The K3.5million FMB Cricket League in Blantyre started off on Sunday with only three players registering at least half-centuries in five matches.
This is a slump in terms of individual performance as compared to the previous tournament which saw the same number of opening games recording six cricketers that managed to have half-centuries.
On Sunday, Imtyaz Badat was the highest scorer with 65 runs while Tosif Rustam and Sadiq Bhatti followed with 58 runs apiece.
Badat and Rustam’s half-centuries helped defending champions Kukoma Orange beat Yellow Su-Kam by nine wickets after making a total of 170 runs in 15-overs against Yellow’s 165/5 in the entire 20 overs at Oriental Cricket Club (OCC).
Bhatti recorded the other half-century at the Indian Sports Club (ISC) where he contributed 58 runs to Pharmanova’s six-wicket victory over Red Turbotech. Turbotech batted first to make 131/7 in 20 overs but Pharmanova replied with 133/4 in 17.1 overs.
Badat expressed delight at being the highest scorer in the opening fixtures, saying: “Although I failed to meet my target of plucking a century in our game, it feels great to be the highest scorer in five opening games.”
The tournament’s organising committee chairperson Shiraz Zaveri yesterday attributed the cricketers’ struggle to reach the half-century mark to the competitiveness of the league.
“The teams are well prepared for the league this season and they are trying their best to limit each other’s advantage. As a result, it is not easy for individual cricketers to get away with incredible scores,” he said. n