UAE Friendship Cup 2022, Final Review: Pakistan Legends beat World Legends 11 to lift crown

Pakistan Legends had a field day as they beat India Legends in the virtual semifinal before thumping the unbeaten World Legends 11 in the final.

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Friendship Cup UAE 2022
Friendship Cup UAE 2022. (Photo Source: YouTube)

Pakistan Legends had a superb Monday, March 7, as they trounced arch-rivals India Legends and avenged the group-match defeat against the World Legends 11 to win the inaugural UAE Friendship Cup 2022 at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. After beating the Mohammed Azharuddin-led India Legends by eight wickets in a high-scoring virtual semi-final, Imran Nazir’s side produced a superior batting display to humble the World Legends 11 by 14 runs. Ajantha Mendis’ side stormed into the finals of the T10 tournament on Sunday, March 6, by winning all their three matches.

Pakistan Legends won the toss in the final and elected to bat first and powered by opener Salman Butt’s 20-ball 45 (eight fours and one six), Naved Latif (20 not out off eight balls, four fours) and Mohammed Sami (36 not out off 10, one four, five sixes), posted 133 for 5 in 10 overs. The total looked unlikely at one moment when the Pakistan veterans were reduced to 79 for 5 in the eighth over but the Latif-Sami duo plundered 49 runs off the last two overs to take their side to a formidable total. Mendis and Syed Rasel were at the receiving end in those two expensive overs.

Zimbabwean spinner Graeme Cremer continued with his good show with the ball in the game by taking three wickets for only six runs while Bangladeshi Abdur Razzak and Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan took one wicket each.

Dilshan-Mustard duo kept World Legends alive till Naved’s blows

Chasing the target, the World Legends 11 lost opener Asghar Afghan (10 off five, one four and one six) quickly and in-form Phil Mustard (50 off 21, two fours and five sixes) and Dilshan (34 off 16, four fours and two sixes) came together to add 78 runs in less than six overs. Just when the fans started believing that the duo would take the game away from the Pakistan Legends in the way they did in the group game, Naved-ul-Hasan dismissed both the attacking batters to derail the chase.

Chamara Kapugedera (three off four), who is also known for big hitting, was castled by Sami soon and it was all over for the World Legends 11. Hamilton Masakadza made some quick runs (18 not out off 11, one four and one six) but it was not enough. The World Legends 11 ended up with 119 for 4 in 10 overs to lose by 14 runs.

Naved was the pick of the Pakistan Legends bowlers while their spearheads – Mohammad Irfan and Sami – got a wicket each.

Bollywood Kings were the fourth team in the three-day tournament and failed to win a single game.

Special Performers

Best Batter of the game: Mohammad Sami

Even though he is a bowler, Sami’s scintillating show with the bat won the game for the Pakistan Legends in the final. He came out at a time when his team was struggling to score enough runs but made batting look incredibly easy. He also took a wicket during the opponents’ chase to ensure that he had his day in office. Mustard also produced yet another precious knock but it failed to outshine Sami’s incredible knock.

Best Bowler of the game: Graeme Cremer

Cremer might have ended up on the losing side in the final but the former Zimbabwe captain showed his class as a leg-spinner throughout the tournament. He finished with nine wickets in four games, a feat that his competitors in the tournament would be envious about.

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