(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) The brand new T10 League was not just a big leap for cricket but also a step forward for UAE cricketers.
Shaji Ul Mulk, whose brainchild it is, was quite insistent on having at least two players from the Associate nation in four of the five franchises.
He has always been a massive supporter and contributor to the development of cricket in the UAE and it was his way of giving the UAE players much needed exposure and experience to rub shoulders with top notch international cricketers.
And on Friday, it was a UAE player who turned hero for a team that, for all intents and purposes, has UAE at its root - the Bengal Tigers.
UAE pace bowler Mohammed Naveed quite famously hit South African pace ace Dale Steyn for a six in the World Cup, two years ago. It was a six he had dreamt of and had revealed to the then coach Aaqib Javed, prior to the game.
At the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, with his team precariously placed after Hasan Ali had done enough damage, Naveed partnered Anwar Ali and later Aamer Yamin, to get them out of the woods.
And with the scores level, Naveed smoked a towering six off young leg spinner Usama Mir to see Bengal Tigers over the line by three wickets and with four deliveries to spare.
The Bengal Tigers, who had lost on the opening night, were in serious trouble at 81 for 7, all their top guns gone and the tail to follow after Hasan Ali had scythed through the heart of their line-up with four wickets.
But Naveed (11, 5b, 1x4, 1x6), Anwar (14, 6b, 2x6) and Amin (18, 5b, 3x6) infused a bit of life and then helped them live to fight another day.
With the toss proving not much of an advantage, going by the first two games, as well as the game starting in the evening, the Punjabi Legends captain Misbah
Haq decided to set the marker by choosing to have the first dig.
And despite a good launch pad to build on after an early hiccup, the Punjabi Legends finished a tad less than what they would have liked.
Three quick wickets, those of Shoaib Malik, Carlos Braithwaite and opener Umar Akmal, punctured their innings as they went on to eventually end up at 99 for 6.
Akmal top scored with 38 from 25 balls with the help of four boundaries and two sixes, while Malik stroked a 15-ball 30, which included four boundaries and a six.
Marchant de Lange, who was taken apart by Paul Stirling of the Kerala Kings, on the opening night, with the pace bowler conceding 36 from his two overs, had a decent spell on the day, coming away with 2 for 21.
Anwar Ali too picked up two wickets conceding 25 runs.
L Ronchi c Anwar Ali b de Lange 9 U Akmal c Miller b de Lange 38
S Malik b Aamer Yamin 30 C Brathwaite c Bravo b Naveed 2
F Ashraf not out 2 R Bopara lbw b Anwar Ali 5
Haq b Anwar Ali 6
C Jordan not out 1 Extras: (lb1, w5) 6
Total: (for six wickets, 10 overs) 99 Fall: 1-9, 2-80, 3-85, 4-86, 5-91, 6-97.
Bowling: Aamer Yamin 2-0-11-1, M de Lange 2-0-21-2 (1w), Mohammad Naveed 2-0-18-1, Mujeeb 2-0-23-0, Anwar Ali 2-0-25-2. Bengal Tigers
J Charles run out (Umar Akmal) 5 C Delport b Hasan Ali 12
D Bravo c Jordan b Hasan Ali 3 S Ahmed c Bopara b Brathwaite 15
D Miller c Faheem b Hasan Ali 15 D Sammy b Hasan Ali 7
Anwar Ali not out 14 A Yamin lbw b Brathwaite 18
M Naveed not out 11 Extras: (lb2, w3) 5
Total: (for 7 wickets, 9.2 overs) 105 Fall: 1-5, 2-21, 3-21, 4-40, 5-62, 6-63, 7-81.
Bowling: Faheem Ashraf 2-0-20-0 (1w), C Jordan 2-0-22-0 (1w), Hasan Ali 2-0-7-4, C Brathwaite 2-0-35-2 (1w), Usama Mir 1.2-0-19-0.
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