Manchester were crowned ECB City Cup Champions at Grace Road, Leicester beating South London to the title.
Having defeated Wolverhampton in the Quarter Final and then Nottingham & Bradford in the Northern FinaLeicestershire County Cricket Club to take on South London, the winners of the Southern section.
Winning the toss and batting first Manchester went about setting a big total on a flat wicket in the Leicester sunshine, Durrani (56) and Bains (39) set off like a train and Manchester were 83 for the loss of no wicket after 10 overs.
South London’s spinners, some excellent fielding and to be fair some indifferent decision making by Manchester meant the innings was closed on 154 for 9, which looked below par.
The run chase by South London was in the balance during the first six overs, whilst wickets fell at regular intervals, the board was kept ticking and a close game looked on the cards.
However some excellent ground fielding and brilliant bowling from Hussain (1 for 5), Tariq (2 for 24), Din (3 for 28), Ahmed (1 for 8), Masood (1 for 18) and Bhada (2 for 4) left South London 91 all out with Manchester winning by 64 runs. It was particularly pleasing to see two spin bowlers in Tariq and Masood, both Under 18 years of age, turning the ball on the big stage.
Team Manchester, overseen by the Lancashire Cricket Board, consist of players selected on the back of an extensive Talent Search, for players aged 16-21, leading to the delivery of a local City Cup involving 5 squads of players with Manchester being selected on the back of that competition.
Thanks go to Qasim Ali (Head Coach) and Farouk Hussain (Team Manager / Coach) along with support coaches Abid Hussain and Raj Arora for their extensive work with the squad, along with the ECB for organising the tournament and Leicestershire County Cricket Club for being so accommodating in staging the final.
James Cutt of the Lancashire Cricket Board said, “I am delighted with today’s victory and my thanks go to the players, their families and our coaches for their efforts through the summer.
"This is the culmination of a 9 month process of trials, fixtures, coaching sessions and extensive efforts into our entry of the ECB City Cup - well done to everyone involved, I hope everyone enjoyed the experience.”