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The Preview by Umar Farooq
December 9, 2012
Match FactsDecember 9, Lahore
The Big Picture
Earlier this week Mohammad Hafeez said with a smile that his 'heart will beat' for Lahore Lions if he ends up facing his native side Faisalabad Wolves in the final. That moment has arrived, with Hafeez taking on Misbah-ul-Haq's team. The champions of the Faisal Bank Twenty20 take home Rupees 2 million. Both teams have won the title once. The Wolves won the inaugural championship in 2005, and the Lions in 2010.
Both sides have been very consistent this tournament. Lions, a powerful side with nine international cricketers, have been unbeaten this tournament and their margins of victory so far are; seven wickets, 30 runs, 30 runs, 6 wickets, 44 runs, 5 wickets, 51 runs. Wolves, too, have been undefeated but without many big stars; Saeed Ajmal left his home team after three matches to join Big Bash League in Australia though team had an inspiration of Misbah.
Lions' weakness appears to be their bowling, they've only managed to bowl a side out once so far. Wolves haven't been explosive with the bat, chasing with steady approach.
The Gaddafi Stadium will host the final and a full house is expected. The security around the stadium has been increased. It was near the stadium that gunmen fired at the the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009, and the country hasn't hosted international cricket since then. The head of police in charge of security has said the city has a point prove by hosting the final successfully.
Watch out for...
Ahmed Shehzad, the right-hand opener, has made a case to return into the national side, after scoring a hundred against Bahawalpur Stags, including 20 boundaries. He is currently the highest run-getter this tournament. He has another opportunity in this competition to stake his claim for a place in the Pakistan side for the upcoming tour of India.
Seamer Ehsan Adil could play a key role against a powerful batting line-up. He hit the headlines after the Under-19 World Cup and was the second-highest wicket-taker in the President Trophy. He's also taken seven wickets in three T20 games.
Pitch and conditions
During day-night games, teams have preferred to field first to prevent the dew from affecting their bowlers in the evening.
"We know we have the big names in the side and each player is sensing the responsibility to with the championship."
"Hafeez has been an integral part of our team and nobody can fill his vacancy but players come and go and it's a part of the game. He is definitely is being missed but you have to manage without him so we will try to perform well and win." Misbah-ul-Haq
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