|Ahmed Bakhshi (3 wkts) led Villa Park pace assault on clueless Bolingbrook, as VPCC stretch their winning streak|
Written by Arsalan Ali
On a cold and cloudy Sunday morning, Villa Park faced Bolingbrook hoping to achieve another milestone by beating them for the first time in 30-30 format of the tournament. Villa Park’s hopes were jolted as they loss the toss by default for not having enough players on the ground. Bolingbrook, as always, decided to bat first in hope of posting a humongous score. Qalab Cheema (4) and Zulfi Ahmad (7) made their intentions clear when Qalab hit the first ball of the match to boundary, but clever Haris almost struck second ball but a simple catch was put down in covers to give Qalab another life. This did not let down Haris, and he found another top-edge from Qalab next ball and this time Zeyad accepted an easy chance at mid-off. Ahmad Bakhshi (3) started off in-style as he had Zulfi caught off a no-ball but agile Arsalan at mid-off saw the non-striker Prashant (0) halfway on the pitch and scored a direct hit to send him back without facing a ball. Next man to come in was Tahir Pervez (0), who was dismissed on the first ball when Ahmad hit timber off an inside-edge. Khalid Sufi (8) came in at 14/3 to save some grace for Bolingbrook. But Ahmad was on fire as after seeing a top-edge grassed in covers, decided to take things in his own hands as Ahmed hit timber once again to sent Khalid Sufi packing. Zulfi was soon sent back as another one of Ahmad's victim when Uzair plucked a catch one inches off the ground behind the stumps. Ahmad was unlucky not to find any more wickets despite brilliant bowling and very close calls. Fawad Agha (0) bowled with furious pace but was also very unlucky not to find any wickets. Rashid Afzal (22), tried to fight for Bolingbrook but Noyem (1) had him caught in front in his first over. This brought dangerous Umar Bilal (13), only other Bolingbrook batsman to reach double figure courtesy of an easy catch put down at long-on. But he was back in the hut as Hassan (3) beat him comprehensively by his swing. Hassan quickly found his groove as he hit timber again of Sulman Ahmad (0) and had Shoaib Chaudhary (0) caught first ball. Hassan almost had his hat-trick but the easy catch at fine-leg went begging as the fielder was too slow to react. Zeyad (1) bowled Rizwan Shah (5) as Bolingbrook was all out for a cheap 105.
Villa Park chasing an easy 106, started proceeding with a humongous six but got couple quick blows as Mujtaba Baqir (6) and Hassan Bakhshi (0) were back to leave Villa Park at 12/2. But Imtiaz brothers showed their authority as they hit boundaries at will and kept rotating the strike. Haris (23, 2 Fours) was caught and bowled by Rashid Afzal (1), and Zeyad (45, 2 Fours & 3 Sixes) soon followed him as Sulman Ahmad (1) got one through his defenses. At 80/4, it was too late for Bolingbrook to even sniff victory. Fawad Agha (20*, 1 Four & 1 Six) smashed some mighty blows to reach the target in mere 18.3 overs with Uzair Ali being not out on 4.
Ahmad Bakhshi was awarded Man of the Match for his brilliant 3/24.