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Feature

When Kallis, Hafeez, Yusuf and Edwards wound the clock back

ESPNcricinfo presents its team of the US Masters T10 tournament

Mohammad Hafeez was in prime form with bat and ball throughout the tournament, New York Warriors vs Texas Chargers, US Masters T10, Lauderhill, August 27, 2023

Mohammad Hafeez was in prime form with bat and ball throughout the tournament  •  Ace Images/US Masters T10

The inaugural US Masters T10 is done and dusted. Despite the Florida rain following the competition around, there were excellent contests, brilliant individual performances, with some of the best-known players from the years gone by turning the clock back. Here, at the end of it, we have the team of the tournament.

Aaron Finch (California Knights)

Finch has only just quit the game internationally, so he is not quite in the turning-the-clock-back category yet, and is still pretty huge in the Big Bash League. That showed, never more than early on in the tournament, when he smashed 75 not out in 31 balls and 63 not out in 30 balls against New Jersey Triton's and Morrisville Unity respectively. California lost both matches, though, but not for want of trying on Finch's part, who ended as the highest scorer in the competition, with 236 runs from eight innings at a strike rate of 203.44.

Mohammad Hafeez (Texas Chargers)

He was the Player of the Tournament, and totally deserving of the honour, after scoring 210 runs in eight innings at a strike rate of 253.01 - the best among the batters - and picking up seven wickets at an economy rate of 8.85. In the final, he didn't need to bowl, but was the best batter, scoring 46 in 17 balls in Texas' chase. A collapse meant it wasn't enough to win the game for them, who had to get to the title after a Super Over, but Hafeez showcased his all-round ability in spades.

Jacques Kallis (California Knights)

He's close to 48, but he is arguably the greatest all-round cricketer since Garry Sobers. And there were plenty of signs of the old class-is-permanent cliché, particularly against Texas, where he smashed 64 not out in 31 balls and put up a stand of 158 with Milind Kumar to make it a one-sided contest. There were all the old trademark shots on display, and that inside-out drive over the covers looked good enough to eat. If that was a high-scoring game, he played a measured knock in a low-scoring game against Atlanta Riders, where he scored 38 not out in 27 balls in a five-run win.

Obus Pienaar (Morrisville Unity)

He scored his runs at a strike rate of 208.08 and, apart from bowling economical spells, won Morrisville a match with his left-arm spin, returning 3 for 13 in two overs, against California. One Player-of-the-Match award for his batting, and one for his bowling. That's priceless in any form of cricket, and makes him the only non-international to make the XI.

Ben Dunk (Texas Chargers)

The batting position here in this XI isn't ideal for Dunk - the designated wicketkeeper and captain of this side - after he scored 167 runs at a strike rate of 225.67 from higher up. He was powerful and keen when he walked out to bat, took perhaps the catch of the tournament when he dived to his right to catch Finch off Fidel Edwards in an early game, and captained Texas to the title after winning the eliminator and a qualifier the day before the final. Champion stuff!

Yusuf Pathan (New Jersey Triton's)

Yusuf moved up and down the batting order for Triton's, but comes in to do the finishing job in this XI, much like in his prime. His other numbers at the US Masters have been good, of course, but it's the strike rate that stands out: 201.53, sixth-highest for batters to score over 100 runs. In all, he scored 131 runs in 65 balls, with seven fours and 11 sixes.

Shahid Afridi (New York Warriors)

T10 and Afridi is the perfect fit, isn't it? He certainly did enough to show that he can be as devastating now as he was at the professional levels when in his prime, even if the legspinners are not as quick as they once used to be. With the bat, he made 123 runs in seven innings at a strike rate of 192.18. He didn't bowl too much, and was expensive when he did, till we came to the final, where a two-wicket final over took the game to the Super Over.

Sreesanth (Morrisville Unity)

Sreesanth was in good wicket-taking form for Morrisville, and in two games, when he picked up wickets, he run through the opposition: 4 for 12 against Texas and 3 for 25 against Warriors. Neither was in a winning effort, though. But he has looked the part - slower than before, but hitting nice areas most of the time.

Fidel Edwards (Texas Chargers)

Edwards, well past 40 now, looked very, very good each time he bowled. He is still quick, that slingy action still in place, and the yorkers landed with decent frequency, even if he strayed with his line at times. But he picked up wickets, including 3 for 5 against New Jersey and 2 for 10 against Morrisville.

Elias Sunny (Atlanta Riders)

Sunny was arguably the best spinner in the competition, going wicketless in only one of the five matches he played. He also kept things moderately tight and finished with an economy rate of 7.77, among the best in the tournament. He is the spin frontman in this XI, with Hafeez, Pienaar, Afridi and Yusuf for company.

Sohail Khan (New York Warriors)

The other Sohail from Pakistan, Tanvir, was one of the players we were looking forward to watching at the US Masters T10, but Sohail Khan put most fast bowlers to shade. He ended as the highest wicket-taker, starting slowly, going wicketless in the first two games, before turning it on. In back-to-back games, both against Atlanta, he returned 3 for 21 and 4 for 15. Ten wickets in eight games would have anyway made him the top wicket-taker of the tournament, but he made sure there was no doubt about that status, adding five more in a special spell in the final, which included four in one over.