A man of the match performance from Tahir Lateef who bowled a great spell ensured Phoenix Medicines clinched the 30th Sharjah Ramadan Cup 2018 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Batting first, Noor Al Yemen achieved 158 for seven in 20 overs thanks to a late knock from Waheed Ahmed who slammed a 33-ball 60 not out including three boundaries and five sixes.
Tariq Mehmood chipped in with an unbeaten 19 as Noor Al Yemen achieved 158 for seven in 20 overs. Ansar Khan had given a quick start with a 14-ball 25 supported by a four and three sixes.
Tahir Lateef bowled a deadly spell with a four wicket haul in his four overs giving away 15 runs.
Chasing a tricky target, Phoenix Medicines lost a wicket early but Rohan Mustafa made a quick 21 while Muhammad Waseem fired a 24-ball 41 supported by four boundaries and a six to put their team on track.
Muhammad Ikram Jura (23, 27b, 1×4) and Shoaib Laghari (32, 22b, 3×4, 2×6) made great contributions as Phoenix Medicines achieved the target in the penultimate over.
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Raza was drafted in as Edmonton Royals’ 11th pick alongside UAE international team-mate Shaiman Anwar. Both will be sharing the same dressing room as ex-Pakistan skipper Afridi and blistering T20 batsman Lynn in the inaugural competition which begins June 28.
For Raza, it will be his first franchise-based T20 tournament and the spinner insists it’s a great feeling that his talents have been recognised after taking 25 wickets in 37 T20 matches for the UAE.
“Finally being picked in the inaugural edition is a very good feeling and I’m hoping to do well there,” said the 29-year-old.
“To be honest, it came out as a surprise and got the news that Associate players would be picked. We were very hopeful that some of us UAE players would be getting picked. There’s bit of surprise and expectation so you back yourself to go out there and do well.”
Afridi and Lynn are among the high-profile names in Edmonton Royals’ squad, which also features ex-New Zealand batsman Luke Ronchi.
While Raza is looking forward to rubbing shoulders with the elite stars, he says it’s an honour to count Afridi as one of his team-mates.
“Chris Lynn is a very big name in T20 cricket and Shahid Afridi comes with the whole stardom thing. He really enjoys playing in front of big crowds and he’s one guy who will pull the crowd together and that will be something I will be looking forward to.
“He is a very attacking cricketer and would never let the game go. His aggressiveness was there and still to date, is playing cricket his own way. He has been around for two decades and has a lot of experience.
“There are so many T20 games, just being in the same dressing room, it will be a massive boost for everyone. Even though it’s franchise cricket, we will be carrying the UAE flag high and it will be exciting for everyone.”