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March 5, 2006
Sialkot Stallions 156 for 4 (Naved-ul-Hasan 40*) beat Faisalabad Wolves 152 for 8 (Imran Ali 41, Naved-ul-Hasan 3-37) by six wickets
Sialkot Stallions were crowned the new champions of Pakistan's Twenty20 Cup, beating the holders Faisalabad Wolves by six wickets in the final at the National Stadium on Saturday night.
The match was marred by unruly crowd behaviour, causing a delay of almost two hours. When order was restored, the Wolves batsmen appeared visibly shaken. Their eventual score of 152 for 8 in 20 overs never looked enough to help them retain their title.
The Stallions didn't find the task too taxing. They reached 156 for 4 in reply and won the match as well as the glittering trophy with four deliveries to spare.
The final ended at 2.35am on Sunday instead of the scheduled finish at half-past midnight. Although no official figures were available, according to television commentators the attendance before the trouble was around 35,000. After the long delays many left, but still several stands remained quite thickly populated.
Initially, Imran Nazir's decision to field first surprised many. But he was vindicated as the Wolves were contained to a reasonable total. Opener Imran Ali was the top-scorer with 41, made off 30 balls with five fours and a six. Faisalabad skipper Misbah-ul-Haq scored 33 off 34 balls and hit three fours while Naved Latif's cameo of 21 included three sixes and came off only 14 deliveries.
Sialkot were powered by a 14-ball 29 from Imran Nazir, with five fours and a six. Youngster Shahid Yousuf hit 30 off 21 balls then, after the fourth wicket fell at 87 made in the 11th over, the fifth-wicket pair took the Stallions through.
Shoaib Malik followed his two quick wickets in the Wolves' 20th over with a run-a-ball 31 not out. With fellow Pakistan player Naved-ul-Hasan their unbroken stand of 69 came in just 50 deliveries.
After taking three wickets in his four overs, Naved required only 26 balls to hammer an unbeaten 40 that included three fours and as many sixes. He was the deserving winner of the Rs20,000 Man-of-the-Match award.
Sialkot, who are also the reigning champions of Pakistan's first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Championship, beat the Faisalabad side in the final of that competition too.
© Daily News
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