Centurion: Oct 9, 2012
Veteran all-rounder Azhar Mahmood grabbed five wickets and struck a half-century as Aukland Aces thrashed Hampshire by eight wickets to qualify for the main draw of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament.
Mahmood then smashed an unbeaten 31-ball-55 to steer his side to a comfortable win with 33 balls to spare.
The Pakistan discard hit five sixes and four boundaries during his innings.
Auckland has thus become the first team to qualify for the main tournament, starting Saturday. The New Zealand T20 champions have won both their qualifying matches, having beaten Sialkot Stallions yesterday.
Two teams -- one each from Pool 1 and 2, will join the eight other teams for the main competition.
The result of today's match means that the final match of the Pool 1 between Sialkot Stallions and Hampshire has been reduced to a dead rubber as the two teams are now out of race for a spot in the competition.
Mahmood, who is now a British passport holder ripped apart the Hampshire top-order when he removed James Vince (11) and Jimmy Adams (0) in a space of four balls. (PTI)
Brief Scores: Hampshire 121 for 8 in 20 overs (Michael Carberry 65, Sean Ervine 16; Azhar Mahmood 5 for 24, Ronnie Hira 2 for 25) vs Auckland Aces 123 for 2 in 14.3 overs (Azhar Mahmood 55, Martin Guptill 38; Shahid Afridi 2 for 23) by 8 wickets.