Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Inzamam in Familiar Territory

For as long as Pakistan chased down totals over the last 15 years, they relied on one man - Inzamam ul Haq.

Announcing his arrival at the world stage in grand fashion as a 19 year old during the 1992 World Cup he first showed his chasing abilities in the semi final of the tournament against the Kiwis. Following that Inzamam masterminded many a chase for Pakistan, with the most recent in memory being the last ball 4 he hit of Sachin to chase down a 300+ total in India a couple of years ago.

Nearing 40 now, Inzamam's abilities haven't gone away and he displayed his mettle again yesterday as he lead his Lahore Badshah's to a 5 wicket win over the Chennai Superstars in the ongoing ICL's Edelweiss 20s Challenge.

Chasing 158 in 20 overs, Inzamam walked out when the Badshah's were precariously placed at 32-3 of 5 overs, which soon became 47-4 in 7. Needing another 111 runs in 13 overs, Inzamam partnered with Naved Latif to hammer the Chennai bowling as the two added 77 runs in the next 9 overs. Once Naved departed, Inzamam was joined by Azhar Mahmood and the two then knocked off the remaining 34 runs in only 3 overs.

Inzamam remained unbeaten on 50 off 43 deliveries that contained 5 boundaries and a six and was also awarded the man of the match for his effort.

The Chennai team included Micheal Bevan (56 off 53), Ian Harvey (5 off 13 and 1-37), Russel Arnold (3 off 4), Adam Parore (3*), Shabbir Ahmed (0-41), and the 2 Kumarans.

The Lahore Badshahs looks like the strongest outfit in the tournament largely because the team includes all former Pakistan internationals, which is an added advantage over other teams that include players from all round the globe.

Knowing this team and the players in it, I can easily put a wager on them going unbeaten to the final and then losing it!

In other results thus far:

Ahmedabad Rockets beat Chandigarh Lions by 19 runs.
Points of interest:
Wavell Hinds smashed 59 off 43 for the Rockets.
Skipper Chris Cairns picked up 2 wickets for the Lions.
Matthew Elliot top scored for the Lions with 39.
Chris Cairns threatened to take the game away before he was undone by Jason Gillespie.

Delhi Giants beat Mumbai Champs by 6 wickets
Points of interest:
Champs' skipper Brian Lara ruled out of tournament with injury.
Stand in skipper Nathan Astle top scored with 32.
Shane Bond gave away only 18 runs in 4 overs to restrict the Champs.
Abbas Ali smashed an unbeaten 64 off 49 deliveries to lead the Giants' reply.

Watch this space for more updates on the Lahore Badshahs and the ICL.

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4 Pitched:

  1. Anonymous said...

    I felt he still had some time to offer in the test team... was disappointed to see the PCB push him to retire in tests.

    On the ICL, I keep trying to watch it and never seem to be able to fins it in any of the channels... what time does the matches start generally?

  2. Q said...

    Matches start 7PM india time. Matches are being shown on Zee Sports and Ten Sports in India and Pakistan.

    Kolkata vs Mumbai should be starting now. The toss has happened.

  3. Q said...

    And I agree Scorps, he definitely had a few years left.

    If it wasn't for the emotional end to the WC last year, he might have even had a longer ODI career.

  4. NAzhar said...

    Inzi definitely had and has a lot of cricket left in him. PCB were stupid in what they did. It has been a great joy watching Inzi in the ICL. Dean Jones seems to be a huge fan!

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