TAHIR Dar played a skipper’s knock yesterday and with ample support from Prashanth Kurupp steered Intex Lions to a convincing and deserving seven-wicket victory over Awan Warriors to claim the Coco-Cola Bahrain Premier League (BPL) T20 title at the Isa Town Cricket Ground.
BPL is the first-ever franchise-based T20 league to be held in Bahrain. It was held under the patronage of Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa and KHS Sports and sponsored by Exelon.
Chasing a stiff target of 142 for victory, the Lions were in deep trouble at 13 for three wickets. But Kurupp and Dar did not lose heart and slowly but steadily steered their team out of trouble.
Dar was more attacking while Kurupp took calculated risks in maintaining an encouraging run rate. Once they grew in confidence, the pair opened up and played freely.
They added an unbeaten 132 runs for the fourth wicket to seal the final with relative ease in the end with 14 balls and seven wickets to spare.
Dar made a brilliant unbeaten (74, 44 balls, 5 fours, 3 six) and Kurupp an equally effective 50 (54 balls, 2 four).
Earlier, opting to bat first, the Warriors found the going tough right from the beginning. Among the top order only Imran Butt (21-ball 20, 2 four) reached double figures.
But Asim Masood and Hasan Javed came to the rescue with a fine middle-order partnership which added respectability to their total.
Masood top scored with an unbeaten 49 (36 balls, 6 four) while Javed contributed 34 (33 ball, 3 four) while Babar Ali claimed two wickets for 28 runs for the Lions.
Bollywood star Suniel Shetty and former Indian international cricketer, author and commentator Aakash Chopra watched the final and later were among the dignitaries to distribute the prizes.