KARACHI: Mohammad Hafeez bowled splendidly and Nasir Jamshed hit a valuable innings to help Lahore Lions reclaim the National T20 crown after two years as they defeated Faisalabad Wolves by 33 runs in the final of the Faysal Bank National T20 Cup 2012-13 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Sunday.
Lions had lifted their first title in 2010 when they defeated Karachi Dolphins by 37 runs in the final at the same venue.
Pakistan’s T20 skipper Hafeez, who defected from Wolves to Lions, bowled intelligently to grab 4-11 in his four overs to restrict Wolves, who were chasing 155, to 121-8 in the stipulated overs.
Earlier, Nasir Jamshed played with great responsibility, for the first time in the tournament, cracking precious 42 to propel Lions to a fighting total in tough batting conditions.
Wolves, the champions of the inaugural edition eight years back, were never in the run-chase and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Hafeez, who was given the captaincy by veteran Mohammad Yousuf, troubled the rivals’ batters with intelligent off-spin bowling and prevented them from building any substantial partnership.
Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq offered some resistance, hitting run-a-ball 37 with two fours and a six before being removed by Abdul Razzaq in the last over.
Left-hander Ali Waqas was the only other batsman with substantial contribution as he smashed 14-ball 25 with four fours and a six.
Hafeez, who was also adjudged man-of-the-final, was amply supported by star allrounder Abdul Razzaq who clinched 2-19 in three overs.
After Lions opted to bat first, dashing opener Ahmed Shehzad cracked a quick-fire 18-ball 29 to give a 44-run opening stand to Lions along with left-handed Nasir Jamshed.
After Ahmed Shehzad’s fall, Nasir added 51 runs for the second wicket with Hafeez who belted run-a-ball 22 with one four and a six.
But at this stage, pacers Ehsan Adil (3-23) and Asad Ali (2-34) did a great job with their reverse swingers and prevented even the country’s top batters Umar Akmal (20) and Kamran Akmal (18) from scoring fluently, thus restricting Lions to 154-7.
Lions made just one change in their line-up, bringing in left-arm pacer Zia-ul-Haq in place of left-arm spinner Sohail Ahmed, while Wolves retained the team that played the semi-final against Multan Tigers. Wolves were playing without the off-spin wizard Saeed Ajmal, who has left for Australia to take part in the Big Bash.
This was the fourth time that Wolves played the final. After lifting the title of the inaugural tournament in 2004-05, Wolves had ended as runners-up in 2005-06 and 2009-10. Lions on the other hand lost the final only once, in 2009, out of the three they played.
Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa graced the closing ceremony. Also present were the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf, Director General Javed Miandad, Chief Executive Officer of Faysal Bank Naved A Khan.
The winners were handed over a glittering trophy and a purse of Rs2,000,000, while the runners-up received a trophy and Rs1,000,000.
The leading performers of the tournament were also handed over handsome purses: Ahmed Shehzad (leading scorer from Lions with 391 runs); Asad Ali (leading wicket-taker from Wolves, 15 wickets); Farrukh Shehzad (Wolves), Yasir Arafat (Pindi), Umar Akmal (Lions) and Imranullah (Bahawalpur Stags) (best fielders); and Gulraiz Sadaf (Multan Tigers) and Kamran Akmal (Lions) (best wicketkeepers).
Lahore Lions won toss
Ahmed Shehzad c Farrukh b Asad 29
Nasir Jamshed c Farrukh b Imran 42
*Mohammad Hafeez c Imran b Ehsan 22
Umar Akmal c Khurram b Ehsan 20
†Kamran Akmal c Farrukh b Ehsan 18
Abdul Razzaq c Farrukh b Asad 8
Mohammad Yousuf not out 3
Wahab Riaz b Samiullah 4
Adnan Rasool not out 1
Extras (b 2, lb 2, w 3) 7
Total (7 wickets; 20 overs) 154
Did not bat: Aizaz Cheema, Zia-ul-Haq
Fall: 1-44, 2-95, 3-100, 4-138, 5-138, 6-146, 7-152
Bowling: Khurram 4-0-36-0 (1w); Samiullah 4-0-28-1 (2w); Imran 4-0-29-1; Asad 4-0-34-2; Ehsan 4-0-23-3
Farrukh Shehzad c Hafeez b Razzaq 1
Asif Ali run out 7
Ali Waqas c Kamran b Hafeez 25
Khurram Shehzad lbw b Hafeez 1
*Misbah-ul-Haq c Hafeez b Razzaq 37
Jahandad Khan lbw b Hafeez 13
†Mohammad Salman c Yousuf b Zia 8
Imran Khalid b Hafeez 5
Ehsan Adil not out 13
Samiullah Khan not out 4
Extras (lb 4, w 3) 7
Total (8 wickets; 20 overs) 121
Did not bat: Asad Ali
Fall: 1-11, 2-30, 3-32, 4-40, 5-56, 6-68, 7-84, 8-116
Bowling: Razzaq 3-0-19-2 (1w); Aizaz 4-0-29-0; Hafeez 4-0-11-4; Adnan 4-0-20-0 (2w); Wahab 4-0-30-0; Zia 1-0-8-1
Result: Lahore Lions won by 33 runs
Series: Lahore Lions won the National T20 Trophy
Umpires: Ahsan Raza and Zameer Haider. TV umpire: Shozab Raza. Match referee: Mussadaq Rasool