SIRSA, SEPT 15 :Struggling at 23 for 4 after 5.1 overs, Lahore Lions bounced back into the game with a vengeance and defeated Indian Air Force by five wickets to annex the first the Jannayak Chaudhary Devi Lal International Twenty20 Cricket Tournament at the floodlit JCD National Cricket Academy Stadium here on Monday night.
An unbeaten 34-run partnership for the fifth wicket stand between Adnan Raja (39) and Shabaz Butt (21) fashioned the visitors’ well-deserved title triumph.Lahore Lions replied with 110 for 5 with two overs and four balls to spare.
Besides, the rolling trophy, the Lahore Lions were richer by Rs five lakh. Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala presented the awards. Runners-up Indian Air Force received a cash award of Rs 2.5 lakh. Kharkan Arsal Raja of Lahore Lions was declared the Man of the Series. He was presented a Hero Honda Hunk motorcycle. Waqas Ahmed, also of Lahore Lions, was declared the best bowler. The best batsman award was claimed by SS Karmakar of Indian Air Force. Khem Chand of hosts Jannayak Chaudhary Devi Lal National Cricket Academy received the best fielder’s award. Adnan Raja bagged the man of the match award.
Lahore Lions lost openers Faisal Javed (0), Babar Bhindra (0) and Muntazir Mehdi (0) with scoreboard reading six after 2.2 overs. Rashid Riaz (31, 34 balls, 3x4s) played a fine knock before he was adjudged leg before wicket to A Sakuja.
Later, Adnan Raja and Shabaz Butt held the fort and paved the way for their team’s triumph as they remained unseparated.
Earlier, three wickets down for 38 runs, Indian Air Force were propped up by opener Varun Rajan (43) and Qadir Mumtaz 39) who were associated in a valuable 64-run partnership for the fourth wicket stand.
Electing to bat first after winning the toss, opener and captain Imran Khan adn Varun Rajan opened their innings. They could post only 20 runs before Waqas Ahmed had Varun caught by Imran Khan who made eight runs in 16 balls. Shreejith joined Varun and they took the total to 37 before Shreejith (9) was dismissed by Khakan Arsal. New comer DSAtri was cheaply dismissed for one run.
Then Varun and Qadar Mumtaz steadied the innings with a 64-run stand. This duo carried the total to 102 in 18.3 overs before this partnership was broken. Varun played a brilliant innings of 43 in 50 deliveries. His innings was studded with sweetly timed four fours and one huge six. Qadar’s 33 in 33 balls contained five fours.
Mohd Amir (2 for 24) and Mohd Khalil (2 for 10) were mainly responsible for containing the Indian Air Force innings to 109 for 6 in stipuated 20 overs
Earlier, former Test star and Member Parliament Navjot Singh Sidhu spun the coin for the toss and IAF captain Imran Khan called it correct. Imran decided to opt for batting. Sidhu was accompanied by Bollywood star Sunil Shetty, Indian Amateur Boxing Association president Abhey Singh Chautala in the middle for the toss.
Brief scores: Indian Air Force: 109 for 6 in 19.5 overs (Varun Rajan 43, 4x4s, 1×6, Qadar Mumtaz 39, 5x4s, Mohd Amir 2 for 4, Mohd Khalil 2 for 10, Waqas Ahmed 1 for 19, Khakan Arsal 1 for 24).
Lahore Lions: 110 for 5 in 17.2 overs (Rashid Riaz 31, 34 balls, 3x4s, Khakan Arsal 10, Adnan Raza not out 39, 35b, 4x4s, Shabaz Butt not out 21, 4x4s, Shadab 2 for 14, Deepak Rai 1 for 29, A Sakuja 1 for 25).
Lahore Lions win by five wickets.