MCC win tour opener against Lahore Qalandars

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MCC captain Kumar Sangakkara in action against Lahore Qalandars during their exhibition T20 match at the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday.—M.Arif/White Star
MCC captain Kumar Sangakkara in action against Lahore Qalandars during their exhibition T20 match at the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday.—M.Arif/White Star

LAHORE: Some good batting display from the top order enabled Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) to open their Pakistan visit with a four-wicket victory against Lahore Qalandars in their Twenty20 exhibition match here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday.

Chasing a modest 136, Ravi Bopara (42 off 37 balls), Samit Patel (31) and their captain Kumar Sangakkara (25 off 27) made valuable contributions as the MCC eased past the target in 19.2 overs.

Bopara and Patel added a valuable 60 runs for the fourth wicket after the MCC openers Michael Leask (10) and Will Rhodes (3) had been dismissed cheaply.

Though Lahore Qalandars’ pacer Usman Shinwari bowled well in the death overs but the visitors kept their cool and finally achieved the target despite losing Bopara in the last over delivered by Faizan Raja. He finished with two wickets for 18 in 2.2 overs.

Earlier, put in to bat first, Lahore Qalandars posted a moderate 135-5 in the stipulated 20 overs with important contributions coming from discarded Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman and captain Sohail Akhtar.

While Sohail struck two sixes and one four in his 28-ball 40 not out to give some respectability to the total, Fakhar cracked five fours in his 36-ball 45. Salman Butt also made 28 off 23 balls with the aid of five boundaries before he was run out.

For the MCC, Roelof van der Merwe took two wickets for 17 while Fred Klaassen (1-23) and Michael Leask (1-25) were also among the wickets.

Though a sizeable number of fans had thronged the Gaddafi Stadium to witness the match as the entry was free, they were deprived of food and water facilities at the venue by the organisers.

The MCC now take on Pakistan Shaheens in a 50-over match at the Aitchison College ground on Sunday followed by two T20 matches against Northern (Monday) and Multan Sultans (Wednesday) at the same venue.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2020