Adastrians beat Pak-Can by 98 runs to retain the Quebec Cricket Federation Championship on Saturday at Raymond Park, La Salle, Montreal. Adastrians batted first but lost early wickets, struggling to 44 runs for the loss of 4 wickets, three being taken by Pak-Can opening bowler Mehboob. Adastrians recovered to make 227 runs, a potentially beatable target, but after a breezy opening stand of 35 runs, Pak-Can was dismissed for 129 runs. The opening bowlers Malik and Mehboob had both openers out with just 9 runs on the board. Canadian international, Qaiser Ali came through with a century, mostly made during a pivotal fifth wicket partnership of 136 runs with Ahmer Sultan. Sultan was bowled one short of a half-century. A useful knock of 34 runs not out by Vinod Takar helped carry the total to 227 runs all out.
Mehboob ended with 3 wickets for 48 runs and Shafeeq took 3 wickets for 41 runs.
Pak-Can's innings began brightly with attacking shots from both openers but the stand of 35 runs eventually proved to be the pinnacle of the team's batting fortunes. Kashif was bowled by Sulthan for 17 runs, who then bowled Mumbashir for 12. Faisal fell to Asim Ijaj and it was 41 runs for 3 wickets. Sabir, Malik and Sajid each got off to a start, but none went on to score more than 20 runs. Pak-Can was dismissed for 129 runs and lost by 98 runs. Ijaz ended with 3 wickets for 17 runs and Jabbar had a tidy spell of 3 wickets for 11 runs that largely closed off the match.
Pak-Can showed promise against an experienced side that had been in devastating form with the bat as the Quebec season concluded. Adastrians had blasted 446 runs for 8 wickets against Pakistan CC on Sept 9, and 416 runs for 8 wickets against Suave on Sept 16. Cavaliers even threw in the towel during the 23rd over against Adastrians on Sept 15. This came as Jabbar reached 150 runs not out and the total was rolling up in the 200s!
Indeed, Pak-Can's opening bowlers came close to removing Ali for no score, and almost no score. He fended the first ball he faced into the air but it fell safe near the wicket. He was challenged by the second ball and next over gave a low caught and bowled chance. When well set, he fiercly drove the ball back and winded the bowler. In baseball, the bravery of the pitcher would be praised but in cricket it was a missed chance. From my vantage point behind the bowler's arm, I could not tell if it was technically a dropped catch but it became obvious the ball hammered into the bowler with some force.