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Deccan Gladiators-MGM off to a winning start after AVR PAY NEWS AJMAN T20 CUP

ABU DHABI: The AVR PAY NEWS AJMAN T20 CUP got off to an electrifying start through a colourful opening ceremony and a keenly fought contest between Deccan Gladiators-MGM and Ajman Heroes in which Deccan Gladiators emerged triumphant by five wickets at the Ajman’s Malek Stadium.

Shaji Ul Mulk, Secretary General of the Ajman Cricket Council that is organizing this tournament, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi T10 League, declared the tournament open through a colourful opening ceremony.   Addressing the gathering at the Malek Stadium he said that this tournament would create a huge impact and bring about a significant change in the way domestic cricket is played.

The ceremony was attended by former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin, Parvez Khan, Ajman Cricket Council’s Director of Cricket, Muhammad Saifullah, Director Cricket Operations, Ajman Cricket Council, and Fayaz Ali, Director of Marketing, Ajman Cricket Council.

Shaji Ul Mulk remarked that this was an important moment for everyone since this tournament would unearth talent and create a pathway for domestic cricketers to play at a higher level of cricket. “This event will add to UAE’s excellent journey in cricket where they have qualified not once but thrice to play in the ICC World Cups.

All performances from this tournament will be captured and passed on to franchise leagues around the world. It was through the Abu Dhabi T10 League that West Indies star Nicholas Pooran displayed his potential and went on to become one of the most sought after cricketers in the world,” he said.

Shaji also noted that “Ajman Cricket Council is today a force to reckon with in domestic cricket. We have six grounds, two more are in the making, and there are 15 cement wickets too. We have staged nearly 5000 games, which is a significant number.” After unveiling the trophy, Shaji Ul Mulk declared the tournament open with a message “let the best team win.” This tournament is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi of Ajman.

The first match of the event began with Deccan Gladiators-MGM winning the toss and electing to bowl. Ajman Heroes skipper and opener Adnan Ul Mulk and Adnan Khan could post only 13 runs before Adnan Ul Mulk got caught behind by wicketkeeper Mayank Chaudhary of Danish Quereshi for 6. Opener Adnan Khan too followed hitting Ahmad Shafiq high into the hands of Ansar Khan at point for 17.

One run later, Faizan Sheikh too fell, brilliantly stumped by Mayank Chaudhary off Ahmad Shafiq for a duck. Despite three down for 24 in 2.6 overs, Dawood Ejaz and Shahrukh Sheikh kept the scoreboard moving. Ejaz had majority of the scoring, playing some fluent shots. The pair put on 33 runs when Shahrukh Sheikh on 4 lifted high to Ayan Khan at long-off off the bowling of Laxman Manjrekar.

Khalid Shah joined Dawood Ejaz when Ajman Heroes were 76 for 4 at the halfway mark. Ahmad Shafiq struck again to pick his third wicket by trapping Khalid Shah leg before for a run-a-ball 19 runs. Qureshi produced a beautiful delivery that hit the top of Ejaz’s leg stump.

Ejaz’s knock of 54 off 36 balls had seven boundaries and a six. This brought in two fresh batsmen Adnan Arif and Ajman Gul. At the score on 134, Adnan Arif got run out for 9. At the same score Amjad Gul who played some powerful shots got bowled off a full toss from Qureshi for 16. Sanchit Sharma got bowled for a duck off Saifullah Noor. Luqman Luki too became another Saifullah Noor victim and Ajman Heroes got restricted to 141 in 18.4 overs.

Chasing the score, Deccan Gladiators-MGM openers Ansar Khan and Hameed Khan gave a breezy start. Ajman’s opening bowlers Luqman Lukmi and Sanchit Sharma were hit for 13 runs each in their first overs. In the third over, Ansar Khan hit Luqman for two consecutive sixes and in the fourth over, Ansar Khan also hit Adnan Arif for two consecutive boundaries.

The pair put on 49 runs when Hameed Khan on 13 hit Adnan Arif high into the hands of Shahrukh Sheikh at long on. At the same score, Ansar Khan too followed hitting Adnan Arif high to Khalid Shah for 34. His knock off 15 balls had three boundaries and three sixes.

Hassan Khan lasted only seven balls to score six runs when Adnan Arif struck again to pick his third wicket. He forced Khan to lift straight into the hands of Khalid Shah at mid-off.

Mayank Chaudhry and Rahul Chopra took the score 81 when skipper Adnan Ul Mulk pulled off a brilliant one handed catch at covers to dismiss Mayank Chaudhry for 16 off Amjad Gul. That left hand catch from Adnan. plucking the ball off the air, put pressure on Deccan Gladiators MGM.

Then Rahul Chopra and Waqas Ali took the score past the 100-run mark when Adnan Ul Mulk struck as a bowler this time beating Chopra and had him stumped by wicketkeeper Adnan Khan for 20. But Waqas Ali and Laxman Manjrekar batted sensibly and steered their team to the target in 17.1 overs with Ali remaining unbeaten on 37 off 29 balls with two sixes and one boundary. Laxman chipped in with an unbeaten run-a-ball 15.

Danish Qureshi, who bagged the Man of the Match, said: “It was the first match and I wanted to perform well and I hope I can continue this form. The wicket was a sporting one but my captain guided me and I bowled according to his plan.”

Adeel Malik, captain of Deccan Gladiators-MGM, said: “We are very happy that we got off to a winning start. All my boys played according to a plan. Although we got off to a good start, we lost some quick wickets.  But Waqas Ali amd Laxman Manjrekar batted sensibly and took us to victory.”

Adnan Ul Mulk, the skipper of Ajman Heroes, said: “We were 20 to 30 runs short. We could have batted a bit more sensibly. It was a nice atmosphere and an enjoyable contest. We will come back learning from this defeat.”

Brief scores:
Deccan Gladiators-MGM bt Ajman Heroes by 5 wkts.  Ajman Heroes 141 in 18.4 overs (Dawood Ejaz 54, Ahmad Shafiq 3 for 34, Danish Qureshi 3 for 28, Saifullah Noor 2 for 24) Deccan Gladiators-MGM 145 for 5 in 17.1 overs (Ansar Khan 34, Rahul Chopra 20, Waqas Ali 37n.o)
Man of the Match: Danish Qureshi



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