Otago Volts galloped to a comfortable eight-wicket win, even as Saeed Ajmal grinned at his misfortune of not getting the optimum result for his efforts. Wicketkeeper Mohammad Salman continued to chatter even as the enthusiasm levels of the Faisalabad Wolves dropped.
Brendon McCullum was lucky again as Asad Ali didn’t back up for a throw from point which could’ve found the Otago skipper outside the crease. However, it seemed too litle too late.
Otago finished the formalities with a brilliant boundary.
While Brendon McCullum won the Man-of-the-Match, it was a good game for both the captains.
Faisalabad Wolves’ spinners started to tighten the noose of the Otago batsmen by not allowing them to free their arms. Derek de Boorder was, especially, struggling against the spinners.
However, a move to bring in Ehsan Adil in the 12th over helped Otago’s cause as he gave away 17 in the over. It put Otago back in command. Asad Ali added to Faisalabad’s woes by making a hash of an easy catch of the Otaga skipper while he was batting on 41 in the 13th over. Brendon McCullum took advantage of that and smashed a boundary off the very next delivery. Two overs later, he brought up yet another T20 half-century and followed it up with a six in the 15th over
Both the batsmen, however, didn’t take any risks against the experienced Saeed Ajmal. Otago didn’t lose any wicket in the last 8.4 overs.
With Otago Volts in command, Misbah-ul-Haq used his trump card Saeed Ajmal by introducing him in the last over of the powerplay. The move worked immediately as the off-spinner dismissed the dangerous looking Hamish Rutherford, who hit the ball high in the air, but failed to get the distance.
Otago controlled their attacking instincts and collected runs in singles and twos from thereon. However, Brendon McCullum played unorthodox shots time and again to get the occasional boundary.
Otago reached 61 at the end of 10 overs without any further damage.
Faisalabad Wolves got their second innings too off to a good start as Samiullah Khan dismissed Neil Broom with a delivery that pitched on the off-stump and nipped back to induce an edge that flew to the first slip. He continued to bowl a tight line and swung the ball as he gave away just one run in the first over.
Although the pace hovered around 128-132 kmph, the movement Samiullah generated through the pitch was enough to trouble the Otago batsmen.
Skipper Brendon McCullum came at one drop and soon joined the action with a hard slash on the off-side for a boundary in the second over. He followed it up with another boundary with just a straight jab off the next ball.
Hamish Rutherford also joined the party as he hit a six straight behind the bowler’s head in the third over which prompted Misbah-ul-Haq to bring in a spinner as early as the fourth over. However, that didn’t stop Rutherford from attacking as he stepped down to hit Khurram Shehzad for four off his very first delivery and a six off the last.
Rutherford’s attacking display helped Otago reach 39 for one in five overs.
Faisalabad’s electric fielding was a rather surprising and pleasant viewing in the first five overs.
Faisalabad Wolves: 138/8 | Overs 20 | Saeed Ajmal 9*, Asad Ali 0*; OUT! 5-108 (M ul-Haq | 16.6 overs), 6-117 (I Khalid | 17.6 overs), 7-127 (Mohammad Salman | 18.5 overs) and 8-135 (Ehsan Adil | 19.4 overs)
Misbah-ul-Haq displayed his class with exquisite timing and placement, making a mockery of the bowlers and the pitch that were causing trouble to the Faisalabad batsmen just before his arrival to the crease.
Imran Khalid didn’t waste too much time to get settled as he started attacking the Otago bowlers early. However, three consecutive dot deliveries in the 17th over put some pressure back on Faisalabad. In an attempt to make room and hit the ball on the off, Misbah was bowled for 46 by Ian Butler. His 34-ball innings might question the fact whether he should promote himself up the batting order in the next match.
Faisalabad’s lower order couldn’t take advantage of low full-tosses as their innings wobbled to 138 for 8 in their 20 overs.
It was skipper Misbah-ul-Haq who started the attack on the Otago Volts in the real sense. A clean hit by him off Nathan McCullum in the 12th over landed beyond the boundary ropes to bring up the first six of the tournament. He followed it up with a hard hit through mid-wicket in the next over.
Misbah continued to knock Nathan off his stride as he hit a boundary and two six to bring the Pakistani side back into the game.
Meanwhile, Khurram Shehzad failed to get runs with his unorthodox shot-making, before taking on Ian Butler in the 15th over. However, he perished in the last ball of the over.
In the 13th over of the match with Faisalabad Wolves on 63 for three, coach Naveen Anjum assessed 140 as a good total to defend.
Faisalabad Wolves: 45/3 | Overs 10 | Misbah-ul-Haq 7*, Khurram Shehzad 11*; OUT! 3-34 (A Ali | 7.2 overs)
Faisalabad Wolves got their innings moving, after a slow start, with a few slashes and edges that raced away to the boundary. Although the pitch offered assistance to the bowlers, Faisalabad batsmen also suffered due to poor shot selection. Asif Ali too became a victim of poor shot-making. In a bid to clear the field, he mistimed a delivery by Jimmy Neesham and was caught comfortably by Nick Beard.
Like it has happened so often in the past, Misbah-ul-Haq came into the crease to rescue his team’s innings as early as the eighth over.
With some good bowling, Faisalabad were restricted to 45 at the end of the 10th over.
Faisalabad Wolves: 19/2 | Overs 5 | Asif Ali 0*, Khurram Shehzad 7*; OUT! 1-5 (A Mahmood | 1.1 overs) and 2-12 (Ali Waqas | 3.2 overs)
Misbah-ul-Haq. Playing his 100th T20 match as a player and 50th as a captain couldn’t have expected a better start by his team as opener Ammar Mahmood started the Faisalabad Wolves innings with a boundary through mid-off. Mahmood came forward to drive a length delivery by Ian Butler. However, despite a boundary, Butler continued to test the batsmen by bowling outside off, but ended up by giving away just one more run.
The inexperience of Mahmood did him in the first ball of the second over as he hit a delivery by the 35-year-old James McMillan outside off on the up and was taken easily by Hamish Rutherford. Pakistani batsmen continued to be troubled by deliveries outside off as the bowlers took advantage of the moment in the air. By the end of the second over, the Wolves were six for one.
In a bid to up the tempo, Ali Waqas hoicked a delivery across the line, but failed to judge the length. While Butler troubled the batsmen with his line, McMillan did them with bounce.
Faisalabad Wolves captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and elected to bat in the first qualifiers match against Otago Volts of the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) 2013 in Mohali on Tuesday.
Otago Volts: Hamish Rutherford, Neil Broom, Brendon McCullum (c), Aaron Redmond, Jimmy Neesham, Nathan McCullum, Derek de Boorder (wk), Ian Butler, Neil Wagner, Nick Beard, James McMillan
Misbah-ul-Haq will lead the Faisalabad Wolves, while Brendon McCullum will captain the Otago side.
Hello and welcome to the live updates of the first qualifiers match between the Faisalabad Wolves and Otago Volts in the Champions League Twenty20. I, Aayush Puthran, will be bringing you the momentary updates of this match.