Sehwag, Sangakkara blitz takes Gemini Arabians to finals
Gemini Arabians 191-5 (Sehwag 83) beat
Sagittarius Strikers 181-6 (Jayawardene 65) by 10 runs
Semi-final, Masters Champions League, Dubai
Virender Sehwag and Kumar Sangakkara continued their rich vein of form with scores of 83 and 62 respectively as Gemini Arabians became the first team in the Masters Champions League to advance to the finals after defeating Sagittarius Strikers by 10 runs in the semi-finals in Dubai.
Sehwag had no hesitation to bat first on winning the toss. Despite losing Richard Levi (13), Gemini Arabians managed to reach 40 for one in the powerplay.
It was in the ninth over, the Arabians stepped up the accelerator with Sehwag (83) and Sangakkara (62) plundering 70 runs in the next six overs. Sehwag brought up his fifty off 34 deliveries while Sangakkara took 38 deliveries to reach his milestone.
Even though Tino Best (3-24) bowled a brilliant three-wicket 19th over, Naved-ul-Hasan's (14 not out) five-ball cameo meant the Gemini Arabians reached 191 for five in the 20 overs.
Inspite of a quick start given by Mahela Jayawardene (65), Sagittarius Strikers lost Adam Gilchrist (12), Imran Farhat (8) and Jonathan Trott (2) in the first six overs of the chase.
The innings was resurrected by a 49-run stand between Jayawardene and Yasir Hameed (16) but the required run rate kept climbing for the Strikers as they needed 87 from the final six overs.
Phil Mustard (48 not out) went berserk to keep Sagittarius Strikers with an outside, but eventually they fell short of the target by 11 runs losing on the spot in the finals. Sehwag won yet another man of the match for his terrific knock.
© Cricket World 2016