Lahore’s University of Central Punjab (UCP) fought gallantly before losing the second semi-final of the Red Bull Campus Cricket 2016 edition played at the Galle International Stadium, Sri Lanka. The Pakistan champions took the relatively low scoring game to the final over but their luck ran out in the dying moments of the match giving University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) a two wicket win.
Batting first, the UCP batsmen posted a fighting score of 152 for the loss of eight wickets in their allotted 20 overs. Opener Tayyab Tahir was the mainstay of his team’s performance scoring 60 off 41 balls; his innings was laced with 10 fours, Tayyab’s attacking innings put the ULAB bowlers under intense pressure from the outset.
Wicket-keeper batsman Junaid Ali chipped in with a valuable 30 run contribution while Asfand Mehran was the only other batsman to reach double figures scoring 24 off 23 balls to ensure that his team get past the 150-run mark. Mahbubur Rehman took three while Arifur Rehman took two wickets for the Bangladeshi outfit.
ULAB lost opener Intesar early in their innings but a quick-fire 45 run alliance between captain Hasanuzzaman and Avishek Mitra put them back in the hunt, Hasanuzzaman top-scored with 35 off 17 balls, while Mitra scored a run-a-ball 22, which included two fours and a solitary six.
UCP clawed back in contention with quick wickets in the middle-order and held the ascendancy before Maraj Niloy’s 23 ball 28 brought them right back in the game.
The match was settled in ULAB’s favour in the final over as tail-enders Arifur Rahman and Morsalin Mortaza took their team past the 153 run target with four balls to spare sparking wild celebrations from the successful team and their officials.
The final match of the Red Bull Campus Cricket World finals will be played between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on September 11, 2016.