Zayed Cricket Academy booked their passage in the UAE National Academies League final after a resounding seven-wicket triumph over Kricket Spero at the Al Dhaid Cricket Village on Saturday.
Burhan Hussaini and Nathan D’Mello took three wickets apiece and Khalid Mahmood grabbed two to bowl out Kricket Spero for 112 after they elect to take first lease of the wicket.
The defending champions lost three wickets for 43 but were always in front. Fazal Shahid (45no) and Abhishek Prakash (25no) came together to share a 70-run partnership for the fourth wicket without being separated, and took them over the line with more than eight overs to spare.
Fazal’s 50-ball knock contained five fours and a six while Abhishek hit a single boundary in his well-compiled 36-ball stay at the crease.
Malik Saad (21) and Anwar Khan (12) provided a breezy start, 24 in 4 overs, but the latter, after hitting a six and four, fell to an excellent catch by Ahaan Fernandes at the edge of the deep mid-wicket fence.
Malik was caught by spinner Pradhyumna Jagdish off his own bowling at 37 and Osama Hassan fell to the same bowler, trapped in front. That was the only success Kricket Spero had as Fazal and Abhishek took full control of the game.
Zayed Academy will meet Desert Cubs Cricket Academy, who got the better of Sharjah Cricket Academy by four wickets, in the final on Saturday (February 10).
Scores in brief:
Zayed Cricket Academy 113 for 3 in 21.5 overs (Fazal Shahid 45 not out, Abhishek Prakash 25 not out, Malik Saad 21, Pradhyumna Jagdish 2-26) bt Kricket Spero 112 all out in 29.2 overs (K.Chulka 22, Burhan Hussaini 3-16, Nathan D’Mello 3-21, Khalid Mahmood 2-20).