Spartans put up a sterling performance to lift their first-ever Malawi Cricket Union (MCU) A division T20 cricket league title after a thrilling six-wicket victory over Scorpions at Lilongwe Golf Club on Sunday.
Spartans won the toss but Scorpions batted first. The champions bowled brilliantly to restrict Scorpions to 122 runs after losing eight wickets.
Arunachalam and Chirag Patel scored 32 runs each while Safvan Patel scored 24 runs to help Scorpions reach 122 runs.
Shahnawaz Bhagat, Moazzam Baig and Sami Sohail took two wickets each while Haseeb Ravasia and Irfan Bhima claimed one wicket apiece.
Chasing 123 runs, Spartans lost two early wickets within the first six overs but captain Mohamed Abdulla and left-handed opener Irfan Bhima anchored their reasonable chase with a contribution of 48 and 44 runs, respectively.
The two batsmen combined with devastating batting effect to help Spartans chase 123 runs without taking any excessive risk.
Abdulla said winning their maiden title was exciting.
“We have announced our arrival on the big stage and this is a memorable occasion. Our opponents were also very competitive and it was not easy,” he said.
MCU President, Vivek Ganeshan, commended players for their participation and sportsmanship.
“We had 15 teams from Blantyre and Lilongwe competing over two divisions. We are happy because this been the best T20 competition we have had since reinstatement to the International Cricket Council in 2014,” Ganeshan said.
Abdulla was named Player-of-the-Match after contributing 48 runs.
Praveen Paul was the only Scorpions’ bowler who challenged Spartans to claim three wickets. Monu Khan took one wicket before Spartans chased down 123 runs in 18.3 overs.
In the individual awards category, Irfan Bhima claimed the Best Player accolade while Gift Kansonko emerged Best Batsman.
Moazzam Baig scooped the Best Bowler award whereas Donnex Kansonko went away with the Best Fielder accolade.
The tournament’s Fair Play award went to The Cricket Academy with Humaid Sajee clinching the upcoming youngster prize.