Score Card


Sehwag's Gemini hold their nerves to defend a modest total against Lara's Lions in grand finale

A good solid all-round effort helped Gemini Arabians beat Leo Lions by 16 runs to win the inaugural Oxigen Masters Champions League.

In the grand finale in front of their loud supporters, Arabians defended a total of 130 for seven. Lions' reply was rocked early on and in the end they ended at 114 in 19.3 overs.

Medium-pacer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan's picked a hat-trick to steer Arabians to the title triumph. Rana picked up the wickets of Johan Botha, Heath Streak and Brian Lara to effectively end Lion's title quest.

Earlier, Gemini Arabians huffed and puffed to a modest total of 130 for seven in their 20 overs. 

All-rounder Justin Kemp held the innings together with an unbeaten 32 off 29 balls. The other significant contributor was Kumar Sangakkara with 30 off 26 balls with three boundaries.

Skipper Virender Sehwag (9) fell cheaply and from thereon it was a struggle in the Gemini Arabians innings.

Sehwag's partner, Richard Levi (21), also struggled and finally fell in circumstances that required assistance from the third umpire Jeremy Lloyds. Heath Streak took Levi's catch on the boundary line off Scott Styris' seamers. It was then revealed that Streak had not touched the boundary line. 

Thereafter, it was a struggle for the Arabians against some accurate Lions bowling. Fast bowler Fidel Edwards (two for 27) was at his fiery best in his spell. Medium-pacer Styris (two for 18) was at his miserly best.

The chase for Lions did not start off well. They lost their top three in the space of the first three overs. The Lions' score read a sorry three for three. Then skipper Brian Lara (28) joined forces with opener Hamish Marshall and stemmed the fall of wickets. Lara then retired hurt as the sharp running between the wickets affected his hamstring, with the team score at 53 for three. Styris then allied with his former teammate Marshall to pull Lions out of trouble. But right then Marshall was adjudged leg-before to Saqlain Mushtaq when he appeared to have got a thick inside edge. 

Arabians' spin twins Saqlain and Muttiah Muralitharan spun a web around the Lions' line-up. There was a brilliant catch by substitute Shivnarine Chanderpaul at the deep square-leg as he dived full length to dismiss Styriss off Murali.

Lara walked back in with the score on 95 for seven in 16.5 overs. It was all down to him then. But Naved-u-Hasan had other ideas as he yorked Lara and two others to steer Arabians home.

Arabians held their nerves in the end to wonderfully restrict Lions.

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