Lahore Blues thrash Lahore Whites to become National T20 Champions
In an all-Lahore final today at Rawalpindi, an outstanding bowling effort from the Lahore Blues’ bowlers and rollicking batting from their openers guided them to the title in the National T20 Cup against the Lahore Whites.
Both Lahore Blues and Lahore Whites won five matches each in the round-robin stage before the two teams thrashed FATA and Faisalabad respectively in the semi-finals.
Led by Salman Butt, Lahore Whites elected to bat first in the final after winning the toss. After playing out the first four overs cautiously, Kamran Akmal (20) was removed in the 5th over when he tried to go for a big shot down the ground.
It is pertinent to note that he had smacked a couple of sixes before losing his wicket while attempting a third one. Lahore Whites were reduced to 66/4 in 10.4 overs at one stage. However, Butt and Aamer Yamin steadied the ship and put on a 47-run partnership for the 5th wicket before the latter was dismissed.
Butt top-scored for his team with an unbeaten 62* runs off 59 balls - an innings which included eight 4s.
For Lahore Blues, the pick of the bowlers was Atif Jabbar who picked two wickets for 24 runs from his full quota of overs. Former Test cricketer Aizaz Cheema got one wicket while Khalid Usman and Agha Salman also chipped in with one scalp each.
In pursuit of 128 runs, Lahore Blues got off to a sizzling start as both Imam-ul-Haq and Ahmed Shehzad were involved in a 43-run partnership before the latter was dismissed for 22. Thereafter, Imam was involved in a brilliant and match-winning partnership of 76 runs with Mohammed Hafeez who scored 33 runs. Imam-ul-Haq remained not out until the end and fittingly hit the winning runs. Lahore Blues won the match quite comprehensively by seven wickets with 15 balls to spare.
National T20 Cup winners
2004: Faisalabad Wolves
2005: Sialkot Stallions
2006: Sialkot Stallions
2008: Sialkot Stallions
2009: Sialkot Stallions
2010: Sialkot Stallions
2010: Lahore Lions
2011: Sialkot Stallions
2012: Lahore Lions
2013: Lahore Lions
2014: Peshawar Panthers
2015: Peshawar Panthers
2016: Karachi Blues
2017: Lahore Blues