Dhahran Cricket Association Hosts Saudi Arabia Under-19 Cricket Team
In an effort to continuously promote the game of cricket within Saudi Aramco and Saudi Arabia, the Dhahran Cricket Association invited the national Under-19 Saudi Arabian cricket team to train and play at the world class cricket facilities in Dhahran.
The national team consists of the best players from across the country (Yanbu, Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam). The team is embarking upon a tour to Kuwait to compete against other GCC countries and took this opportunity to train at arguable the best cricket facilities in the country. After a two hour practice session, the team was invited to play against Dhahran’s best cricket talent, also known as the DCA Travel Team, led by seasoned all-rounder Atif Sibghtallah.
While the match may have been considered a friendly encounter, both teams were giving a 100% in a highly energetic competitive match. DCA won the toss and decided to have a bat against the youngsters. The opening pair of Rohit Pardhwan and Sarfraz Alam had to bear with the express pace of the Saudi Under 19 bowlers, Saad and Omar. Both fast bowlers delivered hostile spells dismissing Rohit early, caught behind brilliantly with an athletic diving effort from the keeper. Sarfraz was then joined by Rehan Khan as both set about building a partnership. Sarfraz played a few brilliant shots around the ground and was dismissed for 30 runs in the 5th over. Rehan was then joined by DCA’s current best batsmen – Zuhair Bukhari. The pair then played positively attacking both spinners and pace bowlers alike. After enterprising 50 run partnership, Rehan was dismissed for a fluent 31. While the under-19 team made a few more breakthroughs, Zuhair was then joined by powerhouse Avais Qureshi. Avais then bludgeoned another 8 massive sixes and 5 fours to race to a well-played 78 in 32 balls. Zuhair also chipped in with 42 leaving DCA with a very respectable total of 220 in 20 overs.
The Under-19 team started their innings aggressively, attacking opening bowler Atif in his first over. The openers raced to 50 runs in 5 overs before Mohammed Asif made the first breakthrough. Mohammad Tayyab, DCA’s best spinner then spun the youngsters around his web of left arm off spin. They had no answer to his variations in flight, spin, and bounce. He dismissed the aggressive opener and continued to put pressure on the remaining batsmen. All the bowlers then chipped with notable performance to keep the run rate out of reach of the youngsters. In the end, DCA comprehensively beat the Under 19 team by 82 runs.
While the result was a bonus, what was more important was a chance for Saudi Aramco players to interact with the national team and show their commitment to developing the beautiful game in the country. Both teams then enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the ground and exchanged well wishes for the youngster’s upcoming tournament. DCA would like to thank the Saudi team manager, Saudi Cricket head coach, President of the Eastern Province Cricket Association, and President of Saudi Cricket Centre for their attendance. In addition, DCA would like to thank the recreation department for their efforts in preparing the field to such a world class standard.