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World Double-Wicket Tournament in Houston:

Amjad Khan, Faoud Bacchus to represent USA

According to the USCRICKET.COM Web site, USA National players, Amjad Khan and Faoud Bacchus, have been selected to represent USA in the upcoming Second International Double Wicket Cricket Tournament in Houston, Texas. The tournament is scheduled to take place on July 19, 20 & 21 at the Houston Astrodome. The event organizers, Sports World Wide, Inc are looking forward to showcasing some of the well-known names around the world at this event.

So, who are the event organizers?

Sports Worldwide Inc. is backed by the Damani Group of companies, with Mr.and Mrs. Damani as CEO and CFO respectively. Their Board includes Bobbie Refaie, USACA Secretary; Akhtar 'Chic' Masood, USACA ex-President, now a Director, and an official with the national USA Teams; and others. ( See Sports Woorldwide Inc. for a detailed discussion of the organizaton and its goals.)

The significant Pakistani presence is explained by the fact that official Double Wicket cricket at the international level originated in Pakistan in 1997. But the first World tournament AND the current one were played in the USA-- making this international cricket tournament the only one which has (so far) been played exclusively on North American soil!

For those who are unfamiliar with Double Wicket Cricket, here are the basic rules:

Each team consists of two players. When a player gets out, five runs are deducted and he remains at the crease. The standard Double-wicket inning is of eight overs, and both players have to bowl four each (but see below).

(In the preliminary rounds of the World Tournament, the standard 8 overs are allowed for each team. But the Semi finals of the tournament have been expanded to consist of 10 overs for each team, and the Finals are for 12 overs for each team.)

Stock players are used as wicket keepers and fielders. For the purposes of this tournament, "Fielders will be drawn from the first class teams of USA" according to the orgainsers, and "two wicket keepers from India or Pakistan will be invited to keep the Wickets".

Since the game requires both players to bowl as well, it necessitates the use of all rounders, equally proficient in batting and bowling. Since there is no fear of going back to the pavilion, players try to hit as many boundaries as they can. The reduction of the team score every time a player is out "keeps the thrill and suspense intact all the time and till the last ball bowled".

Bacchus and Khan will have the opportunity to play against Wasim Akram, the highest wicket taker in one day internationals, Shahid Afridi, the fastest century maker in just 37 balls, Aravinda De Silva, Robin Singh, Rashid Latif, Nayan Mongia, Azhar Mahmood and last year finalists from Bangladesh, Aminul Islam and Akram Khan.

Teams from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, England, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Canada and USA will participate in yearís event. The winners will walk away with $25,000 while the runner-up team will receive $12,000.

Tickets for the event are available at ticketmaster. Prices range from $10 - $75 per day.

For cricket enthusiasts around the country, this will be a great chance to see some of the top names compete in an action-packed event. For further information, contact Sports World Wide, Inc. at (770) 449-0400.


EARLY TOURNAMENT RESULTS, from USCRICKET.COM.

Amjad Khan and Faoud Bacchus are making USA proud at the Second International Double Wicket Cricket Tournament in Houston, Texas by defeating India, matching Sri Lanka and losing to Pakistan in a slugfest. They have a good chance of making it to the semi-finals.

Sri Lanka vs USA
Sri Lanka batted first and scored only 34 in their allotted six overs. In reply, USA needed 7 runs on the last ball to win the match. The 2002 Eastern Conference Best Bowler, Amjad Khan, proved his ability with the bat by hitting a six to tie the game.
The game couldíve been won by USA if it wasnít for a bad run-out call of Amjad Khan by a Sri Lankan umpire. TV camera clearly showed Khan making it to his crease.

USA vs India
USA batting first and put up 68 runs on the board in six overs and contained the Indianís batsman to a mere 30 runs.

Pakistan vs USA
The showdown between Akram and Afridi was a game to watch. Pakistan batted first and put up a solid total of 76 in six overs. Four dropped catches cost USA some precious runs.
In reply, USA was at 46 at the end of 4th over only to see the scoreboard at 50 at the end of six overs.

FINAL DAY'S PLAY

Shahid Afridi smashed a belligerent hundred and partnered by Wasim Akram retained the International Double Wicket Championship, beating Sri Lankan pair of Kumar Dharmasena and Dulip Lyange by 69 runs on Sunday.

Playing before a crowd of nearly 10,000, Afridi delighted and thrilled the audience with his extra-ordinary powerful hitting, making a hundred off mere 32 balls studded with 14 massive sixes and four boundaries but was dismissed two-times. Afridi reached his half century in just 13 balls, fastest in 50 of the event.

The Afridi-Akram pair were presented crystal trophy and cash prize of $25,000 while Liyange and Dharamsena collected the runners-up trophy with cash prize of $12,000. Shahid Afridi, Ricardo Powell (West Indies), and Syed Moin Rafaie (USA) were declared best batsman, best bowler and best fielder and were awarded $1,500 each.

Earlier in the semifinal, Afridi achieved a unique feat of blasting six sixes off one over from Saeed Anwar, who was bowling his left arm spinners. Thrice he lifted Saeed Anwar in the stands over mid-wicket, twice ball soared in the stands at long-on and one of his sixers struck loudspeaker close to roof of the stadium.

Due to Afridi's hitting, the Pakistan Greens overwhelmed Pakistan Blues by 52 runs. Afridi hammered 78 in 21 balls with ten sixes and three fours while Wasim Akram could manage 12 in 17 balls.

In the other semifinal the Sri Lankan pair defeated [West Indians] Ricardo Powell and Wavell Hinds by just one run. Hinds cracked 41 in 19 balls with two sixes and three boundaries while Powell made 38 in 18 balls with two sixes and three fours.
Liyange played a pivotal role in his team's triumph, hitting five sixes and two fours in his 53-knock of 22 while Dharmasena contributed 33 with four sixes.

Earlier, Pakistan Greens had topped group "A" while Sri Lanka finished second in the pool. West Indies emerged as group "B" champions by winning all their four league games, and Pakistan Blues earned the second spot in Group B, thus making the four semifinalists in the event.

BRIEF SCORES

Final: Pakistan Greens beat Sri Lanka by 69 runs Pakistan Green 121-3 in eight overs (Shahid Afridi 109, Wasim Akram 24, Kumar Dharamasena 2-65, Dulip Liyange 1-71); Sri Lanka 52-2 in eight overs (Kumar Dharmasena 42, Liyange 17, Shahid Afridi 2-42).

Semi-final 1: Pakistan Greens beat Pakistan Blues by 52 runs Pakistan Blues 45-3 in six overs (Saeed Anwar 33, Yousuf Youhana 17, Shahid Afridi 1-25, Wasim Akram 1-25); Pakistan Green's 97-0 in six overs (Shahid Afridi 78, Wasim Akram 12).

Semi-final 2: Sri Lanka beat West Indies by one run West Indies 77-2 in six overs (Wavel Hinds 41, Ricardo Powell 38, Kumar Dharmasena 1-31); Sri Lanka 78-2 in six overs (Dulip Liyange 53, Kumar Dharmasena 33, Ricardo Powell 1-44).

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Date-stamped :23 July 2002 - 20:52