Match facts

November 15, 2008
Start time 7.30pm (1400 GMT)


Will Abdul Razzaq be spurred on by Naved-ul-Hasan's send-off and turn in a match-winning performance against his former team-mates? © ICL
 

The Big Picture

The script for the ICL 2008-09 finals has so far been a copy of last season's so it won't be a surprise, given that the Lahore Badshahs won the first of three matches, if the second game was tied.

But the Hyderabad Heroes will be keen to alter it instead of letting a bowl-out decide the championship. It will be difficult for them to overcome a Lahore side that has dominated its last five consecutive wins - the narrowest margin of victory in those games was a 13-run win against the Chennai Superstars. Everything has clicked for Lahore since beating the Chandigarh Lions by seven wickets at the start of this month. They haven't lost more than five wickets in four chases and scored a whopping 211 in the one game in which they batted first. Hyderabad also put in a couple of masterful performances - beating the Mumbai Champs by 79 runs and the Royal Bengal Tigers by nine wickets - but seemed to have lost some of their spark after just edging past Bengal in the semi-final.

There's no better time for Hyderabad's openers - Jimmy Maher and Ibrahim Khaleel - to give their side a scorching start before Saqlain Mushtaq troubles them with his variations. They haven't done so badly in the two matches they opened after Khaleel was promoted up the order - adding 49 in the first final - but in order to counter Lahore's imposing batting line-up which includes Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf and the in-form Naved-ul-Hasan, Hyderabad will need something special from their openers.

The two teams opened the tournament with a farcical match which Hyderabad won after the floodlights failed in Lahore's innings. The organisers will hope that if Saturday's game is the last one in the season, it turns out just the opposite.

Form guide (last five matches, most recent first)

Hyderabad- WWWWL
Lahore - LWWWW

Stats

  • Justin Kemp has the most number of catches in the tournament, with eight from 10 games. His team-mates Maher and Inder Shekhar Reddy, with five each, can still race him to the eventual record.

  • Khalid Mahmood's 11 dismissals are the most by a keeper in the tournament. Bengal's Deep Dasgupta has the same number from nine matches, one less than Mahmood. But Ibrahim Khaleel is close behind with eight.

Players to watch

Abdul Razzaq v Lahore: Razzaq was rankled by Naved's send-off in the first final and angry words followed, after which he complained to Inzamam, who smoothed things with his customary calm. Razzaq top-scored for Hyderabad in the game and the sledging may spur him on against his former Pakistan team-mates.

Naved-ul-Hasan: Lahore's fortunes in their last five games have been tied to Naved's form with the ball. He took 14 wickets in the matches and also scored two half-centuries batting at No. 3.

Saqlain Mushtaq: How many Hyderabad batsmen will fall to his teesra? He has not gone wicketless in any of Lahore's wins and conceded over eight runs an over in only one of those matches.

Justin Kemp: He will be keen to fire for Hyderabad after scoring only 54 in 10 games. His hard-hitting approach can be very handy if the team is chasing a big total.

Nicky Boje: His team will hope their top run-getter and second highest wicket-taker can stop Lahore in their tracks and give Hyderabad a chance to go for the title on Sunday night.

Quotes

"Winning the first match gives you an edge and now that we have done it we would like to go full stretch and win the event 2-0 tomorrow. The toss will be crucial because of the dew factor. The ball will not swing much in the second half and it will give batsmen the advantage."
Inzamam wants a repeat of last season and hints at what he will do if he wins the toss.

"Winning the first match can make you relaxed, so I feel we are in a good position because we don't have anything to lose now. We don't have any pressure and we will give our best and win the next two games."
Chris Harris, the Hyderabad captain, feels his side has an edge.