Badshahs cruise to Giant victory
The Lahore Badshahs reinforced their championship class as they demolished the Delhi Giants by eight wickets in what could largely be described as a one-sided match.
After restricting the Giants to a paltry 103 runs in their twenty overs, the Badshahs made short work of the chase with Imran Nazir once again coming to the party with a swashbuckling 60 and his rollicking 64 run partnership with Humayun Farhat, who himself scored 16 runs off 19 deliveries with two boundaries.
With the asking rate never in the reckoning, the Lahore Badshahs decided to take things easy and played out a few dot balls towards the end though Hasan Raza decided to put the Giants out of their misery in the eleventh over by smashing medium pacer Abid Nabi for a six over cover and a flick for four over square-leg. Raza was unbeaten on 20 off 19 deliveries while Nazir made 60 not out.
Nazir was at his destructive best as he set about the bowling and smashed five boundaries and a six to demoralise the Giants bowlers led by Shane Bond. Though Nazir lost his opening partner Imran Farhat early, he found an able ally in the other Farhat brother Humayun.
Earlier, former test leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed took three wickets for 33 runs to curtail the Delhi Giants to just 103 for the loss of seven wickets in their 20 overs, with Monish Mishra top-scoring with 33 runs off 31 deliveries with five hits to the boundary.
The Giants began with a flourish scoring 19 runs within the third over, but the wicket of Avishka Gunawardene took a bit of steam off their batting. Mishra was joined by his captain Marvan Atapattu and the duo took the score to 53 before Mishra was bowled by Mushtaq Ahmed, who also accounted for Abbas Ali and Abhinav Bali.
The Delhi batsmen kept getting set and losing their wickets at the most untimely manner and it was left to the late pyrotechnics of Kiwi fast bowler Shane Bond and keeper Nic Pothas that the Giants managed to even complete their quota of twenty overs. The duo put on 23 runs off four overs to ensure that their team crossed the 100 mark.
For the Badshahs apart from Mushtaq Ahmed, the other bowlers too came to the party with Shahid Nazir bowling the most economical spell in the history of ICL, conceding just 11 runs off four overs and accounting for the wicket of Giants captain Marvan Atapattu.
Mohammed Sami picked up a wicket for 22 runs, the same as Azhar Mahmood while Rana Naveed conceded 26 runs off his four overs without taking a wicket.