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Leo Lions set up final date with Gemini Arabians

James Franklin's batting heroics, tight bowling helps Lara's Lions enter grand finale

Leo Lions, inspired by the return of their captain Brian Lara, beat Virgo Super Kings by 17 runs, to enter the final of the inaugural Oxigen Masters Champions League (MCL).

The final will now be played on Saturday between an unbeaten Gemini Arabians led by Virender Sehwag and Lara's Leo Lions

On Friday, at the Dubai International Stadium, Leo batting first made a modest 139 for seven in their 20 overs. In their reply, Virgo Super Kings made 122 for nine to lose by 17 runs. 

Earlier, Brett Lee (three for 31) struck at regular intervals to restrict Virgo Leo Lions to 139 for seven in their alloted 20 overs. Oram, struggling with calf injury, bowled a miserly spell of one for nine in his four overs. 

James Franklin held the Leo Lions together with an unbeaten 65 off 48 balls with two boundaries and three sixes. There was no other significant contribution in the Leo Lions score. The Leo Lions struggled all the way in their innings as they lost wickets at regular intervals to slip to 72 for five.

In their response, Leo Lions bowled well led brilliantly by fast bowler Fidel Edwards (two for 36) who rocked the Virgo Super Kings top-order.

For a while it seemed like Virgo Captain Graeme Smith (39) will be able to steer his side home. But he did not have enough support as Super Kings were at 18 for three. Thereafter, Smith and Hasan Raza (19) added 53 runs for the fourth wicket. But the pace of the run-making which meant that the pressure kept rising.

Then, Oram and James Foster tried their best to increase the scoring rate. Oram, struggling with a calf injury, hobbled all the way through.  

In the end it was Leo who defended the modest total very well and set up a grand finale date with Gemini Arabians.

QUICK HIGHLIGHTS:


Semi Final 2: Leo Lions v Virgo Superkings

  • Leo Lions 139/7 (20/20 ov)
  • Virgo Superkings 122/9 (20/20 ov)

Man of the Match: James Franklin

Umpires: Jeremy Lloyd (England) and Billy Taylor (England)

Third Umpire: Peter Hartley (England)

Match referee: RS Mahanama (Sri Lanka)

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