Bronze Semifinalists confirmed for Challengers Cup
The semi-finalists for the Bronze section of the Challengers Cup at the state-of-the-art facilities of the ICC Academy at Dubai Sports City have been confirmed, with Chalmers, Crystal Gallery, IM Galadari and Khaleej Times making it to the final four.
The quartet of Bronze sides won through following matches in the last eight, with Crystal Gallery and Khaleej Times enjoying relatively comfortable successes while Chalmers and IM Galadari were made to sweat on their progress to the penultimate stage.
Chalmers won through in a relatively high-scoring encounter with ENOC-3, 80 to 73. The match turned on ENOC-3’s loss of three wickets in the first four overs of its innings and that cost it dearly.
The format of each match is that players in the eight-a-side contests bat in pairs for three overs each, with five runs deducted from a team total every time a wicket falls.
Those early reverses meant ENOC-3 stood at just 26 at the halfway stage of its innings and although it rallied strongly thereafter, the final target proved just beyond it.
Jijan of Chalmers claimed player of the match honours with an excellent all-round display, taking two wickets for minus four runs and scoring 12.
IM Galadari won through against Bits & Pieces after an even closer encounter with the final margin between the sides just two runs.
Bits & Pieces scored a modest 47 and even that was a great effort given that at halfway it had only eight runs on the board.
But in the field and with the ball, Bits & Pieces made IM Galadari fight all the way and the match was in the balance right to the final delivery.
IM Galadari needed 12 runs from the final three overs but then lost a wicket in the tenth over to make the task even trickier. And in the end Shahzad had to survive the final two balls to send his side through.
Arun of Bits & Pieces was player of the match for 15 runs and one wicket for minus two runs but that was of little consolation given he was on the losing side.
Khaleej Times’ win was altogether more comfortable, as the journalists overcame the High Ninjas by 24 runs. The Ninjas batted first and faltered straight away, losing two wickets in the first three overs.
A final score of 53 was always unlikely to be enough and so it proved, although Khaleej Times struggled at first too, also losing two early wickets.
But after that it was all one-way traffic as, led by player of the match Kingsley (21) and with three other players reaching double figures, the media outlet totaled 77 – and that despite losing six wickets.
The Bronze semi-final line-up was completed when Crystal Gallery eased past the Sandpipers by 31 runs.
The Sandpipers’ batting effort was derailed by the loss of four wickets in the second half of its innings and a final score of 41 looked inadequate.
Crystal Gallery put that score into context by replying with 72, including 32 runs from the first three overs of the innings.
Vipin of Crystal Gallery was player of the match for his brilliant bowling as he captured three wickets for minus seven runs and then scored eight runs for good measure.
With the quarter-finals completed, it allowed the semi-final draw to take place and that draw has pitted Crystal Gallery against Khaleej Times while Chalmers will face IM Galadari.