The joy of 6 for the Badshahs
The Lahore Badshahs made it six wins out of six with an easy 22 run victory over the spirited Kolkata Tigers at the Lal Bahadur Stadium in Hyderabad.
It was an important match especially for the Tigers, who needed a win to stay in contention for a semi final spot. In their pitch report both Pat Symcox & Jeff Dujon predicted a good track, which would play well right through the 40 overs of the match.
Craig McMillan won the toss and elected to field. In the end the Badshahs scored their 6th straight victory, beating the Tigers by 22runs. Hassan Raza was declared the Man of the Match for his fighting knock of 48.
The Badshahs opened their account with their explosive combination of the two Imrans (Farhat & Nazir). It was great piece of fielding from Chandana, that resulted in the packing of Imran Nazir back to the dugout in the third over, resulting in the first breakthrough for the Tigers at 15/1. By the fifth over, the Badshahs were contained at 26/1 especially because of some fine seam bowling from the inform Andre Adams, whose 3overs cost only 9 runs.
It was again the slinger-Tiger, Abu Nechim, who came to the party getting the dangerous Imran Farhat in his first over. At the halfway mark of their innings, the Badshahs were delicately placed at 53/2. Upul Chandana was working some serious magic with his big leg turners that had the Badshahs batsman all at sea.
The Tigers were sharp in the field, making the Badshahs earn their every run & that resulted in Shiv Sagar foxing the well-set Taufeeq Umar on 41, to put the Badshahs in a bit of a bother in the 14th over at 83/3. By the 17th over, the Badshahs were placed at 121/3 all set for an onslaught with the Badshahs mainstay Hasan Raza holding the key. The Badshahs were finally restricted by some fine work in the field from the Tigers at 153/4.
The Tigers had a shaky start when the brilliant Mahmood, knocked Das back to the dugout without troubling the scorers. Mahmood & Sami were displaying some high quality pace bowling at the Lal Bahadur stadium & had the Tigers on their knees at 10/3 with their top 3 batsmen back in the dugout. By the 9th over, the Tigers were facing an uphill task of needing another 113 off 66 balls at around 11runs per over.
A lot was resting on the shoulders of Captain McMillan who as out there in the middle for the Tigers in company of Rohan Gavaskar. At the half way mark of their innings, the Tigers were placed at 48/4. Arshad Khan was turning the ball a mile and soon got the Badshahs the big break with the wicket of McMillan, leaving the Tigers innings reeling at 59/5.
At the end off the 16th over, the Tigers needed 62 runs off only 24 balls at over 15 runs per over & 4 wickets in hand. It proved too tall an order in the end for the Tigers, who finally fell short of the target by 22runs.