Manic Golden Ball drama at FanCode ECS Malta as Atlas UTC Knights seal thrilling victory
FanCode ECS Malta provides an opportunity for ten leading Maltese teams to showcase their skills on the magnificent island of Malta, contesting 48 games over 12 days. Every game will be live streamed worldwide on the European Cricket Network and on FanCode - a multi-sport aggregator platform, from the house of Dream Sports for the Indian Sub-Continent.
Bilal Khan's heroics went in vain as Southern Crusaders (SOC) couldn't make the Golden Ball count after forcing their way back into the match.
Sent in to bat, Atlas UTC Knights (AUK) built a strong opening partnership with Ciril Mathew and Samuel Stanislaus adding 47 runs for the first wicket. Following that, wickets continued to tumble for AUK as the SOC bowlers fought their way back into the game.
Stanislaus scored 24 runs in 19 balls and Mathew added another 16 runs in 15 deliveries. The rest of the batting unit failed to get into double digit scores and AUK had to be content with a total of 91. Jojo Thomas and Waseem Sajjad accounted for five wickets for SOC.
SOC lost skipper Michael Goonetilleke early in the run-chase, but Ryan Bastianz kept his composure to script a crucial 34 off 27 deliveries, including two fours and three sixes.
All hope seemed to be lost for SOC when Bastianz was dismissed in the sixth over. However, Bilal Khan's entry changed the course of the match. Facing his second ball of the match in the ninth over, Bilal Khan smashed Nithin Babu for a six over mid-wicket to get things started. SOC needed 19 runs to win off the final over, a task that seemed nigh impossible until Bilal went berserk again.
He smashed two sixes off Jameel Muhammad in the last over to take his side close. The pressure got to the bowler and he ended up bowling a delivery that went for four leg byes on the final legitimate delivery of the match. With the scores tied after SOC managed 18 runs off the last over, the match went to Golden Ball.
AUK ended up winning the Golden Ball as SOC failed to score two runs off the Golden Ball.
The Golden Ball, first implemented in the Dream11 European Cricket Series Alicante match between Madrid United and Levante CC in 2020, has captured the imagination of fans and in yet another thriller, we saw the bowling side reign supreme off the Golden Ball after nearly letting the game slip in the final over.
The exact regulation states a Golden Ball consists of one additional legal delivery added to the innings of the team batting second in the match with the target being two runs off this additional delivery.
Tune into the live action from Malta from Monday to Saturday from * 0900 CEST * 0700 GMT * 1230 IST.