Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Afridi takes on Malik in Tonight's RBS 20-20 Cup Final

The Dolphins and the Stallions both won their semi finals against the Leopards and Lions respectively to set up a repeat of last season's domestic 20-20 cup final.

The Final - Preview

Tonight, the Shahid Afridi led Dolphins will take on the Stallions, who are led by Shoaib Malik and are also the defending champions.

Afridi will be eager to add a 2nd title to his cap after leading the Karachi side to the Pentangular Cup title earlier this year.

Afridi will also be looking to avenge the loss the Dolphins faced at the hand of the Stallions in the same final last season.

Afridi did not play that final as he had left for Hajj just a day before, but he was instrumental in taking the Dolphins that far.

Tonight, Afridi will be keen to prove a point and get one up on Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik.

It is no secret that Afridi has been lobbying for the Pakistan captaincy, while Malik has been trying to get Afridi out of the Pakistan team.

This rivalry between Afridi and Malik will definitely be witnessed in today's RBS 20-20 Cup Final between the Dolphins and the Stallions, who are looking to win the tournament for a 3rd consecutive time.

The Semi Finals - Review

Last night in the Semis, the Karachi Dolphins eased past the Islamabad Leopards who were bowled out for only 68 on the back of an outstanding bowling performance.

Sohail Khan (2-5), Anwar Ali (1-13), Malik Aftab (3-17), and Afridi (1-9) were too hot to handle for the Leaopards who lasted for only 16 overs.

The Dolphins got to the total in only 10 overs with the loss of 1 wicket.

The 2nd semi final between the Sialkot Stallions and the Lahore Lions was a much closer contest, with Malik's team winning by a mere 6 runs.

Winning the toss and electing to bat, the Stallions' innings never got going as they ended their 20 overs on 117-6 with Abdur Rehman and Mansoor Amjad unbeaten on 16 and 12 respectively. Kamran Younis, with 36 off 54 balls, was their top scorer.

The Lions' spinners Sohail Ahmed (3-22) and Waqas Ahmed (2-17) had done a brilliant job in keeping the Stallions' scoring rate under check.

What should have been an easy target for the Lions looked too much at the end as spinners Kamran Younis and Shoaib Malik gave away only 30 runs in 8 overs between them, picking up 3 wickets along the way.

Only Salman Butt, with a 38 ball 32, put up some resistance as the Lions ended their innings on 111-6. Waqas Ahmed tried a lone hand at the end smashing an unbeaten 31 off only 12 deliveries but the Lions fell 6 runs short.

Mohammad Yousuf took 34 deliveries to score 17, as he failed for the 3rd time in this tournament.

The Final - Prediction

Tonight as the Stallions look to defend their title against the Dolphins, I safely put my money on Shahid Afridi and his team.

The Stallions have won the previous 2 domestic 20-20 tournaments but this time round they are missing key players in Imran Nazir, Mohammad Asif, Rana Naveed, Shahid Yousuf, and Shehzad Malik.

The fact that they have got to the final without these players is a major achievement but tonight against a strong Dolphins side, the Stallions will have their hands full.

The Dolphins could easily pass as an international side with the likes of Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif, Naumanullah, Fawad Alam, Shahid Afridi, Sarfraz Ahmed, Anwar Ali, and Sohail Khan in their ranks.

Their batting and bowling looks more balanced than that of the Stallions and I believe the Dolphins are the favorites to walk away with the title tonight.

Make your pitch on this post...



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7 Pitched:

  1. Wasim said...
     

    The Stallions have won the RBS defeating a stronger team by 7 wickets, Malik prevailed over Afridi tonight,in the Semis he defended a meager total against a star studded batting line up and in the finals he managed to defeat the tournaments favorites,for Dolphins it comes down to batting their batting let them down if they had scored 15 more runs they could have put some pressure on the Stallions, their bowlers couldn't deliver initial blows to the Stallions line up which was essential keeping in view the small score they were defending, Adeel Malik rescued the Stallions his 8 ball 20 showed he was not a parchi as many suggested,
    Malik by lifting this cup may have consolidated his position as the captain of Pakistan team.

  2. khansahab said...
     

    Q

    I told you who would go into the final and I also told you which team would win.

    I also predicted Fawad's heroics- again he was the highest scorer in the final.

    Sialkot have benefited from the modernisation of the selection procedure in the past two decades whereby Lahore and Karachi do not necessarily produce the best players. Indeed Sialkot holds its own as far as cricket in Pakistan is concerned.

  3. khansahab said...
     

    Q

    What do you know about the selection controversy that led to the resignation of Salahuddin?

    Who made the decision to throw Saeed Ajmal out and keep Shoaib Khan? Of course it was someone more powerful than the Chief Selector. It must have been Ijaz Butt on the first day of his job.

    There were 3 openers already in the squad- why was a fourth one needed then? They should have got rid of Khalid Latif or Salman Butt.

    I'm just baffled at what happened.

  4. Q said...
     

    Wasim I agree with you - Adeel Malik played well in all the games.. he's shoaib malik's brother so many thought he was safarshi but he did alright.. and he played a role in last night's victory.

  5. Q said...
     

    U were right Khan Sahab! I was surprised to say the least to see the Dolphins lose.

    Can you tell me more abt this modernisation in Sialkot's selections as compared to Lahore and Khi?

  6. Q said...
     

    Khansahab, I'll give my thoughts on the new chairman and the selection controversy in a new thread. Sadly I dont think Pak cricket will ever change.

  7. khansahab said...
     

    Q

    Perhaps I didn't express my thoughts with clarity earlier. What I meant by this modernisation in the selection procedure was, earlier cricketers were mostly Lahore based and a few were Karachi based. As Pakistan has developed in the past decades focus has shifted to recruiting from smaller cities such as Sialkot, Khanewal, Jhelum, Peshawar etc.

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