Lahore Lions set a target of 165 against Southern Express in the fifth qualification match at Raipur on Tuesday. Skipper Mohammad Hafeez played a gem of an innings, and combined well with Saad Nasim to help the Lions recover after they lost wickets in quick time.
Earlier, Southern Express had won the toss and elected to bowl first. Umar Siddiq opened the batting instead of Nasir Jamshed and it turned out to be a good decision by the Lahore Lions’ team management. He combined well with the talented Ahmed Shahzad, to give the Lions a steady start. However, Siddiq fell just at the end of the power play overs to Farveez Maharoof.
Ahmed Shahzad and Nasir Jamshed fell shortly after to leave Lahore reeling at 52/3 at the end of eight overs. Maharoof, who was taken to the cleaners against Mumbai Indian – he was dispatched for 39 runs in his 3 overs in that match – made a terrific comeback and made three crucial breakthroughs. However, his final over went for 14 runs blemishing his figures.
Saad Nasim and Mohammad Hafeez led the Lions’ recovery after that, scoring at a patient rate for the next seven overs. They did not take any unnecessary risks, and backed themselves to put their foot on the accelerator in the last few overs. Their decision was a sensible one, as Hafeez broke the shackles and hit three consecutive sixes in the 16th over. That over by Seekkuge Prassana went for 25 runs, and was the turning point in Lahore’s innings.
Lahore finally managed to score 75 in the last five overs, helping themselves to a total that they can defend with some good bowling. Southern Express will be disappointed with themselves, for letting Hafeez and Nasim get away but they do have the firepower in their batting to chase the total down.
Lahore Lions 164 for 6 in 20 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 67, Saad Nasim 31; Farveez Maharoof 3 for 28) vs Southern Express
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