Sept 22, 2014 – Hamilton and District Cricket League’s end of the season playoffs are in full progress in various cricket grounds across the Southern Ontario. Last Sunday Niagara Cricket Club Premier team, playing at their home ground at the Niagara Cricket Center (NCC), beat Cambridge Premier by 8 wickets to earn their well-deserved birth in the finals of the Premier League Championship Round.Niagara Cricket Club Premier team won the toss and considering the weather conditions put Cambridge Premiere on crease to bat first. The key decision well made by the Niagara’s captain Aqeel Raja was strategically planned by him as later he used his key attack bowlers one by one to retain and defuse the top order Cambridge batting line up to a very low total score of just 70 runs on board.
Tawab Ikram, the attack bowler of NCC opened the very first over with fierce pace and kept the Cambridge opening batting line up tied down to their creases. Javed Qureshi bowling from the DMZ end used the wind to his favour delivering deadly and unplayable inswings and outswings. Qureshi took 3 top order wickets. Ali Hafeez, given bowling at first change, literally tore the middle order of Cambridge batting apart by capturing 3 key wickets. Zeshan Arshard, Virendar Singh and Mehmood Ahmed of NCC also proved to be unplayable and contributed well for Niagara fielding side when Cambridge went all out for only 70 runs at the end of 31st over. At one point Singh took 2 consecutive wickets in just 2 deliveries and was on his hat trick.
Chasing a low score of 70 runs, the opening batsman of Niagara, Zia Sarwar set the tone early by hitting 2 consecutive sixers in 2 balls. Ali Hafeez, after good spell of his bowling, continued with same fire power, competitive attitude and determination and batted sensibly at one down position. Ali remained not out at the end when he hit the final boundary for 4 to win the semifinals knocking Cambridge out of the playoff. Niagara Cricket Club Premier now plays for Championship Trophy Game versus Oakville Premier on Sunday Sep 28th, 2014. The game will be held at Niagara Cricket Center grounds located at 5114 Thorold Town Line Road, Thorold and scheduled to start at noon. For more information on venue please visit www.niagaracricketcenter.com