This was for the first time in Champions League history, T20 champion of Pakistan played the T20 champion of India © PTI
This was for the first time in Champions League history, T20 champion of Pakistan played the T20 champion of India © PTI

By Mohammed Shafeeq

Hyderabad, Sep 21 (IANS) It was billed as an India-Pakistan clash and almost lived up to the expectations as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) beat Lahore Lions (LL) in the last over in Oppo Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20). The match had all the excitement of a thrilling encounter which the two arch rivals are known to produce.

A near full house at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium enjoyed the contest between the two star-studded sides. KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa entertained the holiday crowd with some delightful strokes in what was looking a one-sided match before the visitors came back with some tight bowling. The home team chased down the 152 target with the loss of six wickets.

KKR, which beat Chennai Super Kings in the first match Wednesday, enjoyed the full backing of over 25,000-strong crowd. Hyderabad has become the home for the IPL franchise from Kolkata as it is playing all its matches in the Champions League here.

The crowd as they lustily cheered every fall of wicket when Lions were batting and latter every boundary hit by KKR batsmen. Backing good cricket, fans were also seen cheering the fours and sixes when Pakistani side was playing. Ahmed Shehzad’s strokes provided entertainment the holiday crowd during the Lions innings.

Dancing to the popular numbers from Hindi and Telugu films, the fans enjoyed the match under the flood-lights. The dancing cheer leaders, fireworks, lighting, the famous Mexican wave and all other ingredients of a perfect Twenty20 setting were there.

Earlier, all roads leading to the stadium were teeming with thousands of fans, some of them carrying national flags and even had tricolor painted on their cheeks. However, the team from Pakistan lived up to the image of their national side with a collapse despite a good start by the openers. From 71 for one after 10 overs, Lions crumbled to 105 for six in 16 overs. Some late hitting by Umar Akmal (40 off 24 balls) helped them reach 151.

Interestingly there was another famous Pakistani seen in action, though on the sidelines. Legendary pacer Wasim Akram was delighted over the performance of his bowlers. The KKR bowlers like Andre Russel have already credited his presence for their improved show.

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 here