ICL Pakistani made a clear announcement on Thursday that they would settle for nothing less than the title by bulldozing past a star-studded ICL World in an eagerly-awaited match of the Indian Cricket League (ICL) 20s World Series here at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium.
Opener Imran Nazir top scored with a fluent 62-ball 69 as all-rounder Abdul Razzaq celebrated his ‘Pakistan’ return with an unbeaten fifty that came after a superb bowling spell (2-29). The duo shepherded the title favourites to a clinical nine-wicket triumph in just 17.5 overs.
The result was never really in doubt once Razzaq together with veteran off-spinner Arshad Khan (3-23) and fellow medium pacers Shahid Nazir (2-12) and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan (2-21) restricted the World to 130-9 in 20 overs.
Later, openers Imran and Razzaq erased any World hopes with a match-winning partnership of 119 in 16.1 overs.
It seemed that a humbling defeat against Hyderabad Heroes in the ICL 20s Challenge came as a wake-up call for the Pakistanis who had contested in that spectacle as Lahore Badshahs.
The Pakistanis bowled superbly, and there was a marked improvement in their fielding. The batsman showed more responsibility to help record a comprehensive victory over a side that is a combination of some really accomplished players from around the world.
Imran’s innings was composed and at the same time was a treat for the spectators as the pinch-hitter exhibited some clean hitting that included nine fours and a six.
Razzaq continued from where he left off in the ICL 20s Challenge in which he was adjudged the player of the series. He removed the dangerous Lou Vincent and Andrew Hall on successive deliveries and later scored a flawless 55 off 43 balls with three fours and an equal number of sixes.
Earlier, ICL Pakistani restricted the World to a modest 130-9 in 20 overs even as rival openers Matthew Elliot (14) and Ian Harvey (21) made a fluent start after skipper Chris Cairns elected to bat first.
The openers hammered medium pacers Abdul Razzaq and Shabbir Ahmed to all parts of the ground and it seemed the World at 41-0 in the fifth over were targeting a big total. Both Razzaq and Shabbir were the only Pakistani players who did not play for the Lahore Badshahs in the ICL 20s challenge.
It was the introduction of medium pacer Shahid Nazir that put the brakes on the World innings. Shahid got rid of Elliot in his first over and from then on the World never really recovered.
Wickets fell at regular intervals as Shahid bowled accurately and got good support from the other end from fellow medium pacer Rana Naved and Arshad Khan.
Cairns looked dangerous for a while with a 14-ball 17 that included a huge six but he was undone by the experienced Arshad. Cairns scooped the ball high and appealed after wicket-keeper Humayun Farhat that the ball had hit the camera cable running straight over the pitch. But TV replays suggested otherwise.
The Pakistani bowlers continued to make life tough for their rivals who could just score 89 runs in the last 15 overs at the cost of nine wickets. ICL Pakistani will be looking to continue their form in their today’s game against ICL India.
Source:Cricket NewsMore on:Abdul Razzaq, Chris Cairns, icl, Imran Nazir, Inzamam ul Haq, Rana Naved, Shahid Nazir
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, April 11th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.
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