Three cheers for Al Barkaat
Kurla team beat Don Bosco (Matunga) for third successive Harris Shield title.
Tushar Singh's patient 106 not out off 362 balls and a 188-ball 120 by Nutan Goel helped Al Barkaat MMI (Kurla) beat Don Bosco (Matunga) by virtue of a first innings lead to win their third consecutive MSSA-organised U-16 Harris Shield cricket title at the Brabourne Stadium on Wednesday.
Resuming on 130-2, overnight batsman and opener Tushar (overnight 44) continued from where he left on Day Two, playing slow, defensive cricket while Nutan (overnight 13) found gaps and attacked from the other end as Al Barkaat eased to 222-2 at lunch in reply to Don Bosco's 289 all out. With 68 required and eight wickets in hand, the duo started attacking Don Bosco bowlers, smashing boundaries in almost every over in the first hour of play after lunch.
The frustrated Don Bosco bowlers used every trick to dislodge the Al Barkaat players as Nutan cruised to his third century of the tournament off 167 balls. Don Bosco, however, got the much-needed breakthrough as Nutan was dismissed by a Zaid Patankar delivery, caught by Harsh Mendon at midwicket to break the 186-run stand for the third wicket. But the dismissal came too late as the Kurla school then required only two to take the first innings lead.
Tushar's super ton
Tushar wasn't far behind as he slammed two consecutive fours off pacer Zaid to bring up his second century of the tourney in the last over of the second session to take his school to 299-3 at tea. Both teams decided to call off the game with Al Barkaat on 306-3, a lead of 17 runs. Nutan's innings was laced with 18 boundaries, while Tushar slammed 15 fours.
Nutan, an ex-Don Bosco student was thrilled to dish out a winning performance against his former school. "It's a completely different feeling to beat your ex-teammates. I would like to thank my coaches for giving me an opportunity in the very first year at Al Barkaat. I had asked them to let me bat at No. 4 during the league matches and they agreed. That boosted my confidence," said Nutan, a Class IX student.
"I played this match as any normal game; didn't take any pressure of a final. I just played according to the merit of the ball. The coaches had advised me to stay at the wicket till the end and I am happy to have followed that," said Tushar, 14.
Coach Nafees Khan heaped praise on his boys and said they deserved to be the champions for the third consecutive year. "We started our planning for this year immediately after the last season ended. The boys have worked too hard to see this day—not 100 per cent, but 200 per cent! We had to play with our bench strength since three players, who played the semi-final last month, couldn't make it to the final. They had to leave for Daman to represent Maharashtra at the DSO (District Sports Officer) Nationals," Nafees said.
Giri is player of tournament
Bombay Scottish's Anuj Giri was adjudged the Player of the Tournament, while VK Krishna Menon's Shashwat Kapoor, who scored 370 runs in four games and Aryan Shejule of Al Barkaat, who claimed 20 wickets in five matches, won the best batsman and bowler awards respectively. Al Barkaat received the winner's trophy from former India player and ex-chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil.
Don Bosco 289 all out lost to Al Barkaat 306-3 (Nutan Goel 120, Tushar Singh 106*; Zaid Patankar 2-92, Chris D'Britto 1-46)
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