Big hitting from Luke Ronchi and Shoaib Malik saw Punjabi Legends chase down Pakthoons’ 129 to set up a final against Kerala Kings in the T10 League on Sunday night.
At Sharjah Stadium, Ronchi hit an unbeaten 60 off just 34 deliveries while Malik ended the game 48 not out as Legends cruised to a nine-wicket victory.
With a big target, Ronchi was in blistering form and made Mohammad Irfan pay in the third over with four fours and one six that propelled the team to 63-1.
While Umar Akmal was out for 17, Malik continued to pile the runs in his 17-ball knock which included six fours and three sixes.
Earlier, Ahmed Shehzad’s half-century and Shahid Afridi’s blistering knock saw Pakhtoons end their 10 overs with 129-4.
Shehzad hit 58 runs (six fours and four sixes) off his 29 deliveries before Afridi added to his team’s tally with a quick 41-run effort.
The former Pakistan skipper only faced 17 balls but made an impact scoring five sixes and a single four.
As the number one pick in the T10 League player auction last month, there was a lot of intrigue as to how Mohammad Amir would adapt to the newest format of the game.
Indeed, it was largely a tournament to forget for the Pakistan star – who was part of the Maratha Arabians side that were beaten by five wickets against Kerala Kings in the semi-finals – earlier on Sunday.
Amir, however, has commented how the shortest format of the game will help him improve his bowling in Tests, one-day and T20 cricket for his country.
Overs bowled: two
EFFECTIVENESS WITH THE BALL
In his first spell, Amir bowled two dot balls as well as giving away just two singles. But, more importantly, two of his six deliveries saw him punished by Paul Stirling with fours. His first was just too easy with the ball short and wide but Stirling really had to work for his other boundary, going down on one knee to scoop it to the fence.
When he returned with the ball, 25 runs were required for Kerala to win from four overs. What should have been six deliveries turned out to be eight and ultimately proved to be expensive with 17 runs conceded.
While he began on a positive note with a variation of slow balls and yorkers, he was smashed for a four by Eoin Morgan. In the very next ball, he was hit for a six and that too off a no-ball didn’t do him no favours. He also bowled a wide.
CAN PLAYING T10 CRICKET HELP HIS SHOWINGS WITH PAKISTAN?
This could well be the only time that the 25-year-old will be playing T10 cricket for at least another 12 months. However, after just one wicket in four matches in the competition, he might not be too fussed about that. For Pakistan, Amir cannot afford to have lapses in concentration – like his second spell in Sunday’s semi-final – when he gifted the opposition freebies by bowling a no ball and a wide.
Pakistan are set to play T20s against New Zealand and West Indies next year and although it’s in a different format, the lessons he has learnt from Sharjah will go a long way in helping the paceman develop as a player.
Six. Not the best of days for Amir with the ball and he would be the first to admit that.
Eoin Morgan’s half-century saw Kerala Kings book their place in the T10 League final after a five-wicket victory over Maratha Arabians.
Set a target of 97 at Sharjah Stadium, the England T20 and ODI skipper was in fine form, smashing four sixes and four fours in his 53-run knock off 32 deliveries.
His team’s cause was helped by Maratha Arabians’ Mohammad Amir, who was expensive in his two overs, conceding 26 runs including a no-ball six to Morgan.
For Maratha Arabians, just 12 balls into the game, they were already in big trouble on the final day.
Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir and England’s Liam Plunkett both took two wickets in their six deliveries as Alex Hales, Rilee Rossouw, Ross Whiteley and Asghar Stanikzai were all dismissed with just 19-4 on the scorecard.
By the time opener Kamran Akmal was caught by Wahab Riaz, Arabians were reeling 33-6 at the half-way stage.
Desperately, in need of boundaries, Dwayne Bravo (27) smashed two consecutive sixes off Kieron Pollard with Imad Wasim also getting into the act with two boundaries as Arabians racked up 37 in two overs.
A smart catch from Pollard saw Tanvir remove Wasim but late runs saw Arabians post 97-9.
Kings will play either Pakhtoons or Punjabi Legends in Sunday’s final.