Articles

Najeeb Amar leads Peaks to victory in EPS 2010 Grand Final

Hong Kong captain, Najeeb Amar, led his Peaks team to victory in the Grand Final of the inaugural Elite Player Series 2010.

The Peaks team celebrates its victory in the Grand Final of the Elite Player Series 2010 played at the Kai Tak Cricket Ground on 8th August 2010

The Peaks team celebrates its victory in the Grand Final of the Elite Player Series 2010  •  Travis Pittman/HKCA/Travis Pittman

After overnight rain fell on Hong Kong, the 3rd and 4th place play off between the Dragons and Stormers was abandoned meaning the Dragons finished 3rd overall. After some hard work by players and staff, the final between Victory and Peaks was played in ideal conditions.
Peaks won the toss and decided to bat against the top team Victory and looked to set up a 200+ score with some attacking batting and some poor discipline by the Victory bowlers. Waqas Barkat and Shakeel both got good starts by putting the bad ball away and some positive running between wickets.
Najeeb Amar and Babar Khan put on a 5th wicket partnership of 62 off only 31 balls in a good display of hard hitting. Najeeb Amar who has coached the side during the series lead from the front smashing a match winning 66 off only 34 balls which included 5 6s and 2 boundaries.
The pick of the bowlers for the Victory side was Aizaz Khan who despite his 16 extras only went for 36 off his 4 overs and claimed 2 important wickets. Aizaz only just came back from the UK after playing club cricket and performed well to give a good first impression to the new national coach. Asif Khan also claimed 3-50 from his 4 over spell.
Victory started their run chase needing 234 for victory and only 18 overs to get it in after being the third side penalised for a slow over rate this series. This meant a run rate of 13 an over from the start for Waqas Barkat's team, Tabarak Dar and Waqas Khan both went cheaply and the pressure was on the middle early as the run rater crept above 15 an over.
Mohammad Imran opened with Dar and smashed 29 off only 13 balls, while middle order Asif Khan hit 43 off 24 but this would not be enough as some tight bowling which saw variation and some good captaincy saw the Victory side bowled out in the 16th over 76 runs short of the target.
The series has been well supported by the Hong Kong Cricket public and has given the National Coach, Charlie Burke, the opportunity to witness the players he needs for the up coming Asian Games as well as the important International Cricket Council Division 3 in January.
"The series has been ideal and I have seen some good young players coming through as well as some older guys that are still very much in the picture to play for Hong Kong. Many people thought we would be lucky to get possibly two full rounds due to the weather, instead we were lucky and only had one game cancelled due to the summer rain" Burke said. "The national selectors will now announce a squad of 15 to tour PNG later this month to take part in the Super Series against Malaysia, Singapore and of course PNG. They will also announce the 20 players in the National Squad which will compete in January's ICC World Cricket League Division 3 event, to be played in Hong Kong, by the end of the week."
Player of the Series - Najeeb Amar (Peaks) 7 votes
Champions - Peaks
Runners Up - Victory
3rd Place - Dragons
4th Place - Stormers