Ice Cricket: Highlights of the 1st clash between Sehwag's and Afridi's teams
It came as a treat for the spectators when veteran cricketers decided to have a bit of fun at St. Moritz. As part of the first Ice Cricket Challenge, several seasoned cricket stars such as as Virender Sehwag, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar and Jacques Kallis graced the opening match of the 2-match fixture, being played in Switzerland.
Interestingly, the 20-over match was played on a frozen lake against the backdrop of the Swiss Alps. With temperatures threatening to go below zero, the match was played with an artificial carpet acting as the pitch. If reports are to be believed, players would get hefty amounts of $40,000 to $50,000 for the two clashes. Let us have a look at what transpired in the first match.
#1 Royals rout Diamonds
Extremely excited to be a part of Cricket on Ice in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It’s a truely magnificent place with a beautiful lake. Looking forward to playing with some of the best and most amazing Cricketers. Regardless of the cold, think #AbJamegiKulfi pic.twitter.com/fSaE7ixZuL— Graeme Smith (@GraemeSmith49) February 2, 2018
The Badrutt's Palace Diamond, led by Virender Sehwag, posted a respectable target of 164-9 in their allotted 20 overs while batting first. They were pummelled by explosive knocks of 62 in 31 balls by Sehwag and Andrew Symonds' 40 in 31 deliveries.
In reply, former England batsman Owais Shah destroyed the opposition bowling by scoring an unbeaten 74 off just 34 balls to take the Diamonds to a comfortable 6-wicket victory in the 16th over.
#2 Gone for plenty
'Ajit, come back to the warmth of our studios!'— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) February 8, 2018
Our #ESPNmatchday expert got Matt Prior but has conceded 41 in three overs#IceCricket BBB here https://t.co/I4LRYKJB3I and streaming here https://t.co/M2XHrRahk0 (select regions only) pic.twitter.com/eMWXTI4gkt
The duo of Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan have won India many-a-matches through their swing bowling on grounds all over the world. However, when the pitch was matted and the outfield made of ice, the duo seemed struggling to stop the ball from going to the boundary.
Agarkar proved to be the most expensive bowler giving away 41 runs in his 3 overs at an economy rate of 13.67. Zaheer followed suit conceding 35 runs in his 4 overs. Lasith Malinga was another bowler who proved to be very costly for the Diamonds. He gave away 39 runs in 3 overs.
#3 Contrasting fortunes
Hathiyar chhode hain ,chalana nahi bhoole hain :) Great fun on the ice. pic.twitter.com/V1bjFATGnI— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 8, 2018
After his heroics in the Cricket All-Stars in 2015, Sehwag did not disappoint his fans here as well. Viru cut the first ball he faced over point for a boundary off the bowling of Shoaib Akhtar. He went on smash 62 runs off just 32 balls at a strike-rate of 200. The maverick opener clobbered 5 sixes and 4 fours, before getting out to Akhtar.
Sehwag's captaincy counterpart Shahid Afridi was also expected to return the favour in kind. However, 'Boom Boom' Afridi failed to showcase fireworks as he was dismissed for a duck in his second delivery that he faced off Ramesh Powar. He was caught by Mohammad Kaif, who reminded us of his heydays when he pulled off an excellent catch on the boundary.
#4 Pink ball
The T20 match was played with a four-tier pink ball. This move proved to be an apt advertisement for the game. All the proceedings went along smoothly and no anomalies were noticed as far as the pink ball was concerned.
It was an exciting scene to see the pink ball being bowled and hit for boundaries amid the snow-white outfield. As expected, the ball travelled swimmingly on the carpet turf.