By BV Swagath
Faisalabad Wolves signed off from CLT20 2013 with a consolation win over Kandurata Maroons at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. It was a narrow 10-run win for Faisalabad which was set up by Misbah-ul-Haq’s great knock of 93 not out. Had Misbah been caught at mid off by Thilina Kandamby early in the match then the result would have been quite different. That was because Skipper Misbah was the lone man putting up any show for Faisalabad.
Asked to bat first under windy conditions, Faisalabad was reduced to 22 for 3 inside 5 overs with Nuwan Kulasekara swinging the ball big time. The Pakistani batsmen were woeful with their technique and footwork with the exception of Misbah. The 39-year-old veteran hit 6 fours and 5 sixes to score 93* from 60 balls. The only support he got was from Wicket Keeper Mohammad Salman, who scored a run-a-ball 21.
For the Maroons, Kulasekara bowled well initially but was expensive in the end. The other medium pacer Dilhara Lokuhettige was the best mixing some cleverly disguised slower ones to take 3 for 21 in 4 overs. Lahiru Jayaratne with his medium pace bowled 4 tight overs for just 13. While Ajantha Mendis had a mixed bag, Suraj Randiv, who has played international cricket, was horrible in his 2 overs which were taken for 30 runs.
Kandurata Maroons were favourites to chase down 147 but their batting was as lackluster as their opponents. By the 10th over, they lost three wickets which included the in-form Upul Tharanga and Skipper Lahiru Thirimanne with less than 60 on the board. Kumar Sangakkara played an over aggressive innings and got out after scoring 44 from 36 balls. Kandurata slipped to 83 for 4 in the 15th over when Sangakkara departed.
The Faisalabad Wolves pacers along with left-arm spinner Imran Khalid (4-0-27-2) did a commendable job in the last few overs to keep Kandurata down to 136 for 7 in 20 overs. Tall pacer Ehsan Ali picked up 3 for 26 while another pacer Asad Ali bowled superbly in the death to finish with 1 for 24 in 4 overs. Saeed Ajmal had an off day going for 33 runs in 4 wicketless overs. Misbah-ul-Haq was the obvious choice for the Man of the Match.
Toss and Teams: Kandurata Maroons have won the toss and asked Faisalabad Wolves to bat first in the penultimate qualifying match at Mohali. Both the teams are already out of CLT20 2013.
Kandurata Maroons: Upul Tharanga, Thilina Kandamby, Kumar Sangakkara (WK), Lahiru Thirimanne (C), Chamara Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suraj Randiv, Lahiru Jayaratne, Ajantha Mendis
Faisalabad Wolves: Ammar Mahmood, Ali Waqas, Asif Ali, Misbah-ul-Haq (C), Imran Khalid, Khurram Shehzad, Mohammad Salman (WK), Saeed Ajmal, Ehsan Adil, Asad Ali, Samiullah Khan