Badshahs hold off Klusner threat
The Lahore Badshahs held off a spirited fight back from Lance Klusuner to remain undefeated and progress to the first of the Championship finals on Friday.
The 2nd semi-final of the Edelweiss 20s Challenge featured the Lahore Badshahs take on the spirited Kolkata Tigers, at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Sector-3, Panchkula. The big question for everybody was - If the Tigers had it in them to derail the Badshahs juggernaut?
However, in the end it turned out to be a classic encounter where the Badshahs won by a narrow margin of 7 runs. Lance Klusener declared man of the match.
Inzamam won the toss and elected to bat on a track that looked flat and full of runs. Nerves were playing a part in the big match & got the better of the inform Imran Farhat, who was sent back to the Badshahs dugout without troubling the scorers. At the end of the 5th over it was the other Imran.
Nazir who got into the repair act for the Badshahs, taking the score to 35/1. Humayun & Nazir soon got into the groove playing some wonderful strokes, brining the 50 of the innings in the 6th over.
The partnership was growing in strength and by the 8th over, Badshahs were placed handsomely 70/1. Just when the partnership was taking dangerous proportions Zulu got into the act sending back Humayun in the10th over for a well made 39. At the half way mark of their innings the Badshahs were placed at 86/2.
Shiv Sagar got the big break in form of Hasan Raza's wicket brining the Tigers right backing the match in the 11th over. Sagar got into the act again getting Nazir in the 13th over leaving the Badshahs in a bit of a bother at 94/4.
By the end of the 15th over, the match was turning out to be a fascinating contest with the Badshahs placed at 112/4. However, the cool composure of Inzi was what the Badshahs needed and in the company of Latif, he was working up a good partnership of over 50 runs setting the Badshahs for a big onslaught in the final overs.
Azhar Mahmood came in with 2overs to spare and a lovely cameo of 24 off only 8 balls helped Badshahs set a formidable target of 183.
In reply, the Tigers came out with positive intent getting 21 for no loss at the end of the first three overs. The openers were gaining in confidence especially Dasgupta, who was taking on the formidable opening bowling attack. At the end of the 4th over, the Tigers were set on the target at 39 for no loss.
The Tigers got their 50 in style at the end of the 5th over scoring at over 10 runs per over. The wonderful opening partnership of 62 was brought to an end by Nazir who castled Dasgupta for a well made 22 in the 7th over. At the half way mark it was turning out to be a fascinating match with the Tigers needing 102 off 60 balls at 10 runs per over with 9 wickets in hand.
Shahid Nazir was bowling some tight overs in the middle with the wily Mushtaq building the pressure on the Tigers. Two big hits from the bat of Zulu kept the hopes alive for the Tigers in the 14th over.
With 5 overs to go the match was fascinatingly poised with the Tigers needing 63 off 30balls at 12.6 runs per over with Zulu looking in ominous touch. Klusener was making a match out of it & in company of Gavaskar was taking the daunting target chase right down to the wire.
In the last over , the Tigers were posed with the daunting task off scoring 18 runs. In the end Zulu's valiant was not enough and the Badshahs prevailed by 7 runs.