(MENAFN- Gulf Times) World Giants stormed into the final of the Legends League Cricket (LLC) Masters riding on a superb partnership of former South Africa heroes Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis at the Asian Town International Stadium on Thursday.
The Giants beat Asia Lions by 20 runs and now await the winners of the Eliminator between Asia Lions and India Maharajas to know their opponents in the final – to be played on Monday.
Asked to bat first, the World Giants scored a healthy 150 for 3 in their allotted 20 overs before bowling out Asia Lions for 130 in 19.1 overs on a slow track.
Amla and Kallis combined for the third wicket to share an exciting 105-run stand in 80 balls which produced a cumulative 14 fours and 3 sixes to the thrill of the crowd. While Amla scored 68 (59 balls; 9x4s, 1x6), Kallis remained unbeaten on 56 (43 balls; 5x4s, 2x6s).
Amla, named Man of the Match, said he would rather have Kallis taking the trophy from Wasim Akram – LLC Masters Apex Council Member.“It was Kallis' batting that gave me the confidence on this not so easy wicket to bat on. It was tough initially against the bowling of Mohammed Amir and Sohail Tanvir, but once we settled down it was a delightful partnership,” he said.
The start for the Giant was however not a good one as they lost Chris Gayle to a run out after the West Indian landed on the non-striker's end with Amla having barely moved but since Gayle had crossed and Amla was out of the crease, the West Indian had to depart in the 3rd over with the total being just 8 runs.
Shahid Afridi then picked a fine catch at square leg off a Shane Watson flick in the 6th over and the Giants were 29-2.
It was then that the Amla-Kallis show began. While Amla excelled with a reverse sweep, cuts, pulls and a slice off a low full toss to fine leg, Kallis was clinical with amazing drives and lofted hits.
Towards the end, Kevin O'Brien another valuable 9 runs off just three balls.
The total seemed par but it wasn't as bowlers reigned. Only Asia Lions opener Upul Tharanga (37; 28balls; 5x4s, 1x6) and Shahid Afridi (26; 18 balls; 2x4s, 1x6) could get going while seven batsmen couldn't reach double figures.
Tino Best (3-20 off 3.1 over) and Chris Mpofu (3-16 off 4 overs) were the best of Giants' bowlers with Brett lee and Samit Patel picking one wicket each.
It was a third win off their four league matches for World Giants against Asia Lions' two and a solitary one for the India Maharajas.
On Saturday, Asia Lions will meet India Maharajas to fight for a place in the final.
Scores: World Giants 150-3 (Hashim Amla 68, Jacques Kallis 56 n.o) beat Asia Lions 130 all out in 19.1 overs (Tillakaratne Dilshan 37, Shahid Afridi 26, Chris Mpofu 3 for 16, Tino Best 3 for 20) by 20 runs.
Player of the Match: Hashim Amla.
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