes Amith Passela.

Shahzad Manna, of Yogi Group, plays a shot during the Ramadan Cup final match against Danube Lions at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The Lions defeated Yogi Group by six wickets.
Shahzad Manna, of Yogi Group, plays a shot during the Ramadan Cup final match against Danube Lions at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The Lions defeated Yogi Group by six wickets.

ABU DHABI // Danube Lions notched up back-to-back trophies in the capital city which took their tally to four overall, making their debut season a most memorable one.

They were convincing winners of the Al Aqili Ramadan Twenty20 Cup over Yogi Group in the final, played under lights at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Thursday.

Their latest title comes after they clinched the Al Hamad Division 1 trophy, the premier 50-over-a-side tournament of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council and two T20 titles, the HSBC Cup and the Debonair Pizza Cup, both in Dubai.

They also made it to the quarter-finals of the Ramadan Cup tournaments conducted by the Dubai and the Sharjah cricket councils, and their captain, Rohan Mustafa, who won the Man of the Tournament award, is confident they can carry the winning formula forward.

He said they have a strong chance to achieve the objectives of Anis Sajan, the managing director of Danube, who has been instrumental in establishing the cricket team.

“When we won our first title on this very same ground it gave me and the players a huge satisfaction. Now we have won four and hopefully more, which is more than we bargained for,” Mustafa said.

He will be available for his side for only two games before he flies out with the UAE team to Canada on Monday for the ICC Intercontinental Cup and the ICC World Cricket League.

The Lions strengthened the team for the Ramadan Cup tournaments with two imports from Pakistan – Riaz Afridi, who played one Test, and Yasir Shah, who has one ODI and two T20s to his name.

Shah played a useful knock of 28 not out from 23 balls and Afridi took one for 31 from his four overs in the Lions’ six-wicket win with 21 balls to spare over Yogi.

Yogi, electing to bat first, were in a bit of a spot at 50 for four in 10 overs before a battling knock from K Jaykishen, who smashed 40 off 24 balls highlighted by five hits to the fence, helped them put up 140 for nine on the board.

The Lions lost Asif Iqbal for four when the score was 11 but a breezy 63-run stand for the second wicket between Prashanth Braggs and Samiullah Younus set them on course.

Braggs, a UAE international, hit three sixes and an equal number of fours for a 26-ball 40 while Younus stroked 41 off 34 deliveries.

The Ramadan Cup conducted by the ADCC drew the maximum 20 teams. Abdul Razzaq, Faisal Iqbal, and Imran Nazir, the Pakistan internationals, turned up for Grand Midwest while several First Class cricketers from Pakistan also turned up for others in the competition.

apassela@thenational.ae

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