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Sialkot Stallions crowned T20 Championship

FAISALABAD - May 18, 2015: Magnificent Sialkot Stallions lifted the Cool & Cool Presents Haier Super8 T20 Cup 2015 in style here at Iqbal Stadium on Monday.

Tournament favourites Stallions dented the Lahore Lions pride with 74 runs and triumphed after a one-sided final. With this win they stake their claim for a place in the next Champions League.

From the word go, Stallions tightened the noose on Lions by keeping them far below the required run-rate of 9.8 and bowled out eight of their (Lions’) batsmen for 123 in the given overs after having posted 197 runs for nine in 20 overs. Nauman Anwar was the star of the match with his 97 runs innings while Haris Sohail contributed 47. They also shared 111 runs for the fourth wicket that broke the confidence of Lions bowling attack.

In their chase, Lions kept losing wickets one after the other. They started off their innings with one wicket down for naught. Bilawat Bhatti uprooted the most important wicket of Lions, Ahmed Shahzad on the very first ball. With that big loss, the Lions hopes of having a healthy start dashed out. Their hopes further got a jolt when Mohammad Hafeez (10) swept Sultan Ahmed in the air and Malik had it at square leg, leaving Lions at two for 11.

Lions captain Kamran Akmal arrived in carrying all the responsibility and after having faced nine balls became the second victim of Sultan for just three runs. All eyes then turned towards Umer Akmal for the survival and he too showed some resolve by hitting four boundaries and a six in 30 balls he faced. In between his rescue attempt, Nasir Jamshed went back for just two runs. After Nasir, Umer’s innings also came to an end as he was bowled by Bilal Asif for 35 runs and with that Lions hope of win also faded.

From among the later coming batsmen, Imamul Haq 21 and Imran Ali 23 tried to prolong the Lions humiliation and the only consolation they had was that they played all the 20 overs and lost eight wickets. Sultan, Bilal and Mukhtar Ahmed chipped in with two wickets each while Bilawal Bhatti and Malik had a wicket apiece.

Earlier, Stallions did not let Lions come close to the average required for them to stay in the hunt for the title. After having early jitter, Nauman stood at the crease as a true stallion and took 54 balls to reach his mark. His long handle produced six hits over the ropes and 10 across it. With his power laden batting, Nauman was the clear difference in both the teams. Haris on the other hand timed four fours and a six in his 34 balls stay at the crease. Shoaib Malik could add 11 runs in his team’s total with 13 coming from Ayaz Tasawwar. Despite great effort Aizaz Cheema had four wickets, Qaiser Ashraf had three while Imran Ali had one but their efforts yielded results too late.

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