Southern Express v Lahore Lions, CLT20 qualifier, Raipur September 16, 2014

Lions crush Express, move into main league


Mohammad Hafeez blasted four sixes in his innings © BCCI

Lahore Lions 164 for 6 (Hafeez 67, Maharoof 3-28) beat Southern Express 109 (Mubarak 35, Cheema 3-15, Riaz 2-20) by 55 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A comprehensive win over Southern Express and Northern Knights' win over Mumbai Indians lifted Lahore Lions into the main draw of the Champions League T20. Lions had bettered their chances of qualifying after the big win in the first game of the day but their progress also depended on the result of the game between Knights and Mumbai and the New Zealand team's six-wicket win smoothed the road for Lions.

At the toss, Express captain Jehan Mubarak had said that he had chosen to bowl because he preferred chasing a target with the qualification at stake, and had aimed to restrict Lions to a total in the range of 130-140. Those goals, however, came undone in the last five overs of the Lions innings against an attacking innings from Mohammad Hafeez, who blasted 67 off 40 balls.

Lions went into their last five overs on 89 for 3 before Hafeez changed gears. He blasted Seekkuge Prasanna for a four and three successive sixes off the first four balls of the 16th over, which went for 25. The Lions captain followed that up with a few more big hits and brought up the 150 for the side with a six and four off Charith Jayampathi in the 19th over. By the time the innings ended at 164 for 6, 75 had come off the last five overs.

Express needed one of their top-order batsmen to replicate the kind of innings Hafeez had played but their challenge began withering away soon, as Aizaz Cheema reduced them to 36 for 3. An already weakened innings stumbled along to an early finish as Express lost four wickets for six runs, including Mubarak who had struck a brisk 35.

Cheema, who missed out on a hat-trick for the third successive match in the tournament, finished with 3 for 15 and was well supported by Wahab Riaz and Adnan Rasool as Express folded for 109 in 18 overs.

Lions dominated thoroughly with the ball but they lacked fluency in the first half of their batting innings. Until the 15th over, the Express bowlers had done a good job of restraining the batsmen, specially after Farveez Maharoof's strikes in successive overs.

Lions' opening pair of Umar Siddiq, promoted up the order in place of Nasir Jamshed, and Ahmed Shehzad had made a confident start before Maharoof landed the first breakthrough, enticing a dab from Siddiq that was caught by wicketkeeper Kusal Perera. Maharoof's next over turned out to be even better with the wickets of Shehzad and Jamshed, both batsmen out to poor shots. The next seven overs saw Lions score just 37 runs as Hafeez and Saad Nasim focused on rebuilding the innings and set up a flourish at the end.

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Muhammad on September 17, 2014, 18:13 GMT

    @kamran85: Just answer my simple question: What has been the achievement of Afridi during the time Hafeez "struggled" as a captain?

    We will see the performance of Sarfraz again when he visits South Africa or Australia or England. Scoring runs on sub continent pitches and that too in losing cause is not something to cheer about.

    I agree Cheema has to wait because we already have better bowlers. But what was the reason of dropping him after match winning performance in first place? At least he should have been part of squad.

  • Dummy4 on September 17, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    next hurdle for our lion is KKR and InshaAllah they will beat another IPL team in India

  • ESPN on September 17, 2014, 16:45 GMT

    Teams r tough but strength of Pakistan is tat they belong to subcontinent as well... Jst two batsmen need to perform in every match... Ahmed, hafeez and Umar r good to show their petformance...

  • Muhammad on September 17, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    @mzm149 Sarfraz is in test team on the place of Adnan Akmal or any other keeper. We are using Umar Akmal as part time keeper to add one more batsman which is good in only T20s. He is not a keeper but just a batsman which he is showing with his keeping performance. More over when captain is loosing his form due to captaincy pressure then he should be forcefully step down for his own career. Nasir is still struggling to gain his form. Yes Cheema has to wait because there are Irfan, Junaid, Wahab and Umar Gul to compete.

  • Android on September 17, 2014, 12:50 GMT

    @mzm149 ur theory abt the lahori players is quite bizarre actually. Pakistani teams have always been dominated by Punjab players especially from Lahore. I dunt see any point in ur argument there. The fact is actually pretty opposite to what ur suggesting.

  • B on September 17, 2014, 11:15 GMT

    Jeez I was hoping so much from Jamshed but okay, its only 3 matches so far and he has a decent score in the first match. GREAT idea to put him as nr 3, same thing should happen when he plays for Pak.

  • IMRAN on September 17, 2014, 10:59 GMT

    Well done Lahore Lions bt now Hafeez doop test would be positive...Ahmed Shehzad ll be involved in match fixing....thats the whole story....

  • Muhammad on September 17, 2014, 10:56 GMT

    @Wasiq Ali Siddiqui: Your same "proper wicket keeper batsman" aka Sarfraz struggled both in batting and in keeping against Steyn and South Africa in general in 2013 series.

  • Muhammad on September 17, 2014, 10:37 GMT

    @Wasiq Ali Siddiqui: Steyn had troubled Hafeez in tests and ODIs. He didn't trouble him in t20. FYI, Pakistan didn't play South Africa in World T20 after which Hafeez was forced to retire. No body dropped Hafeez. He was just made to step down from captaincy.

    Steyn is the best bowler right now and there are not many batsmen who he hasn't troubled. Hafeez is not a top order batsman and he should play down the order. He is quite handy bowler and in the absence of Ajmal, his importance has increased. As an all rounder he has very good stats. Compare him with any all rounder. He is even better than Afridi.

    If playing Steyn well is the criterion to become captain in Pakistan, then I am sorry to say nobody is able to become one and Afridi would be the last person to do so. Compare records of Afridi and Hafeez as a captain and decide yourself who is better.

    Umar Akmal had much better average than Sarfraz in test matches before Sarfraz played Sri Lanka series. On what basis was he selected?

  • Muhammad Atif on September 17, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    Lahore Loins is very Danger Team !!!

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