India wins Red Bull Campus Cricket Asia Final
The first ever Red Bull Campus Cricket Asia finals finished on a high
as India emerged winners after a tense final that came to a close on
April 28 at the CCC grounds.
In the tradition of unpredictable India versus Pakistan encounters,
the finals of Asia's first ever college cricket tournament swung
Pakistan's way then India's and in one last stomach churning twist,
Pakistan almost stole the game from right under India's nose...almost.
Set 150 to win by India, Pakistan's chase ended 11 runs short. That
number would have been much larger had it not been for the hard hitting
heroics of the ninth wicket pair of Faizan Shamim and Usman Amin.
However, the left-for-the-last-minute assault just couldn't take
Pakistan over the line and in the 19th over yielded 28 runs and gave the
boys in green a real belief.
Campus India with their trophy
The finalists. Picture by Ranjith Asanka
Pakistan had barely sneaked in to the finals on the basis of the net
run rate over Sri Lanka but no one could've doubted their pedigree in
the final based on the performance they gave. The finals were a fitting
end to the four day tournament that saw a round robin double header
between the three teams.
The winning captain Swapnil Salvi captured the essence behind the
tournament, "We never thought that one day I'd be playing Pakistan in an
international college tournament, and this really changes the way people
will look at college cricket now."
The Man of the Final was Neil Narvekar (Campus India), Best Bats Man
was Sidesh Lad (Campus India), Best Bowler was Vinit Dhulap (Campus
India) and Man of the Series was Sidesh Lad (Campus India).
The initiative was spread across eight cities in India and three in
Eventually, 32 colleges from India and 22 from India would
participate and eventual winners Rizvi College, Mumbai (India) and Sir
Syed University, Karachi (Pakistan) truly earned the right to represent
Sri Lanka was represented by Colombo University who were already
champions of their intercollegiate competition.
The need for such an event has been endorsed by some of the greats of
Asian cricket including Sanath Jayasuriya, Moin Khan as well as Indian
cricketer and Red Bull athlete Gautam Gambhir who was one of the brains
behind the project.