March 13, 2008
Mahmood and Nazir trump Heroes
Lahore Badshahs 90 for 1 (Nazir 62*) beat Hyderabad Heroes 86 (Boje 39*, Mahmood 5-13) by nine wickets
If Panchkula were a kingdom, Lahore Badshahs were its rulers.
In a royal show of how pulsating Twenty20 cricket can be the Badshahs, the newest entrant into the Indian Cricket League, completely ruled the roost over the Hyderabad Heroes in game five at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium.
After opting to bat, there were no heroes for Hyderabad, who crashed to 86 in 18.4 overs. The wrecker-in-chief was Azhar Mahmood, formerly of Pakistan, who snared 5 for 13 in 3.4 overs of accurate, swinging medium pace.
Jimmy Maher was cleaned up fifth ball of the match, Stuart Binny missed a straighter one, and three tail-enders came a cropper in the 19th over, after crucial strikes from Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Mohammad Sami dented the Heroes' innings. Subtract former South African allrounder Nicky Boje's unbeaten 39 from 47 balls, after the Heroes were 31 for 6, and that total could have been far more dismal.
The Badshahs lost Imran Farhat for just 4, edging fellow countryman Abdul Razzaq in the first over, but the rest of the chase was smooth sailing. Taking 19 off one Kaushik Reddy over, Imran Nazir proceeded to completely shut out the Heroes with a blitzkreig of an innings. Boundaries were smashed all around the ground, his fifty was raised from his 28th delivery, and two towering sixes in the tenth over sealed a handsome win. Nazir remained unbeaten on 62 from 32 balls, with eight fours and three sixes. Humayun Farhat, who played one Test and five ODIs in 2001-02, was a silent spectator at the other end, scoring 18 off 24 balls.
The Badshahs sit atop the ICL points table with two wins on the trot.