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Keshav Sharma emerges hero of Ajman Heroes’ first win in the ninth match of the AJMAN T20 CUP

UAE: Left-arm spinner Keshav Sharma emerged as the hero of Ajman Heroes’ first win in the AJMAN T20 CUP powered By SKY through a four-wicket spell that restricted Northern Warriors Defenders to 127 runs and record a seven-wicket win at the Malek Stadium on Thursday night. 

Ajman Heroes had lost two consecutive matches earlier and they staged a comeback through a fine all round show. Chasing their target, Ajman Heroes skipper Adnan Ul Mulk led from the front top scoring with 33 runs and providing a good opening stand of 56 runs with Adnaan Khan (23).

Everything went Ajman Heroes’ way, including the toss, and they elected to bowl. Northern Warriors – Defenders lost their opener Wajid Khan, caught by Adnan Ul Mulk at the covers off Jahanzeb for 2 in the second over.

Sandeep Singh and Yasir Kaleem took the score to 30 when the experienced off-spinner Nasir Aziz had Sandeep caught by Amjad Gul at mid-off for 16.

Nasir Aziz, nicknamed Don, struck again to have Farhan Ahmed caught and bowled for 3. Rizwan Amanat could not get going after playing out 10 balls and scoring only three runs before being caught behind by wicketkeeper Adnaan Khan off Ibtisham Set.

Abdur Rehman got bowled to the left-arm spin of Keshav Sharma for 5. Half the Northern Warriors-Defenders side was back in the dug-out for 62 in 8.1 overs.

Keshav Sharma struck again to force Saqib Mahmood to offer wicketkeeper Adnaan Khan his second catch for a duck. When Yasir Kaleem too fell caught slashing to Nazir Aziz off Keshav Sharma for 13, it was doubtful whether Northern Warriors – Defenders would cross the 100-run mark.

Nasir Aziz continued to strike and had Farhan Ahmed caught and bowled for 3. However, Salman Babar and Haider Ali Butt held on and steered their total past the 100 run mark. Babar hit 19 runs before being bowled by Faisal Baig.

Haider Ali Butt, who top scored with 31 runs off 26 balls with three sixes too fell, bowled by Faisal Baig. Northern Warriors – Defenders thus posted 127 runs in 19.1 overs.

Chasing the score, Ajmam Heroes batsmen played intelligent cricket. They went about the chase through their opener and skipper Adnan Ul Mulk and Adnaan Khan putting on a strong opening partnership of 56 runs in 5.4 overs.

Adnaan hit 23 runs off 14 balls before being caught behind by wicketkeeper Yasir Khaleen off Abdur Rehman. Adnan Ul Mulk stayed on till the score reached 68 in 7.1 overs before being stumped by Yasir Kaleem off Hassan Khalid for 33.

One-drop Khalid Shah played some fluent shots to maintain the momentum before he departed caught behind off Haider Ali for 26.

He had put on 39 runs for third wicket with Dawood Ejaz. Amjad Gul joined Dawood to hit an unbeaten 12 while Dawood remained unconquered on 23 off 15 balls to take their team to victory in 13.1 overs.

Speaking about his spell of 4 for 16 that restricted Northern Warriors –Defenders and won him the Man of the Match award, Keshav Sharma said: “In the team meeting we had decided to bowl a good line and length.

This being a big ground, we knew that if one can bowl stump to stump, it is possible to get wickets. We also fielded tightly to mount pressure and that helped in getting the wickets.”

Brief scores:
Ajman Heroes bt Northern Warriors –Defenders by 7 wkts. Northern Warriors 127 in 19.1 overs (Haider Ali 31, Nasir Aziz 2 for 27, Keshav Sharma 4 for 16, Faisal Baig 2 for 18)  Ajman Heroes 128 for 3 in 13.1 overs (Adnan Ul Mulk 33, Adnaan Khan 23, Khalid Shah 26, Dawood Ejaz 23n.o)
Man of the Match: Keshav Sharma.

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