vs Royal Tigers T20 Cup 1st Round

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Phoenix lost the toss and were put into bat (Benjamin loses and wins in the same instant!!)

Phoenix 207 for 3 from 20 Overs

Royal Tigers 187 all out 20 Overs

Phoenix win by 20 runs

9 Phoenix players (including the two youngsters Kasper and Béla Sperling) took on the mighty Royal Tigers in this knockout T20 match, the winners to play DCC in the semi-final.

Zeeshan opened the innings and Zeeshan was still there unbeaten at the end of the innings. That's all you need to know really, but I'll tell you the story anyway.

It looked ominous when, very early on, Benjamin steered the ball to gulley where Marc Ahuja threw himself to take a great catch. Akram followed up by missing a straight one - the clouds were gathering and it looked like it might be over quickly.

But the clouds were blown away.

We all know how Zeeshan bats, with a timing and charisma that nobody else possesses here in Hungary. If he is batting you know you are going to get runs and quickly. Ten 4's and Ten 6's, and almost every time he hit a bounday you could take a seat while the ball was relocated.

133 runs in 20 overs and against one of the better combined bowling sides, more runs than a few of the other teams managed from 10 players. 

Of course it's no good scoring at one end while losing 10 quick wickets at the other. Fortunately at the other end both Robin and Michael were able to 'stay there', rotate the strike and to contribute a few runs themselves.

The Tigers had no answer to the shots that Zeeshan played and the field were spread in a vain attempt to remove this thorn from their paw.

Oh, did I mention that this was during the time of Ramadam, so he did it without eating and drinking since sunrise in almost 30 degree heat. Phenomenal.

In reply the Tigers looked set to bite back and at half way they were on top. The Phoenix bowlers had no answers and the reduced number of fielders were pierced time and time again. Were Phoenix going to come out worse in yet another 400 run game?

No is the answer.

When required to score at almost 2 runs per ball, chances need to be taken and luck needs to be on your side. Tigers are a great batting side with skill, flair and lots of it, but eventually their fortune gave out.

Almost all of the top half scored well. Great knocks from Sufi(41) and A Singh(52) plus double figures from 4 other batsmen means that it got very close.
Two quick wickets from Andrew interupted the flood of runs followed by 3 wickets from Benjamin and 3 from Zeeshan. The new batsmen couldn't keep up the great start and eventually the chase petered out 20 runs short. The final innings total of 187 would have been good enough to win any of the other 1st round matches.

So, a surprising win for Phoenix and mostly thanks to one man's extraordinary talent.

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