CLT20 Desk in Mumbai
Match Report: Q 6 – Hampshire vs Sialkot Stallions
Haris Sohail's half-century gives Stallions maiden CLT20 victory
A superbly paced innings by Haris Sohail and a mature effort from his skipper Shoaib Malik ensured the Sialkot Stallions chased down the required 144 runs to beat Hampshire in the final qualifying stage match of the Karbonn CLT20 2012 Qualifiers.
Despite losing three wickets with few runs on the board and not making too much use of the field restrictions, the Sialkot Stallions rallied brilliantly through a 96-run partnership between Haris Sohail and Shoaib Malik to ensure their team would leave the shores of the Rainbow Nation on a happy note; they defeated the Friends Life T20 competition winners Hampshire by six wickets, with five balls to spare.
Haris Sohail, who played out a maiden over early in his knock, took his time to get going. But once he learnt how to negotiate the difficult surface, he played some impressive shots. He scored the bulk of his runs in two areas; he either chose the area between point and cover on the off-side (and played a couple of flowing cover drives) or drove down the ground in the long-on area. Though he got a little restless and attempted a few chance shots towards the end, he was lucky not to be dismissed; he would remain unbeaten on 62 (scored off 56 balls that included eight boundaries and a six).
Shoaib Malik was impressive too; though his team had their backs to the wall when he walked out to bat, the Sialkot Stallions skipper wasn’t afraid to play his shots early on. His first boundary was a streaky affair – the ball took the outside edge and raced past the slip fielder. But thereafter he stamped his authority on proceedings; he hit a six over extra cover and followed it up with a late cut through thirdman and fluent boundaries through the leg side. With his team on the brink of the victory, Malik was stumped off the bowling of Shahid Afridi; he made 39 from 25 balls and hit six boundaries and a six.
Shahid Afridi was the most economical of the Hampshire bowlers; Chris Wood, David Griffiths and Laim Dawson also chipped in with wickets.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Hampshire top order struggled to come to terms with the tennis ball bounce and movement the pitch at Centurion Park. Though Michael Carberry, James Vince and Jimmy Adams got off to starts, they took time to score their runs. At the half-way mark, Hampshire were 59 for three and desperately needed some momentum to post a competitive total.
That’s when Glenn Maxwell turned on the heat as he hit four boundaries and three sixes in a 29-ball knock of 42 runs. The 23-year-old Maxwell chose Sarfraz Ahmed and Naved-ul-Hasan for special treatment; he scored a boundary and a six off Sarfraz Ahmed, and then followed it up with two sixes in Naved-ul-Hasan’s over.
Shahid Afridi, who has looked out of sorts as a batsman in recent times, chose to play second fiddle to Maxwell; he scored 14 and hit only one boundary in his 16-ball knock.
The dismissal of Maxwell and Shahid Afridi off consecutive deliveries – after a 56-run partnership - meant Hampshire lost momentum just when the time was right to push for a flourish. Maxwell was caught at deep point after he threw his bat at a wide delivery, while Shahid Afridi top-edged an attempted pull to get caught at mid off.
The Sialkot Stallions would then pull the strings and strangle their opponents; Yorkshire would only score 22 runs in the final three overs to finish at 143 for eight.
On the bowling front, Shoaib Malik and Bilawal Bhatti (who was only introduced into the attack in the 16th over) were the pick of the bowlers; while the former returned with figures of one for 15 from his three overs, the latter conceded only nine runs in his two overs. Umaid Asif was the most successful of the Sialkot Stallions bowlers with two wickets – though he went for 42 runs in his four overs. Raza Hasan (1-34) and Naved-ul-Hasan (1-23) also chipped in with wickets.
Brief Scores: Hampshire 143-8 in 20 overs (Glenn Maxwell 42, James Vince 18, Umaid Asif 2-42) lost to Sialkot Stallions 144-4 in 19.1 overs (Haris Sohail 63*, Shoaib Malik 39, Shahid Afridi 1-26) by 6 wickets.
Man of the Match: Haris Sohail for his unbeaten 63, which would lead the Sialkot Stallions to their maiden victory in the Karbonn CLT20.