On February 13, the UTM Cricket Club hosted its most anticipated event of the year, the UTM Cricket World Cup. The event was held in Gym A/B in collaboration with UTMAC, where 35 people participated. The event was UTM’s own version of a cricket world cup, in which people got a chance to play for their country in the quest for the UTM Cricket World Cup trophy.
The event consisted of three teams: India, Pakistan Greens, and Pakistan Whites. The final was a nail-biting contest between India and Pakistan Greens. India had comprehensively beaten both Pakistan Greens and Whites to make their way to the final. They had amassed over 120 runs in 10 overs in both the games and bowled the opposition out for a modest total, whereas Pakistan Greens had defeated Pakistan Whites in their first game and then lost to India before qualifying for the final.
Pakistan Greens won the toss and decided to bat first in the final. It was a typical India-Pakistan contest, where India had a stacked batting lineup and Pakistan relied more on its bowlers. After getting off to a jittery start and losing wickets early on, Pakistan’s innings were rescued by Muhammad Ahmar and Asad Mandviwala. The pair scored most of the runs for their team and helped them set a target of 89 runs in 10 overs. The total seemed a below par score, particularly bearing in mind the relentless form India’s batsmen were in.
Isuru Gamarachichi and Vaibhav Makkar, two of the highest scorers of the tournament, continued their prolific form in the final, getting India off to a steady start in pursuit of the target. A couple of good overs from Pakistan at the back end of the innings meant India required six off the last six balls. Junaid Siddique, Pakistan’s captain, decided to take matters into his own hands and bowl the last over himself. He bowled a few good deliveries but at the end, as the scores were tied, India only required one run of the last two balls. However, there was some late drama to follow. On the penultimate ball of the innings, Siddique got rid of India’s captain, Makkar, to bring the equation down to one run needed of one delivery. Rumesh Gamalathge, India’s batsman on strike for the last delivery, tried to sneak a single off the last ball, but a terrific direct hit from Mandviwala found Gamalathge short of his crease and the match astonishingly finished as a tie.
Both teams were more than happy to share the glory, as neither team deserved to lose and perhaps cricket was the real winner in the end. Gamarachichi was awarded the best bowler of the tournament for his tormenting spin bowling. The award for the best batsman was bagged by Makkar, as he led his team from the front with the bat. The World Cup was shared by both captains and individual trophies were given out to players on both sides.
The UTM Cricket Club has three more events this semester. The Asia Cup game between India and Pakistan will be screened at the Student Centre, Presentation Room this Saturday, followed by the screening of the World T20 game between India and Pakistan on March 19. The last event of the year will be the Annual Awards Night held at the end of March.
Disclosure: Shahriyar Nisar is president of the UTM Cricket Club.