Faysal Bank Super Eight T-20 Cup 2012-13, semi-finals

Faisalabad and Sialkot in final after thrillers

Umar Farooq

March 30, 2013

Comments: 12 | Text size: A | A

Faisalabad Wolves 125 for 8 (Shehzad 27, Hafeez 3-30, Rasool 2-27) beat Lahore Lions 123 (Jamshed 46, Hafeez 36, Adil 3-23, Khalid 2-31) by two runs

With nine required of the final over, promising fast bowler Ehsan Adil conceded just six to help Faisalabad Wolves win a thriller against Lahore Lions and reach the final of the Faysal Bank Super Eight T-20 Cup in Lahore.

Though the first ball of Adil's over went four, and the next was a wide that reduced the equation to four off five balls, Adil kept his cool. The second legitimate ball of the over produced a wicket as Sohail Ahmed, who threatened to take the game away, was dismissed after mistiming a pull. Another wide was bowled, followed by two dot balls as the No. 9 Adnan Rasool failed to connect.

That made it three required off two. Rasool missed a third ball in a row, and decided to attempt a bye, but with the non-striker not responding, both batsmen were at the bowler's end when the wicketkeeper broke the stumps. The final ball of the match left No. 11 Aizaz Cheema needing to take three, and he too failed to connect and was run out by the keeper Mohammad Salman, giving Wolves the game.

Wolves didn't seem to have a defendable target after they opted to bat, posting 125. Opener Farrukh Shehzad slashed Aizaz Cheema between gully and point for a boundary, followed by a dashing drive through extra cover, to take nine of the first over as the openers put on 22. Misbah ul-Haq (19) and Khurram Shehzad (27) put on 45 for the third wicket, with the Wolves passing 100 in the 16th over with the help of Imran Khalid's cameo of 20 off 15 balls.

At the halfway stage, Lions were favourites, given Wolves' moderate total, and that Lions had seven cricketers with international experience in their ranks, including the Twenty20 national captain, Mohammad Hafeez.

The Lions announced their charge with three boundaries off the first over from openers Ahmed Shehzad and Nasir Jamshed. Shehzad fell to a brilliant catch behind by Salman with the score on 13. Jamshed (46) and Hafeez (36) put on a solid 57-run partnership, and Lions looked comfortably on course to overhaul the Wolves' total.

A double-strike by Adil in the 11th over brought Wolves back into the game, as he removed Kamran Akmal and Ali Azmat. From being 81 for 2 in 10 overs, Lions ended up losing seven wickets for 38. Once Jamshed was run out by Samiullah with the score on 99, the Wolves' smelt the possibility of victory. Sohail Ahmed's 19 kept the Lions in the hunt, but Adil's superb final over handed Wolves the victory.

Sialkot Stallions 139 for 8 (Malik 44, Amin 3-28) beat Rawalpindi Rams 136 (Waheed 44*, Naved-ul-Hasan 3-20) by three runs

Sialkot Stallions raced into the final after a thrilling victory over Rawalpindi Rams at the Gaddafi Stadium. The match went into the final over with Rawalpindi needing eight runs, but the vastly experienced Naved-ul-Hasan picked up three wickets to bowl Rams out and clinch a three-run victory. Stallions, defending champions of Faysal Bank Super Eights, will take on Faisalabad Wolves in the final on Sunday.

After opting to bat first, Stallions got off to a steady start with the openers adding 23 off 21 before Shakeel Ansar (7) was trapped lbw by Yasir Arafat, followed by the dismissal of Shahid Yousuf (16). In a bid to improvise, Naved-ul-Hasan was promoted up in the order, but the idea backfired and Naved was back in hut with 15 off 22 balls. By the end of 15th over, Stallions were in trouble at 96 for 5.

Their captain Shoaib Malik drove five boundaries to compile 44 off 35 balls to take Stallions past 100 and Mansoor Amjad hit 18 off 11 with the help of a six over long-off to propel Stallions to a respectable total of 139.

Rams, in reply, lost three wickets within five overs with 31 runs on board. It was Umar Amin (24) along with Umar Waheed who kept them the game from slipping away with a defiant 37-run stand. Sohail Tanvir chipped in with three boundaries for his 17 off 16 balls but wasn't enough to keep the chase on course, leaving Waheed (44 not out) to resist all alone in the middle with no batsman providing him support, which left Rams two runs short.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

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Posted by RAVINDRAS.202030 on (March 31, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

how lahore lost that match? anything is possible with pakistan batsmen.

Posted by Stark62 on (March 31, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

Ehsan and Zia-Ul-Haq deserve a call up to the national side, especially ahead of failures and talentless bowlers like: Sami, Sohail Tanvir, Riaz and not to forget the spinner, Tanvir Ahmed!!

Posted by hellothereeveryone on (March 31, 2013, 10:24 GMT)

Why are T20 greats like Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Razaq and Azhar mahmood not playing for any team??????? All the top senior players should play such tournaments to give good experience to youngsters

Posted by umairasgharbutt on (March 31, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

Sialkot Stallions gonna win it again this year ;)

Posted by Saady1195 on (March 31, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

@virtual_prince..Please don't over criticize anyone.Misbah-ul-Haq has averaged around 100+ in this tournament.When asked by the media that if he is considering to play in T20I for Pakistan,he refused and yet he has shown his determination to perform well.Give the credit where its due.If it wasn't for Misbah,Faislabad would have not even made it to the Semi's.And now they have the chance to win Big.!! and its lovely to see Adil bowl so well..#future prospect

Posted by   on (March 31, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

Is there NO ONE to praise or give a little credit to Stallions for there consistent performance in the National T20ssssssss??

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (March 30, 2013, 22:37 GMT)

good bowling by ehsan adil.. he deserves a long run in national team along with junaid n irfan.

Posted by MHZ14 on (March 30, 2013, 21:12 GMT)

@virtual_king .. have u even watched the matches ? misbah blasted 85 on 47 to kick khi out ... he made good scores in other matches as well ... and todays captaincy was wowww .. he kept 2 slips as soon as new batsman came and he pressurized them to lose wickets ... he was amazing and main reason with ehsan adil to pull off an amazing victory .. please give credit when its due

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