ISLAMABAD-Skipper Rana Naved helped Imran Nazir Academy outclass Indian Academy by 6 wickets in the final to clinch the 1st Ali Tour and Travels 5-Nation T20 Cricket Tournament trophy in Ajman, UAE.

It was young al-rounder Ali Imran, who stole the limelight as talented Ali remained unbeaten after scoring match-winning 29 in the final to send wild jubilations amongst the Pakistani fans, who were gathered in great numbers. Imran Nazir Academy remained undefeated in all the five matches they have played so far till the final where they outplayed Indian Academy to win the trophy.

Indian Academy opted to bat first keeping in mind dew factor, but their decision failed to bear fruit as they were bundled out for 87. Many of the Indian Academy batsmen couldn’t handle Rana Naved’s devastating bowling, as the former Test cricketer took 3-11, while Ansar Bhatti took 2-22 and M Asad 1-1. Pakistan achieved the target in 18 overs. For the very first time in the event, Pakistan Academy openers failed to provide solid start and both get out cheaply.

The men in green were in all sorts of trouble, as they kept on losing wickets cheaply. It were Rana Naved and young all-rounder Ali Imran, who steady the ship and ensure Pakistan Academy land the title. Ali remained slammed unbeaten 29 and Naved hit unbeaten 28. Zahoor Farooqui took 2-23. Rana Naved was named player of the final and he was also handed over the winning trophy while other top performers also received medals and shields. Imran Nazir lauded the superb performance of the boys and said: “I still remember when we used to play against India at the UAE, we had always enjoyed tremendous crowd support as it was like a home ground for us. I am thankful to the organisers, crowd and all those who supported Pakistan team and always gave us that special feeling.”

“We have provided opportunities to relatively fresh faces and they responded very well and proved our selection right. We have detected a number of talented players, who, if provided with opportunities, can help Pakistan team scale down new heights. I will strongly recommend a few players to the PCB to invite them to the NCA, and groom these players who are future of Pakistan cricket,” he added.

Sharing his views, Ali Imran said: “Thanks to Allah Almighty for giving me so much respect and helping me perform at the highest level. I am grateful to Test cricketer M Wasim, who gave me opportunity of playing and overcoming my flaws at M Wasim Cricket Academy. I am also thankful to Imran Nazir and Rana Naved, who trusted in my abilities and gave me lot of confidence, which was the main reason behind my consistent performances.

“I am thankful to my dad Ajmal Sabir, who always bucked me up and encouraged me to excel and due to his sincere efforts, I have made my debut in a prestigious event in which top academies of five countries including our neighbours India were playing. I not only performed exceptionally throughout the event but also managed to win man of the match award,” Ali added.