A blistering half-century by opener Shahzaib Hasan allowed Karachi Dolphins easy entry into the final of the Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup after they beat Lahore Lions by seven wickets in the first semi-final yesterday.
While the Lions would have been content with the 167 for seven they amassed off their quota, Shahzaib’s 28-ball 57 in a 78-run opening stand with Khalid Latif meant the Dolphins reached 170 for three with an over to spare.
Latif took charge after Shahzaib’s dismissal, building useful partnerships with Asad Shafiq (22) and Sheharyar Ghani (28) as the Dolphins eased into the final.
Earlier, a 63-run second-wicket stand between Nasir Jamshed and Kashif Siddiq guided Lions to a competitive total.
Siddiq top-scored with 48 off 35 balls Jamshed scored a 26-ball 36. Faraz Ahmed and Tanvir Ahmed bagged two wickets each Captain Mohammad Sami went wicket-less but influenced proceedings with two good catches and a run-out.
Today’s final will be the Dolphins’ sixth domestic Twenty20 final and a chance to finally win one.
“Thankfully my knock helped my side into the final but my real test will be in the final and I want to do well when it matters the most,” Shahzaib told The Express Tribune.
“Karachi has never become champions and I’ll be extremely happy if I can play a hand in ending that jinx.”
Meanwhile, Sami said that it was not just a final for the team but a place in the history books.
“We came into the tournament wanting to become champions and now we’re just one win away from glory,” said Sami. “We’re all are geared up for it and I have total belief in the team and they can create history if they stick to the plan.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2012.