Afridi, Misbah set up big win for Asia Lions against World Giants
Bangladesh's Abdur Razzak also produced an economical spell in a rain-hit contest on Monday
Asia Lions 99 for 3 (Misbah 44*, Dilshan 32) beat World Giants 64 for 5 (Gayle 23, Razzak 2-2, Afridi 2-11) by 35 runs
A fine batting performance from Misbah-ul-Haq (44 not out) followed by an economical display of spin bowling from Abdur Razzak (2 for 2) helped Asian Lions beat World Giants by 35 runs in a rain-curtailed match on Monday. The Asian Lions' second consecutive win pushed them to the top of the table.
A wet outfield had delayed the start by more than two hours, forcing the game to be curtailed to 10 overs a side. World Giants captain Aaron Finch's plan of opting to bowl first on a slow, damp pitch worked beautifully in the first seven overs. Finch utilised four spinners, including Monty Panesar, Ricardo Powell, Chris Gayle and himself, and the slow-bowling option of Paul Collingwood.
It was a struggle in the early stages for the former Sri Lankan opening pair of Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan. After a sedate start, Tharanga tried to pick up the pace in the second over but he was stumped after missing a flat delivery off Powell.
The first boundary of the Asian Lions' innings came off the final delivery of the third over as Dilshan came down the pitch to hit a flighted delivery off Panesar straight down the ground. Dilshan kept the scoreboard moving with singles but couldn't find much support in new batters Thisara Perera and Shahid Afridi.
Misbah, though, picked up from where he left off from the previous match. He smashed Gayle for a six over long-on before hitting Powell for three boundaries in the eighth over. He then lofted Collingwood over long-on for six to bring up his fifty-run partnership with Dilshan. He finished with a 19-ball 44 to push the Asian Lions to 99 for 3 in their 10 overs.
World Giants never really got going in their chase after the dismissals of openers Chris Gayle and Lendl Simmons. Gayle survived an early scare in the first over from Mohammad Hafeez. He was given out on the field after missing a sweep but his review showed the ball was going over the stumps.
Gayle then struck Dilshan for three consecutive sixes off the first three deliveries of the fourth over. Shahid Afridi, though, put an end to Gayle's cameo in the fifth over as he hit a short delivery straight to Thisara Perera at long-on. Gayle's opening partner Simmons was the next to fall in the same over. The openers were the only batters to make it to double digits as the chase fell away rapidly after that.
Former Bangladesh spinner Razzak got the wickets of Shane Watson and Ricardo Powell in the eighth over, which was also a maiden, to kill the chase as the World Giants fell woefully short.