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November 2, 2008
Lahore Badshahs 137 for 3 (Naved-ul-Hasan 50*) beat Chandigarh Lions 136 for 6 (Saqlain 2-26) by seven wickets
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan's superb all-round performance helped the Lahore Badshahs complete an emphatic seven-wicket victory against Chandigarh Lions at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium. Chasing a target of 137, Naved-ul-Hasan's unbeaten half-century enabled Lahore to finish the match in the 16th over, a performance which boosted their net run-rate. Today's result moved Lahore up to No. 4 in the league and kept their semi-final hopes alive.
The Chandigarh batting line-up was bolstered by the inclusion of former England batsman Graeme Hick, who was drafted in to fill the void created by the suspension of Chris Cairns and Dinesh Mongia. He began his innings in the seventh over, after Naved-ul-Hasan had ended an opening partnership of 40 by trapping TP singh lbw, but faild to make an impact. He became fellow county-pro Saqlain Mushtaq's first wicket when he holed out to Naved-ul-Hasan at deep midwicket. Chandigarh had slipped from 40 for no loss to 77 for 3 and they were in further trouble after Naved-ul-Hasan held another catch off Saqlain to dismiss Manish Sharma.
The frequent fall of wickets curbed Chandigarh's momentum and it was Lou Vincent's 23-ball 33 which pushed Chandigarh up to 136 for 6.
Lahore's two Imrans - Farhat and Nazir - got their team off to a cracking start, scoring 33 off 3.4 overs. Farhat scored 22 off 12 balls but it was the promotion of Naved-ul-Hasan to No 3 which proved a masterstroke.
He glanced his first delivery towards the fine-leg boundary and then drove Andrew Hall through mid-off to find his groove. His approach wasn't frantic - he scored only 14 off his first 12 balls - but he accelerated steadily and found the boundary regularly. He hit one six in innings, sweeping Rajesh Sharma over the cow-corner boundary, and as he neared his half-century, Lahore inched closer to the target.
Naved-ul-Hasan brought up his 50, off 33 balls, off the penultimate ball of the innings. his partner in a 30-run stand for the fourth wicket, Khalid Mahmood, hit the winning run with 24 balls to spare.
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