Lions top Sabrecats in high-scoring affair

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Lions captain Omar Alam won the toss and put the Salt Lake County Sabrecats to bat in the Twenty20 format at 11th Avenue Park on Sunday. The Sabrecats started really well by scoring quickly.

Sabrecats opener Jagdev blasted a quick 30 until he was dismissed by Lions’ spinner Aslam Cheema. Lions Umair Munawer followed with a dismissal of Sabrecats’ Abhi for 7. However, Shahzad and Atif kept the scoreboard ticking and maintained the run rate more than 10 runs per over. Shahzad played superbly and hit a boundary almost in all directions of the ground. However, in the 16th over, Lions young debutant Usman dismissed Shahzad on 71. Jagdev Singh added 37 runs. In the Sabrecats’ lower order Jitindar (15) and Arun (13) did some late hitting and were able to put a very huge target of 195 in 20 overs. That’s 9.75/over.

“Shahzad Ahmed yet again proven to be the best batsman in the Intermountain league,” Sabrecats captain Nasir Khan said. Khan’s team was originally scheduled to play the Layton Bashers, but the game was cancelled due to a lack of Layton players. “Because of the earlier cancellation most of the regular players from the ‘Cats were unable to play.”

Lions under pressure in chasing the huge target, lost a quick wicket of another debutant Ali (8) by a superb caught and bowled by Sabrecats Arun. However, Lions captain Omar Alam and Umair Munawer made sure they weren’t going to back down without giving a fight. They kept on rotating the strike, while maintaining the run rate. The Sabretcats’ Arun bowled a beauty to Umair to break the partnership of 130 runs. Umair scored 46 and fell 4 runs short of a half century. Arun took his third wicket by dismissing Omar Alam for 67 runs in the 15th over. At this time, Lions needed another 50 runs in 5 overs. This was a tailor-made situation for Lions Hasan Zaidi and Harris Zia, who were in a hurry to finish the game. Zaidi struck five 6s and a boundary to score 37 runs in just 10 deliveries and reached the target of 195 with two overs remaining and six wickets in hand.

“Hasan Zaidi will be missed as he’s traveling back to Kansas City on Monday,” Alam said. “I am glad he was able to play for Lions while visiting his family here.”

“This was by far the best bating performance by the Lions I’ve ever witnessed,” Kahn said. “I think we were over confidant and that’s what cost us the game.”

Intermountain Cricket League Standings
Team                                W           L
Boise                                 2            0
SLC Sabrecats                 12           5
Vincent Hawks                  9            4
Utah Lions                         10          7
Layton Bashers                 1            5
Las Vegas                         0            1
Utah State                         0            1

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