By Dayne Wotton, SCC Club Captain
The 2015 China Cup clash began with a win for Shanghai, Skipper Waqar Khattak calling the toss correctly and electing to bat. Good signs for a good day of cricket, with the weather markedly improved from the previous days arrival under cloudy skies. With luck seemingly going Shanghai’s way, this was the day to take back the china cup.
Shanghai started positively; Waqar and Yousaf Khan getting the innings off to a good start, no loss for 40 after 10 overs with positive stroke play from the opening pair taking making it look comfortable against the opening bowling attack. Even after the fall of both openers in quick succession Shanghai looked in a good position, with Wayne Voogt and Jonti Leibowitz taking over and rotating the strike well for a partnership that threatened to take the game away from Beijing.
For 63 quick runs the pair made use of loose balls and worked the strike to never get tied down, until Wayne was given out LBW, somewhat dubiously, for 25. Jonti continued on his way, passing 50 with ease, until a brief lapse in concentration saw him bowled for 60, and the score at 4-139.
Tight bowling from Saeed Anwar and Mustafa Kasmani saw Shanghai’s middle order pressured, and this eventually resulted in wickets, to leave the score 6-165 and the match squarely in the balance. Led by Sajid Anwar and Meer Farooque, the lower order fought hard, and did a good job in keeping the score ticking over. But regular wickets saw Shanghai all out for 204 inside 45 overs.
With runs on the board Shanghai started well in the field and with the ball, and after teasing bowling from Guru Kalyan to take the first wicket, wicket keeper Kevin Wright forced a run out with some sharp leg side fielding to leave Beijing at 2-28 after 7 overs.
Shanghai continued to press hard, and this resulted in plenty of chances, though nothing quite stuck. Beijing batsmen Abdul Hafiz and Chiranjaya Udumullage waited out the initial storm to unleash some damage of their own, accelerating to add 128 runs in no time at all to quickly take the game away from Shanghai.
Even with a line up full of bowling options Shanghai could not find the correct line and length for the situation, and by the time Hafiz was dismissed for 81 by Meer, Beijing still had 26 overs and 7 wickets in hand to chase down the 48 runs required for victory. Despite a nippy spell from Mehmood Afridi to dismiss Chiranjaya for 68, Beijing took the game inside 29 overs, With Muhammad Basha coming in at the death to put the result beyond doubt with 42 very quick runs.
Beijing (206/4) defeated Shanghai (204/10) by 6 wickets.