Doha [Qatar], March 17 (ANI): Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis cracked elegant half-centuries to lead World Giants into the final of Legends League Cricket (LLC) Masters defeating Asia Lions by 20 runs.
In the sixth match held at the Asian Town Cricket Stadium in Doha, Amla scored 68 off 59 balls with nine boundaries and a six. While Kallis scored an unbeaten knock of 56 off 43 balls with five boundaries and two sixes. Together they put on a 105 runs partnership in 80 balls to help World Giants post 150 for 3 in 20 overs.
Asia Lions on the other hand were restricted to 130 in 19.1 overs through Chris Mpofu and Tino Best's three-wicket spells. Except for Tillakaratne Dilshan (37) and skipper Shahid Afridi (26), none rose to the challenge and the team crashed to a 20-run defeat. Now Asia Lions will face India Maharajas in the eliminator.
Asia Lions won the toss and elected to bowl. World Giants' opener Amla scored the first boundary of the day off Mohammad Hafeez through a reverse sweep. Chris Gayle, who had played a match-winning knock of 57 against India Maharajas on Wednesday, was run out for 2 in a terrible mix-up.
Shane Watson, who captained the team in this match, began by sweeping Hafeez to the square leg boundary in the fourth over. Amla picked two consecutive boundaries off the first two deliveries from left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak in the fifth over. Watson hit the fourth ball of the sixth over from Sohail Tanvir into the hands of Shahid Afridi at mid-wicket on his personal score of 6. Tanvir went on to produce a wicket maiden.
South Africa's legendary batsman Kallis joined his countryman Amla. At the end of the powerplay, World Giants had scored only 30 runs and lost two wickets. Razzak bowled a brilliant seventh over giving away just five runs and World Giants were left gasping for runs. Tanvir restricted the run flow further. At the half way mark World Giants could muster only 48 for 2.
In the 12th over, Kallis scored a boundary off Afridi's first delivery while Amla hit another off the last ball. It was after seven overs that over ten runs were scored off an over. The pair recorded their 50 runs partnership in 7.5 overs. Abdul Razzaq who was introduced for the 15th over gave away just four runs. Amla hit a six off Mohammad Amir to the fine leg. He also hit Amir to short third man for another boundary and reached his half-century in 49 balls with seven boundaries and a six. The score went past the 100-run mark in 15.3 overs.
The pair registered their 100-run partnership in the 19th over in 12.5 overs. Kallis reached his half-century too in 39 balls with four boundaries and two sixes. Amir yorked Amla with the last ball of the 19th over for 68.
Kevin O'Brien who joined Kallis pulled the fifth ball for a six over mid-wicket to ensure a challenging total of 150 for 3 in 20 overs. World Giants scored 60 runs off the last five overs losing just one wicket.
Chasing the target, Asia Lions openers Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan, fresh from their 73 runs partnership against India Maharajas in their previous match, began cautiously. World Giants introduced Ricardo Powell as the impact player in place of Amla. In the third over, Dilshan was in full flow hitting Samit Patel for a six over backward point and followed it up with two boundaries off the next two deliveries.
Tharanga fell to the last ball of the fifth over, clean bowled by Chris Mpofu for 4 to end the 38 runs partnership. At the end of the powerplay, Asia Lions scored 47 for 1. Tino Best who was introduced for the seventh over, yorked Perera for 12. Best trapped Dilshan leg before with the first ball of the ninth over for 37 to push Asia Lions into trouble. His knock off 28 balls had five boundaries and a six.
Misbah Ul Haq walked in with the score reading 58 for 3 in 8.1 overs and began with an elegant square drive off Best to the backward point fence. Asia Lions were 71 for 3 needing another 80 runs from the last 60 balls. Mpofu picked the valuable wicket of Misbah with the second ball of the 11th over. Misbah on 5, edged onto his wicket while attempting to steer to the third man.
All eyes now turned towards Afridi with the required run rate mounting to 8.44. Hafeez departed to the last ball of the 13th over, run out by Mpofu while attempting a risky single for 13. This pushed Asia Lions into deep trouble with half the side in the dug-out for 85 runs.
Lee was re-introduced for the 15th over and Afridi swung the first delivery to mid-wicket for a six. He also lofted Lee's fourth delivery for a straight boundary. Attempting another big hit off the fifth ball, he was caught by Best at deep mid-wicket for 26. His 18-ball knock had three boundaries and a six.
World Giants took a firm grip on the match when Patel had Tanvir stumped by wicketkeeper Morne van Wyk for 5. With 23 runs needed off the last two overs, Paras Khadka was run out to bowler Mpofu's direct hit. Mpofu also clean-bowled Isuru Udana for a duck. Best picked his third wicket in the last over, clean bowling Abdul Razzaq for 9 to book his team's place in the final. (ANI)