Sharjah: Yash Bisya Lions displayed the thrills of gully cricket by emerging as the champions of the second 10PL tennis ball cricket tournament at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium through a last-ball six win over Alliance on Friday.
Needing three runs to win off the last ball and with only one wicket in hand, the Oman-based Lions team’s Mohammad Zahid hit a towering six over long on and reached the target — emulating Javed Miandad’s final ball six in the 1986 AustralAsia Cup for Pakistan against India at the same venue.
Alliance had posted a challenging target of 70 runs to win in the 10 overs but Lions lost nine wickets in their chase. Speaking to Gulf News after helping his team lift the 24 Carat Gold Plated Italian made winners’ trophy, Zahid said: “I am proud that I could do what Miandad did at this venue.”
Abdul Latif Khan, the chairman of 10PL, who conceptualised this tournament said: “We are delighted that this tournament has finished on a high this year and is getting more popular. The intensity of the contest can be gauged from the margin of victories in the quarter-final which were by two to three runs and in the semi-finals Lions beat Eleven Warriors by two runs and Alliance defeated Globe Link West Star by nine runs. Strong teams like Pacific Ventures, Hanan India, Eastern Blues crashed to shock defeats too. This tournament’s live coverage on Facebook, Twitter and Instargam was watched in 36 countries and we have recorded a viewership of 2.1 million viewers.”
A huge welcome awaits Lions team in Oman. Bhushan Patil, the captain of Lions team, said: “It is a dream win for all the players. We are not professional cricketers but we will be heroes like international cricketers when we reach home as this is the best and richest tennis ball tournament in the world (with prize money of Dh250,000). Last year we lost in the semi-finals but we have done it this time.”
Usman Patel, who scored 117 runs was adjudged the best batsman, Zaheer Kaliya with 18 wickets won the best bowler and man of the tournament award. Kaliya was so economical that no a single boundary or sixer was scored off his bowling.
The final of the Tayyarah.com-presented 10PL, powered by Nafiya Tours and Travels, was played in front of the legendary pacer Wasim Akram, brand ambassador of the tournament.
Giving away the trophy, Akram said: “Tennis ball cricket is close to my heart. I was one among them when I started playing cricket and played in the gully and streets of Pakistan with searchlights. I am happy tennis ball cricket is being played with huge prize money, under floodlights and in a historic stadium.”