Leo Lions capitulate in low-scoring chase to hand Gemini Arabians inaugural MCL win
Gemini Arabians 130-7(Kemp 32) beat
Leo Lions 114 (Marshall 46) by 16 runs
Final, Masters Champions League, Dubai
Naved-ul-Hasan led a fine bowling performance from the Gemini Arabians as they defended 130 successfully by 16 runs against the Leo Kings in Dubai to win the inaugural edition of the Masters Champions League.
Hasan picked four wickets and conceded just nine runs in the four overs as he applied consistent pressure on the Leo Lions batsmen during the chase.
Leo Lions won the toss and elected to field first. Virender Sehwag (9) was dropped by Scott Styris (2-18) in the slips in the third over from Fidel Edwards (2-27).
However in the next over Sehwag was stumped off Robin Peterson (1-25). For the first time in the tournament, Gemini Arabians batting looked shaky as they lost Richard Levi (21) and Brad Hodge (14) in a span of three overs with the score reading 63 for three after 11 overs.
Kumar Sangakkara (30) got going with three boundaries, but Styris struck again to dismiss the former Sri Lankan captain in the 15th over.
Gemini Arabians managed only 37 runs in the final five overs and was restricted to 130 for seven in the 20 overs.
Edwards and Styris picked two wickets each for the Arabians while Johan Botha (1-19) was the most economical.
Leo Lions got off to a worse possible start as they lost Neil Carter (0), Brendan Taylor (1) and the inform James Franklin (0) in the first three overs.
Brian Lara (28) finally managed to get his feet going as he struck three boundaries in the sixth over bowled by Graham Onions (1-26).
However after adding 51 runs with Hamish Marshall (46), Lara decided to retire hurt due to a hamstring injury. At the half-way stage, Lions needed 74 from 60 deliveries.
Marshall struck a six and a four off Jacques Rudolph (0-13) in the 13th over to bring the required run rate under seven but fell in the next over from Saqlain Mushtaq (1-12).
Hasan (4-9) dented the hopes of the Lions completely as he claimed a hatrick to dismiss Botha (3), Streak (0) and Lara who returned back after retiring hurt.
Robin Peterson (15 not out) tried his best to keep the Lions in the hunt with a couple of sixes but in the end the pressure was too much to handle for him allowing a 16-run victory to the Gemini Arabians.
© Cricket World 2016