Pakthoons pull off a thriller against Sindhis in T10 League match

Source | Khaleej Times Nov 24, 2018

Sharjah: Andre Fletcher carried on from where he had left off on Friday. The West Indian was in devastating form against Rajputs, hitting an unbeaten 68. On Saturday, he came up with another swashbuckling knock to steer Pakhtoons to an eight-run win over Sindhis in a T10 League match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Another unbeaten 68 off 29 balls from Fletcher – which was embellished with five sixes and six fours – and Shafiqullah Shafiq’s 45 from 16 balls (four fours, four sixes) propelled Pakthoons to 137 for 6.

Sindhis were struggling at 47 for 5 at one stage after Shane Watson got out for 29, but Thisara Perera kept them in the chase with a quickfire 47 from just 13 balls and seven towering sixes. But once he departed, the task got difficult and they fell short.

Earlier, Sindhis were partly to blame for letting Pakthoons off the hook with almost half a dozen dropped catches. They would do well to take a few tips from Pakthoons’ Colin Ingram who took a superb catch off Shane Watson and also came up with an equally superb effort to stop a six.

Both teams had suffered big defeats in their opening encounters but came back strongly in their second matches.

Pravin Tambe gave Sindhis just the ideal start. The 47-year-old former Indian cricketer’s first ball saw Cameron Delport try to spank it down the leg side but he failed to connect well and the ball hit his pads and rolled towards Mohammad Nawaz whose direct throw at the non-striker’s end found the South African short of his crease.

But with Andre Fletcher in the form of his life, the West Indian hit Tambe for two fours and a six in the same over.

Shafiqulla Shafiq too joined in the six-hitting party. The Afghan batsman targeted Jofra Archer by tossing his first ball outside the stadium and came up with another two over the ropes as Pakhtoons galloped to 34 for 1 by the second over.

Sindhis made a change and brought in Isuru Udana. After Fletcher took a single off the Sri Lankan bowler’s first ball, Shafiq tore into him with 4-4-6-4-4 as Pakthoons raced to 57 for 1 in three overs.

Mohammad Nawaz and Ben Cutting did well to pull things back for Sindhis and with only four runs coming in the fourth over. Shafiqullah, who seems to have mastered the scoop shot, played it once too often and gave Archer a simple catch at square leg.

Then Tambe removed Colin Ingram and Sindhis were back in the match. Or so it seemed when they showed butter fingers by dropping something like half a dozen catches to let Pakhtoons off the hook.

And it was Mohammad Nawaz who paid the price for his fielder’s lapses as Fletcher hit the left-arm off-spinner for 6-4-4-6-6.

The West Indian carried his bat through to remain the top scorer of the tournament, so far, on 168.

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Brief scores

Pakhtoons 137 for 6 (Andre Fletcher 68 n.o., Shafiqullah Shafiq 45; Jofra Archer 2-27, Ben Cutting 2-14) Sindhis 129 for 8 (Thisara Perera 47, Shane Watson 29 (Sohail Khan 2-18, Mohammad Irfan 2-26).