K.C. Vijaya Kumar
Ahmedabad: Ahmedabad Rockets was grounded on home turf as Lahore Badshahs scored a 31-run victory in the Indian Cricket League match at the Sardar Patel Stadium here on Sunday night.
Chasing the visitor’s 136, the host lost its breath when Ryan Campbell chanced his arms against Mohammad Sami and skipper Damien Martyn was beaten all ends up by rival counterpart Azhar Mahmood.
Opener Parvez Aziz (26) lent hope with a drive whizzing past Mahmood’s ears.
However, with Saqlain Mushtaq leaving S. Sriram in a tangle and Shahid Nazir castling Aziz, the comeback never happened. Rockets was bowled out for 105 in 19.1 overs.
Put into bat, Badshahs, missing an injured Inzamam-ul-Haq, found early impetus through Imran Nazir (25) and Imran Farhat.
Southpaw Farhat’s miscued heave off Jason Gillespie even went for six. Gillespie however had Farhat caught off another swipe.
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan promised more with his tennis forehand-like shot that went for four off Rakesh Patel. Naved however jumped out to left-arm spinner Sumit Kalia (three for 19) and was stranded.
Two overs later, Kalia induced a false shot from Shahid Yousuf and then rapped Nazir’s pads but the hat-trick remained elusive.
Badshahs kept losing wickets as Kalia along with fellow left-arm spinners Sriram and Aziz (three for 16) choked off the runs.
The scores: Lahore Badshahs 136 for nine in 20 overs (Khalid Mahmood 27, Imran Nazir 25, Parvez Aziz three for 16, S. Kalia three for 19, Bhima Rao two for 29) bt Ahmedabad Rockets 105 in 19.1 overs (Parvez Aziz 26, Saqlain Mushtaq three for 26, Shahid Nazir two for eight, Naved-ul-Hasan two for 11).