By Syed Parwaiz Imam

RIYADH, Feb. 27 – What proved to be an one side final clash, although good for the victorious team spectators, Friends demolished Pak Shaheen by nine wickets to capture the Al Bank Al Saudi Al Fransi (BSF) championship, a 40-overs event which was organized by the Riyadh Cricket League.
Shaheen team won the toss and opted to bat first. Going for them was not smooth and they were all out in the stipulated over after making 176. Assad was their highest scorer with 68. Muhammed Owais hit 57 and Azhar Butt added 10 runs.
For the champions, Muhammed Asif captured four wickets for 32 and the in form all rounder, Nadeem Baber, picked up two for 36.
Chasing the modest target of 177 to win, Friends made it for the loss of one wicket only. Baber who is in great form this season, played beautifully for his 96 not out while on the other end Mirza Saifur Rahman held on with his unbeaten 42. Muhammed Asif, the lone batsmen to be out, made 29.
After the match, the awarding ceremony took place at the ground. Those who graced the occasion were RCL chairman Abdul Qadeer Mirza, Tariq Jaffrey – vice chairman, Fazalur Rahman, Javed Munawar – general secretary, Jawad Khalifa – patron, Ejaz Ahmed Choudhary, Khursheed Ahmed, Sheikh Hussam Saleh Zuhair – president of the Saudi Arabian Cricket Association (SACA).
In his speech, Zuhair stated that cricket is a very interesting game. In the capacity as head of SACA, "I will do my best to enhance its popularity not only in Riyadh but in the Kingdom as well." He also disclosed that RCL are working on a team to take part in the Inter Gulf club cricket tournament in Dubai. In this regard, Mirza, the chairman is in contact with other leagues of the regions to finalize the details. The RCL chairman congratulated all the awardees, players, guests and the fans for making this tourney end successfully. He wished them the best of luck in their forthcoming gala, the Saudi American Bank championship.
In the individual performances, N. Baber claimed the man of the match and best all rounder trophies. He scored 272 runs and took six wickets. The best batsman prize went to Muhammed Farooq of Amaq club as he scored 282 runs. For taking 17 wickets by giving away 65 runs, Abdul Wahab Khan picked up the best bowler award. Lastly, the best wicketkeeper prize went to Mohsin. He held seven catches and was successful in stumping on 17 occasions.

The semifinal results in brief are:

Friends beat Saudia Milk by 6 wickets.
Saudia Milk 164 all out (Rashid Rana 49, Mustafa Butt 35, Abdul Jabbar 33, Arif Nawaz 18, Javed Munawar 15, Mirza Saifur Rahman 2-25, Nadeem Baber 2-16, Amjed 1-12, Jamil Khan 1-10)

Friends 165 for 4 (Moazzam 60, Muhammed Asif 31, Amir 25, Mirza Saifur Rahman 20, Javed Munawar 2-26, Rashid Rana 2-24).

Pak Shaheen beat Marhaba Restaurant by 109 runs.

Pak Shaheen 239 for 7 (Kashif Butt 114, Muhammed Owais 79 n.o., Owais Ahmed 27, Khalil 1-50).

Marhaba Restaurant 130 all out (Amjad Jr. 47, Zahid Mir 19, Muhammed Amjed 15, Farooq 12, Abdul Wahab Khan 4-14, Nadeem Amjed 2-28, Muhammed Owais 2-20).