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CLT20 2014 – LIO vs DOL: Akmal, Spinners Roar In Lions Win

By on September 27, 2014

Lahore Lions 164 for 5 (U Akmal 73*, Nasim 43, Frylinck 3-22) beat Dolphins 148 for 9 (Frylinck 63*, Hafeez 2-18) by 16 runs…

Umar Akmal’s unbeaten 73 from 45 balls lifted Lahore Lions from 34 for 4 to 164 for 5.

CLT20 2014 - LIO vs DOL: Umar AkmalThere has been questioning of Lahore Lions’ tactic of batting Umar Akmal down the order by several TV commentators and by fans on social media, but the decision came up trumps on Saturday at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Entering at No 6 with Lions in a hole at 34 for 4 in the eighth over, Akmal produced 73* off 45 balls to lift the total to 164 for 5, a total that proved too much for the winless Dolphins and gave Lions hope of qualifying for the Champions League Twenty20 semi-finals.

Barring a rollicking maiden T20 fifty from their best player of the day by miles, birthday boy Robbie Frylinck, Dolphins were pedestrian with the bat.

On a slow, sluggish surface Lions’ first four batsmen went too hard at the bowlers and the result was that four wickets went down for not much, three of them to Dolphins’ big-boned pace pair of Frylink and Kyle Abbott who bowled quickly and accurately.

Ahmed Shehzad drove to mid-off and Nasir Jamshed clipped to mid-on, both batsmen not in control of their shots against Frylinck, Agha Salman was bowled off a thick edge when playing loosely at Abbott, and Mohammad Hafeez dragged Cameron Delport’s second delivery onto his stumps.

Lions were in a soup but up stepped Saad Nasim and Akmal with a punchy alliance of 93 in 53 balls that turned the innings around. Nasim – this week called up to Pakistan’s T20 squad – led the counter-attack by hurrying to 29 off his first 20 balls faced, hitting three fours and a six.

Then, a slice of luck for Lions. On 20, Akmal was dropped off Prenelan Subrayen, as Morne van Wyk fluffed a catch behind the stumps. From 21 off 21 balls, Akmal burst to life to move to his fifty in ten balls.

Keshav Maharaj was lofted down the ground for two big sixes in the 14th over, and then in the 15th Andile Phehlukwayo was punished for 15, with Akmal clattering two fours and another six.

Nasim fell soon after swinging Subrayen for consecutive sixes, lbw to Frylink for 43 off 26 balls, but the bowler was denied a fourth when Delport spilled Asif Raza at backward point.

Raza made the drop count, smashing 19 off 12 balls, while Akmal hit a four and six in the 20th over after an excellent yorker-filled penultimate over from Frylinck yielded just seven.

A steady flow of wickets set back Dolphins in their chase before the half-way mark, though the dismissals were not particularly off wicket-taking deliveries.

A leaden-footed Delport backed away and was bowled first ball by Hafeez; Cody Chetty and Maharaj both charged Mustafa Iqbal recklessly; and van Wyk, after rattling off 18 from his first nine balls faced, cut a half-tracker from Nasim straight to short third man. All four wickets were to spin, leaving Dolphins’ shaky middle order to contend with an asking rate touching ten.

Jonathan Vandiar proved a minor irritant with 29, before he too fell to spin, and at 93 for 9 it looked over for Dolphins. That’s when Frylinck, who turned 30 today, produced an entertaining innings of power hitting, leaving Hafeez and his team stunned.

Where Lions’ spinners conceded 71 runs in 13 overs, their two quicks bled 75 in seven as Frylinck flung his bat. Aizaz Cheema was smacked for four sixes by Frylink in the 18th over, but a five-run 19th from Iqbal left Wahab Riaz to defend 26. He conceded one six to Frylink – the burly allrounder’s sixth – but Dolphins ended up 16 runs short.

Source: gocricket

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