The Big Picture
The first Indoor Cricket Club World Series tournament concluded at the UPro Sports Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, last night and saw hometown favourites DBMSC fight off a tenacious Barbarians Indoor Cricket Club (BICC) side from New Zealand/Australia in the Grand Final to be crowned the inaugural champions.
DBMSC underlined their dominance by going unbeaten throughout the tournament, an eight-match stretch all told. A 15-wicket haul saw them defeat fellow unbeaten Emirati side SFS 67-19 in the semi-finals, while the Barbarians went past a tough Jamia Indoor Cricket Club team from England, 82-61 to set up the Cup showdown.
The tournament was contested by 12 teams across UAE, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and a combined New Zealand/Australia side. Over five days of competition teams played each other across two pools, which culminated in the Cup and Plate playoffs yesterday. The idea behind the tournament, founded by UPro owner Manish Kishore, was to bring together club teams from around the world to compete in a high-level tournament, much in the same way international cricket is regarded.
Cup Final – DBSMSC (UAE) vs Barbarians Indoor CC (AUS/NZL)
The final brought together arguably the two best teams of the tournament. Smarting from their earlier 52-run defeat on Match Day 2 to the same opposition, BICC were out to make amends and hand their rivals a first tournament loss in the final.
DBMSC bat first, set competitive total
Batting first however, the Emirati side got off to the perfect start, with Jay Joshi and Nadir Hussain putting on 28 for the first skin, despite two third ball plays from Daniel Van Hees and Clive Rose. Vikrant Shetty and Ruwan Chandra added a further 23, again repelling two third ball plays late in the partnership from Matt Henderson and Jackson Hemingway to take the score to a healthy 50 at the mid-way point of the innings.
BICC then struck back in the third pair. After a tight first over from Mitchell Rush, Van Hees broke through in successive balls against Farhan Khan, and Charlie Finnie added another run-out in the next over despite a seven from Krishna Karate. Hemingway etched out one more wicket to leave the pair at 11 and the BICC an opening into the game.
It left an intriguing last four overs but with DBMSC holding their trump card, Prashath Kumara, already with five player of the match awards to his name in the tournament, and Dilisara Sasanka. Kumar had gone into the match with 168 runs from his previous seven matches and he didn’t disappoint, hitting Jared Tutty for four first ball. Despite potential third ball opportunities from Tutty and then Todd Watson, the pair took to Henderson in the third over, with successive fours yielding a 15-run over. After Clive Rose had closed out, the pair had scored 37 and the total 99, leaving BICC with 100 to win the title.
BICC battle hard in chase, DBMSC hold their nerve
An average of 25 per pair was needed with the added pressure of a final, so a good start was essential.
Van Hees and Finnie had been the established pair to open up for BICC, and they delivered again. Van Hees continued on with his impressive tournament, with 136 runs in seven games leading into the final. They navigated the first two overs well, overcoming two third-ball chances from Karate and Farhan. DBSMC were sloppy in the last two overs, with 10 extras including six from Shetty in the last over (all extras must be re-bowled in the last over of every batting pair) providing easy runs for the batsmen. A last ball run out however reprieved him, and the 28 runs they scored saw both teams tied after the first pair.
The tide of the match turned from the first ball of the 5th over, after Tutty was run out off the bowling of Karate. Farhan’s double run-out strike in the seventh over then put Tutty and Hemingway in a very tough spot. With the batting pair on seven runs with three balls left, Joshi picked up two wickets, with a catch off the last ball seeing them finish on -1, the total score to 27.
With 73 runs needed off the last eight overs, Watson and Rush stepped up to the challenge. They scored assertively, making a boundary apiece. This included 19 off the last two overs to bring the partnership up to 28.
45 was required in the last partnership was going to be a difficult ask for the last pair of Rose and Henderson. Shetty had Rose run out off a third ball in the ninth over, and despite a couple of big blows from Henderson, it left BICC needing 29 off the final over. Joshi had Rose caught twice in successive balls, and despite some late blows, the total was ultimately too much for the New Zealand/Australian-based side. On their home turf DBMSC triumphed by 24 runs and announced themselves as a force going forward in the club-based competition.
It brought the curtain down on an eventful tournament, with the next version scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka in 2024. All eyes will now be on the next major indoor cricket tournament, the New Zealand-Asia Cup, which will be held in Bangalore from 2-5 May.
Cup Grand Final:
DBMSC (UAE) 99 (28-23-11-37)
Sasanka 20, Joshi 19
Van Hees 1/4, Hemingway 1/6
Barbarians Indoor Cricket Club (AUS/NZL) 75 (28–1-28-20)
Rush 21, Henderson 21
Farhan 2/1, Joshi 4/2
Player of the Match: Prashath Kumara, DBMSC (UAE)
Player of the Tournament: Prashath Kumara, DBMSC (UAE)
Result: DBMSC won by 24 runs and win the 2023 Indoor Cricket Club World Series
Scores, results and final standings available, courtesy: United Pro Sports