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Bears no match for Shoaib Akhtar and his Rams
by Asif Sohail


Ground:Lahore City Cricket Association Ground
Scorecard:Rawalpindi Rams v Quetta Bears
Player:S Meeraj, S Chandramouli, Bilal Asad, CC Williams
Event:ABN-AMRO Twenty-20 Cup 2004/05

LAHORE, 25 April 2005: Out of favour Shoaib Akhtar snubbed his critics with an outstanding bowling performance as he led Rawalpindi Rams to a massive win over Quetta Bears by 96 runs in the first match of the ABN-AMRO Twenty-20 Cup at the LCCA ground here on Monday.

This was indeed a brilliant display of pace bowling by Shoaib on a flat wicket which also earned him the Man of the Match award. The ace fast bowler is struggling to prove his match fitness after being out of serious cricket since January last. Shoaib, dubbed as the Rawalpindi Express, bowled his quota of four overs at a stretch and finished with 5 for 23, a performance which must be quite an eye-opener for the Pakistan Selectors.

In his second over he clean bowled Abdul Majeed and then got another wicket in his third over. Shoaib’s last over was most productive as he snaffled-up three wickets.

Set to achieve a target of 198 to win Quetta Bears suffered early blows as their batsmen lost their wickets at regular intervals. Naseer Khan was the only batsman who stayed around to score 25 off 19 balls. He hit one six and three fours.

Quetta were all out for 101 runs in 16.3 over. Jawad Hameed grabbed 2 for 17.

Earlier, some fine batting by the Rawalpindi Rams batsmen helped their team to garner 197 for 8. Raheel Majeed and Bilal Asad partnered up for an opening stand of 40. Bilal left first after scoring 25 off only 12 balls. He hit two sixes and three fours. Raheel consumed 27 balls and scored 45 with the help of one six and eight fours. Young Ameer Khan faced only 23 balls and hit one six and six fours in his cameo innings of 42. Later he he also took a splendid one-handed catch off Shoaib’s bowling.

Parvez Aziz remained unbeaten on 36 scored off 23 balls with the help of three fours. Jameel-ur-Rehman and Jalat Khan took two wickets each.

(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2005 Asif Sohail)
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