RAWALPINDI - Defending champions Lahore Lions managed to retain their title after beating Faisalaabd Wolves by three wickets in the Faysal Bank T20 Tournament for Regions in the final played here at Pindi Cricket Stadium Sunday. The winners were awarded Rs two million while the runners up got Rs one million.
Man of the final Saad Nasim was the hero of Lahore Lions as he played unbeaten match-winning knock of 43 in as many deliveries, hitting 4 fours and 1 six. With 11 needed in last over to victory Saad held his nerves to guide the team to title. It was down to the wire as single was required on the final delivery and Imran Ali just touched the ball and ran for the winning single.
Ahmed Shahzad made 16, Nasir Jamshed and Umar Akmal 14 runs each in chasing 131 runs target set by the Wolves. Hafeez was out after scoring 6. Asad Ali took 3 for 32 including two wickets on consecutive deliveries while Khurrum Shahzad and Ehsan Adil also chipped in with a wicket apiece conceding 9 and 33 runs respectively while premier off spinner Saeed Ajmal bowled exceptionally well but failed to pick a wicket.
There were rumours Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif might make a surprise entry into the final, but it failed to materialised.
The standard of umpiring was also not upto the mark as Kamal Merchant almost cost Lahore Lions title as he melted under pressure and raises his finger to signal end of Umar Akmal's innings despite the ball was away from his bat. He also refused to give Nasir Jamshed out LBW on Khurrum Shahzad’s delivery despite the replays clearly showed he was in front of the wickets and the ball had hit his back leg. However justice was done on the very next delivery as Nasir was out while trying to hit the ball out of the park gifted a simple catch. Wicketkeeper Salman dropped a very crucial catch of Saad at 99.
PML-N Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan was the chief guest on the final. It was expected that Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will grace the occasion as chief guest but he could not attend the final due to other important commitments. Earlier, Faisalabad Wolves skipper Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and opted to bat first. Wolves innings got off to a disastrous start as semifinal hero Farrukh Shahzad was out in the second over after scoring just a one run. Wolves also lost their second wicket cheaply but a 67 runs third wicket stand between Ali Waqas and skipper Misbah helped Wolves to post a respectable total.
Lions gave three lives to Wolves batsmen, as regulation catches were dropped by the fielders, which helped Wolves a great deal as they posted a decent total of 130-9. Ali played a superb innings scoring 63 off 52 deliveries including five boundaries and four sixes. Misbah also batted well for his 33-ball 27. Wahab RIaz was the difference, as he prevented Wolves from posting a huge total as he grabbed two wickets in same over. Wahab took 2 for 11 in his quota of 4 overs while skipper Hafeez and Aizaz Cheema also claimed 2 wickets each conceding 20 and 29 runs, respectively. A colorful closing ceremony was also held with famous singers Humera Arshad and Jawad Ahmed entertained the crowd singing their famous songs.
Farrukh Shehzad c Jamshed b Hafeez 1
Ali Waqas c Saad b Hafeez 63
Khurram Shehzad c Wahab b Imran 11
Misbah-ul-Haq c Adnan b Aizaz 27
Asif Ali c Shehzad b Asif 11
Imran Khalid run out 0
M Salman c Umar b Wahab 0
M Talha b Wahab 0
Saeed Ajmal c Shehzad b Aizaz 1
Ehsan Adil not out 5
EXTRAS: (lb5, w4, nb2) 11
TOTAL: (9 wickets; 20 overs) 130
FOW: 1-7, 2-35, 3-102, 4-122, 5-123, 6-124, 7-124, 8-124, 9-130
BOWLING: Aizaz Cheema 4-0-29-2, M Hafeez 4-0-20-2, Wahab Riaz 4-0-11-2, Adnan Rasool 3-0-21-0, Imran Ali 4-0-28-1, Asif Raza 1-0-16-1
Nasir Jamshed c Farrukh b Khurram 14
Ahmed Shehzad b Imran 16
M Hafeez c Salman b Asad 6
Umar Siddiq c Salman b Ehsan 11
Saad Nasim not out 43
Umar Akmal c Salman b Asad 14
Asif Raza b Asad 0
Wahab Riaz run out 5
Imran Ali not out 1
EXTRAS: (b1, lb2, w14, nb4) 21
TOTAL: (7 wkts; 20 overs) 131
FOW: 1-20, 2-40, 3-46, 4-91, 5-110, 6-110, 7-127
BOWLING: M Talha 4-0-31-0, Khurram Shehzad 2-0-9-1, Asad Ali 4-0-32-3, Ehsan Adil 4-0-33-1, Saeed Ajmal 4-0-11-0, Imran Khalid 2-0-12-1
TOSS: Faisalabad Wolves
UMPIRES: Ahsan Raza, Kamal Marchant
TV UMPIRE: Ahmed Shahab
MATCH REFEREE: Khatib Rizwan
Best Batsman: Younus Khan 201 runs
Best Bowler: Aizaz Cheema 11 wickets
Best all-rounder: M Hafeez 152 runs, 5 wickets