Nazir smashes Lahore to an ICL win
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:Hyderabad Heroes v Lahore Badshahs
Player:JP Maher, Mohammad Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shahid Yousuf, I Khaleel, Imran Nazir, Shahid Nazir
Event:ICL 20s Indian Championship 2008/09

DateLine: 17th November 2008


Lahore Badshahs clinched the second edition of the Indian Cricket League (ICL), by beating the Hyderabad Heroes in the third of the best-of-three finals at Ahmedabad yesterday. The hero of Badshahs was Imran Nazir who scored a sizzling century and remained unbeaten till the end of the match on 111. Incidentally, the stroke-filled knock came off only 44 deliveries and contained as many as 11 sixes and seven hits to the fence.


On a pitch that looked ragged and slowing down, the Heroes won the toss and decided to bat first. Previous match’s player-of-the-match Jimmy Maher didn’t last too long, but Ibrahim Khaleel kept smashing the bowling around to get to 45. The second wicket partnership of 47 runs was broken by Shahid Nazir, and after that few more fell quickly to reduce the Heroes to 82/5. Stuart Binny, Nicky Boje and Justin Kemp did hit quick-fire cameos in the end, and team from Hyderabad ended on 158/7 in 20 overs. Nazir had the best bowling analysis of 3/29 in his four.


The target of 159 was a reasonable one on the wicket in a pressure final like this, but Imran Nazir clearly had other ideas. Smashing the first delivery he faced against Abdul Razzaq for a huge six, there was no looking back for the batsman after that. 24 runs came off this very first over, and after that, it went all further downhill for the Heroes. The Nazir fifty came off only 16 deliveries, while the century took a little longer at 42 deliveries. Two wickets – Imran Farhat and Shahid Yousuf – did fall in the meantime, but the kind of mood that Nazir was in, it didn’t affect his flow and in the end, the match got over with more than six overs to spare.


Nazir was the obvious choice for the Man-of-the-Match, while Naved-ul-Hasan Rana won the Player-of-the-Series award.