News Column

Inspired Yogi Group lift Sharjah Ramadan Cup

July 22, 2014

K.R. Nayar Chief Cricket Writer

Sharjah: Yogi Group staged a fine comeback after losing the final of the Al Dhaid Ramadan tournament last week to become champions of the Aseel Islamic Finance 26th Sharjah Ramadan Cup Twenty20 tournament.

In the final at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Yogi Group were inspired by pep talks from coach Vidyadahar Paradkar, who groomed top Indian Test stars Zaheer Khan and Ajinkya Rahane, and team owner Shiva Pagarani and they easily beat United Bank Limited (UBL) by nine wickets.

The squad not only proudly lifted the trophy, but also won a cash prize of Dh15,000. UBL, who had put up a creditable show to reach the final of the Sharjah Cricket Council-organised event, won Dh10,000.

Pagarani, who has been instrumental in making Yogi Group one of the most formidable domestic teams in the UAE, told Gulf News: "My boys have always worked hard and hence we were not a team that should have lost in the Al Dhaid final. So we all sat and analysed our defeat and rectified our defects. The pep talk from Paradkar also had a huge impact and it transformed us into winners again."

UBL posted an impressive 185 for 6 after being put in to bat, with Syed Maqsood scoring 46 and Amjad Ali 43.

Hassan Ali, Shahzad Manna, C.T.K. Mashood, Jaymin Tailor and Salman Faris all claimed one wicket each, but Maqsood was at his aggressive best in his 19-ball knock that included five boundaries and two sixes.

In the chase, Swapnil Salvi went for his shots right away and hit ten sixes and four boundaries to score a devastating 89 off 43 balls. He fell after adding 158 runs in 13 overs for the opening wicket with all-rounder Shahzad Manna, who remained unbeaten on 70 from 40 balls with six boundaries and five sixes.

Swapnil Patil chipped in with an unbeaten 18 to steer the team to the target in just 15.3 overs.

Skipper Avadoot Amonkar said: "We owe the victory to our team effort and we have time and again proved ourselves to be good chasers. So as soon as I won the toss we decided to bowl first. In fact, in Al Dhaid we lost the final as we batted first."

Pagarani had asked his batsmen to give their best as their bowling hadn't clicked, mostly due to the summer heat.

"Before the start we had also decided that in case we were batting first we should score an additional 50 runs to give the bowlers enough runs to defend. We have a formidable batting line-up with some of the finest batsmen in the UAE and hence it was just a matter of giving their best," he said.

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Source: Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)

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