KARACHI: Defenders Cricket Club sealed a close 14-run win against IGM in the latest fixture of the ongoing MGM Royal Premier League at the Eden Gardens in Ajman, UAE the other night.

After posting 208-6 in their 20 overs, Defenders successfully defended their total by restricting IGM to 194-8.

Put into bat, the Defenders’ innings was dominated by Faizan who struck 79 off 43 balls while hoisting six sixes and hitting four fours. The left-handed Rizwan bludgeoned a 16-ball cameo of 39 with four fours and three sixes.

Paceman Touqeer Riyasat claimed three wickets but conceded 53 runs in his four overs.

Amjad Gul blasted a 22-ball 39, which included three sixes and two fours to top score for IGM. Vishnu Sukum­aran made 33 off 23 balls and captain Asim Sheikh contributed a quickfire 14-ball 31 (two sixes and two fours).

Spinners Junaid Kaka (2-34) and Nasir Aziz (2-38) were the pick of the Defenders bowling.

It was IGM’s first loss in three Group ‘B’ fixtures while Defenders have now won both their opening matches of the 20-over competition organised by Zubair Sheikh, son of former first-class player Zaheer Ahmed Sheikh and founder of the Karachi-based Royal Cricket Club.

A total of 10 local club sides of the UAE are participating in the event with teams divided in two pools.

Noor Al Yemen lead Group ‘A’ with three straight victories, followed by Orakzai Warriors Cricket Club with two wins from as many matches.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2019