ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features
Auckland v Sialkot, CLT20 qualifier, Johannesburg
Vincent lures in the fans
ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from Auckland v Sialkot at the Champions League T20
Firdose Moonda at the Wanderers
October 9, 2012
Fans of the day
By the time the evening game came, the Wanderers crowd had swelled to around 500 and most of them were cheering on Sialkot. It was up to Auckland's most charismatic player, Lou Vincent, to change that. Vincent has been on a mission to attract more fans to his franchise and has taken to carrying a Justin Bieber doll around to convince young people to come to the cricket. Some of them must have listened because they were at the boundary rope to high-five him every time Auckland took a wicket.
Start of the day
After Imran Nazir showed glimpses of good form at the World T20, especially against Bangladesh, Sialkot may have expected him to start explosively in the Champions League. But Kyle Mills had something else to say about that. He kept Nazir in check with three consecutive short-of-a-length deliveries that nipped away from him and kept him stuck in his crease. Mills only give away two runs in that over and it was Auckland who made the impressive opening.
Release of the day
Auckland had held Sialkot in a vice grip until someone the batsman found familiar came on to bowl. Azhar Mahmood did not just open the tap, he allowed water to gush out too. His over cost 18 runs and was an assortment of short balls, wide deliveries and ones that did not have much wrong with them, except that Haris Sohail could get hold of them.
Sarfraz Ahmed invited comparisons with Sohail Tanvir because of his unconventional action and almost lived up to the billing with his two wickets in the 14th over. Auckland were sailing to their target when Azhar Mahmood slapped a short and wide ball to short cover where Shoaib Malik took the catch. With the set batsmen gone, Sarfraz turned it on and beat Colin de Grandhomme's bat twice with deliveries that angled away. He nicked the third one through to Shakeel Ansar to send jitters into the Auckland line-up.
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