Naseer Shaukat, the ageless wonder of Leinster cricket, stole the show as The Hills won the centenary IBI Corporate Finance Leinster Senior League Cup by seven wickets in Milverton on Saturday.
In the space of two overs bowling up the hill, Shaukat reduced the much-vaunted Phoenix top-order to 35/5 from a relatively comfortable position of 31 without loss.
Ben Beecroft and Louis McDonough looked to get the Phoenix innings off to a good start and a six over square leg as the first runs of the day seemed a good sign.
Then up stepped Naseer to take the best bowling figures in Senior Cup Final history, his 7-20 in ten overs a phenomenal effort under the grey skies.
The Man of the Match for his record-breaking cup final figures of 10 Overs 4 Maidens, 7 for 20 is the legend that is Naseer Shoukat! 🙌🏅 pic.twitter.com/gMfVgP29tR— Cricket Leinster (@cricketleinster) June 8, 2019
Shaukat’s ability to move the ball in both directions had the Phoenix team unsure how to play him and made sure the cup would be in The Hills clubhouse in their 50th birthday season.
Daya Singh, Joey Carroll and Devender Ranolia all chipped in with wickets themselves as Phoenix were dismissed for 84 before the drinks break, but there was no denying that Shaukat was the star of the show.
Poonish Mehta threatened and teased that Phoenix might do the impossible dismissing McLoughlin-Gavin in the first over of the reply.
That was as good as it got for the men from the park as Lakhotia, Carroll and Donegan ensured The Hills comfortably chased down the modest target inside twenty overs.
Donegan stroked two boundaries in that final over to spark the celebrations in the large local crowd that had gathered to watch the denouement.
Thanks to the live stream hosted by HBV Studios, it won’t just be in his mind that Naseer Shaukat is replaying his outstanding performance.
The Hills v Phoenix, Saturday June 8th, The Vineyard
Phoenix 84 a/o 24.4 overs (B White 24*, B Beecroft 21; N Shaukat 7-20)
The Hills 86/3 19.5 overs (J Carroll 35, B Lakhotia 21, M Donegan 20*)