KCL South 2024 – Match 8

Merciful Conquerors v Radiant Stars

Another sweltering day in London promised to produce another important clash in the KCL between the Stars and Conquerors. Salman Jajja’s luck at the toss was at his aid once again as the Stars elected to bat first.

Tehseen Ahmed’s form with the bat has been vital, partnered this time with Yasir Ahmed the opening pair got their side off to a good start scoring 32 runs for the first wicket. The quality of captain Salman came to the fore as a 2nd wicket partnership between Salman and Tehseen really set the base for the Stars who were in need of something special today. Both Salman and Tehseen put on a wonderful 93 run partnership, as Tehseen brought up another 50 (60 off 36 balls) and Salman also delivered with a 50 of his own (33 balls). H Malik gave the Stars a bit of reprieve by removing Tehseen, enabling Dahri to then remove Salman Jajja very soon with the score at 128-3.

Safwan Manzoor (3-20) tried his best to deliver crucial death overs by picking up the wickets of Farukh and Ehtisham, and the Stars were once again looking to not capitalise on the strong base set for them by the top order. However, Asad Usman’s late cameo of 37* off 19 Balls (194 strike rate) propelled the total for the Stars to 201-6 by the end of their 20 overs. A strong total that would be required against the batting firepower possessed by the Conquerors.

Removing Safwan early in any game is a big event in itself, as Muneeb Ahmed delivered a massive blow to the chase of the Conquerors by picking up this wicket for his side with the score at 30-1. Zeyan Farhan who was one of the breakout star last year’s KCL was in the mood to take control of this chase, a strong 50 run partnership for the 3rd wicket with Farhan Ahmed allowed the Conquerors to gain some stability in the pursuit of the total. Zeyan’s stay at the crease was becoming more and more dangerous for the Stars, as Zeyan thumped 86 runs off 40 balls with a strike rate of 215! His 14 boundaries and 4 sixes threatened to take another game away for the Stars, but Farukh Tahir delivered the second vital breakthrough in the context of the game by removing the dangerous Farhan with the score now at 124-3!

With still a lot of work to do for both sides, the 3rd massive threat posed to the Stars came in the form of Mudassar Dogar, who’s explosive nature and experience could still turn the tide in favour of his side. Mudassar raced to a quick 25 runs off 11 balls and put his side back in contention to chase the score down, but the experience of Yasir Ahmed proved to be the trick for the Stars on this occasion, as the big wicket of Mudassar by Yasir surely was the final, killer blow to the pursuit of the total for the Conquerors at 162-5. The remaining batters did their best to salvage what they can whilst Yasir was sublime in his 4 overs with figures of 3-17 with an economy of 4.25 in a high scoring game. The Conquerors ended up short by 12 runs, and it could be argued that the late innings cameo from Asad Usman, and the excellent bowling effort of Yasir Ahmed turned out to be the most impactful contributions to their first win in this year’s campaign.

A thrilling, high scoring contest ended with the Stars recording their first win of the season. The Conquerors are now under a bit of pressure to deliver having lost their opening two games of the season, especially considering the vast depth and firepower possessed in their squad. They know that they will come good at some point, and this doesn’t spell good news for the remaining teams yet to face them this season!