Center System Group lifts Ace Travel Saudi Cup

JEDDAH — Center System Group lifted Ace Travel Saudi Cup beating Butt Sports in an exciting encounter by 6 wickets with 7 balls to spare in final of Ace Travel Saudi Cup sponsored by Ace Travel and organized by Jeddah Cricket Association, under auspices of Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation.

Pak Zalmi grabbed the Plate Trophy beating Kashmir Stags by 8 wickets. The event was played on round robin league-cum-knockout with 16 teams divided into 2 Groups, top 8 teams vying for the coveted Saudi Cup.

Deciding to bat first on winning the toss, Butt Sports lost opener Ramazan (2) in the 1st over followed by Umer (15) and reduced to 45 for 2, however Zeeshan (50 of 33 balls) played an attractive innings before being out. Thereafter wickets fell at regular interval from one end but at the other end Samir played a matured innings to end with an unbeaten 57 of 40 balls, enabling Butt Sports reach respectable tally of 171 for 7. Adnan and Usman picked up 2 wickets a piece.

In reply CSG started briskly as Imran hit a quick 22 before being out and was followed by in-form Usman Butt (11) to reduce them to 67 for 2. Opener Adnan Ayub kept his league form in-tact, batting sensibly without taking undue risk scoring 54 of 39 balls (3 4s 1 6s). The partnership for 3rd wicket with Zaka yielded 60 runs, which took CSG to 127 for 3, however Zaka fell, holing out for fighting 41 of 30 balls, enough to take CSG in sight of a win.

Adnan gave him company and carried on to remain unbeaten on 23, to ensure CSG reach target of 172 for 4 in 18.5 overs and clinch the 13th Ace Travel Saudi Cup, their maiden title on debut in JCA. Abdul Rehman, Faizan, Yasir and Samar picked up a wicket each but it was not enough for Butt Sports who had to be content with runners-up position.

In the Plate trophy Kashmir Stags were bundled out for 127 runs as Pak Zalmi bowlers Syed picked up 3 for 16 and was well supported by Zahoor (2 for 1) and Abid (2 for 24). Only Uzair (36) batted sensibly as others could not handle the sharp bowling. In reply skipper Abid batted skillfully scoring 63 of 42 balls and was well supported by Khalid (24NO) to enable Pak Zalmi reach the target of 128 for 2 wickets and take the Plate Trophy.

At the prize distribution ceremony A. A. Merchant welcomed Chief Guest. Yassin Al Shareef – operations manager at the final. He thanked Ace Travel management particularly Ashfaq Aleem – general manager, Shamshad Khan – finance director and Yassin Al Shareef for their continued support to JCA for the last 13 years as part of Ace Travel Group’s Corporate Social Responsibilities. He also thanked the executive committee members, logistics and support services team, umpires, scorers, who worked selflessly and with dedication throughout the league to make it a success.

Yassin thanked JCA for giving Ace Travel the opportunity to sponsor the Saudi Cup; appreciating the organizational skills and capabilities of JCA in conducting such tournaments over the past decade to ensure its success along with the extensive and prompt media coverage of weekly matches throughout the 12 weeks event period.

Yassin was very upbeat about the recent development for cricket with Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation (SACF) recent announcement of their 2021 plan to conduct Regional Cricket Championship in all areas of the Kingdom, to be followed by National Championship.

He assured Ace Travel management’s continued support for upcoming future events. He congratulated the winners Center Systems Group, runner’s-up Butt Sports and Plate trophy winners Pak Zalmi and then presented the Ace Travel Saudi Cups to the respective winning captains and best performances awards to the players.

Winners: Center System Group; Runner-up: Butt Sports; Plate Trophy{ Pak Zalmi; Best Batsman: Bilal Mughal of Deccan Knights (484 runs); Best Bowler: Attaur Rahman of ARM United (16 wickets); Player of the League: Mohsin Raja of ICAD (403 runs, 8 wickets); Man of Final: Adnan Ayub 54 runs.

Summarized Scores

Butt Sports 171 for 7 20 overs Zeeshan 53 (33b), Samer 57NO (40b), Adnan 2 for 33, Usman 2 for 44. Center Systems Group 172 for 4 18.5 overs Adnan Ayub 54 (39b), Imran 22, Zaka 41 (30b), Adnan 23NO. — SG

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