|Villa Park rides high on the magnificent fielding effort as they conquer prodigious Windy City in their night opener; Muhammed Ahmed (2 wkst & 2 catches) named MOM|
By Furqan Qureshi
After the rain and the flood Villa Park CC finally played their first group match of the night tournament against Windy City. Villa Park won the toss and elected to bat first. Zeyad Imtiaz (39) and Mujtaba Baqir (51) open the innings. Both batsmen played some excellent shots and made sure not to waste any time or deliveries since it’s a 20/20 game. Here we should mention the 4 sixes Zeyad hit off the bowling of Ali Agha (1), that over took the life away from the Windy City team. But soon after that Zeyad was sent back to the pavilion by Affan Kareemullah (3) who once again caused most of the damage to Villa Park’s inning. Hassan Bakhshi (2) now joined Mujtaba but was unlucky, a low bounced delivery of Affan hit the inside edge of Hassan’s bat and then went on to hit the stumps. Villa Park was playing with a guest player (Arsalan Ali was not available for this game) Zeerak Bhatti (2), who also couldn’t find hit touch and was caught at mid on by Cyrus Jaffri. Now with 3 wickets down for only 11 runs, Mr. Dependable Fawad Agha (6) walked in to save the day, but he couldn’t save his stumps. Another low bounced delivery from Affan hit Fawad’s stumps and he was sent back. It looked like the game was shifting towards Windy City, just then skipper Uzair Ali (15) walked in and starting taking quick singles and doubles. In the mean time Mujtaba Baqir reached his well played ‘Fifty’ and also started to make quick runs. Mujtaba lost his wicket when the score was 122 for 5, Haris Imtiaz, Arif Hockla and Ahmad Bakhshi added some very valuable runs the board and took the score to respectable 161 in 20 overs.
Villa Park knew that the strong and long batting lineup of Windy City can chase this total, and the only way to defeat them is to attack by bowling, attack by fielding and keep attacking. And that is what exactly Villa Park did in the first over of Haris Imtiaz (1), Taha Baggia (2) was run out courtesy of slick fielding and on the spot throw from Furqan Qureshi. Mir Ali (0) came in but went back without troubling the scorers due to an excellent catch by Muhammad Ahmed (Lahori). From the other end Ahmad Bakhshi got rid of Arif Malick (3) and Harun Ajmeri (0) another great catch by Muhammad Ahmed. Now with 4 wickets down and less then 10 runs on the board Villa Park went for the kill with both attacker completing there spell in which gave Villa Park the much needed wicket of Qasim Khan (7) another great catch this time by Haris Imtiaz. Now with most of the batting gone and with Ali Agha (26) & Cyrus Jaffri (18) on the crease Villa Park brought Muhammad Ahmed (2) to attack. Both the batsmen tried there level best to hit the ball out of the ground but they were no match for Muhammad’s pace. Ali Agha was caught at the boundary by Zeerak Bhatti for trying to clear the boundary. Now with 6 wickets down skipper Uzair Ali went for the kill by calling his dangerous medium pacers. Arif Hockla (1), Hassan Bakhshi (0) and Furqan Qureshi (1) answered the call and did what was required. These three bowlers bowled 4 overs while giving away only 13 runs and finishing off the Windy City tail. Villa Park won the game comprehensively by 55 runs.
Muhammad Ahmed was announced Man of the Match for his lethal spell of 2 over 15 runs and 2 wickets, including two great catches.