Lauderhill, Florida: The Texas Chargers sealed their berth in the inaugural edition of the US Masters T10, after they swatted away the challenge from the California Knights. The Chargers won by 7 wickets, with 7 balls to spare, and will now face the New York Warriors in the Final at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground, Lauderhill, Florida on Saturday. Hafeez won the Player of the match award too.
The Texas Chargers put up a brilliant batting performance as they successfully chased down their target of 140 in a high scoring affair that saw a combined total of 23 sixes being hit by both teams.
The Texas Chargers' opening batters Mohammad Hafeez and Mukhtar Ahmed got their side off to a sensational start as they struck 20, 22 and 22 runs in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th over of the chase that brought down the required run rate significantly. Peter Siddle, Ben Laughlin and Irfan Pathan were taken to the cleaners in the early part of the chase.
Even though Mukhtar Ahmed departed after scoring 40 runs in 14 balls, Mohammad Hafeez and the Texas Chargers skipper Ben Dunk continued attacking till the point where they only required 27 runs off the last 4 overs. Hafeez remained unbeaten with 68 runs from 24 deliveries as he hit the winning runs to conclude a spectacular chase.
Earlier in the day, the California Knights were put to bat first after Texas Chargers won the toss and chose to field first. Jacques Kallis and Milind Kumar stitched a partnership of 96 runs in 6 overs before Mohammed Hafeez intervened to take 2 crucial wickets. Kallis remained not out with 56 runs from 22 balls in a knock that saw him strike 9 sixes.
If not for Hafeez's bowling, the Texas Chargers were looking at a target of much higher than 139 but their sublime batting effort adequately covered for their bowling performance.
In the final act of the inaugural edition of the US Masters T10, the New York Warriors will play Texas Chargers for the top prize. The Warriors had finished top of the table, whilst the Chargers were third, and won the Eliminator and Qualifier 2 on the way to the summit clash. Both sides played some brilliant cricket during the knockout phase of the tournament, and will hope to keep up the trend on Sunday.
“We have seen an excellent tournament – the inaugural edition of the US Masters T10 has really brought joy to the fans in America, and that’s exactly what this was all about. Some of the biggest names in the games lit the stage up every day with great performances with the bat and ball. And I am sure, the finalists will keep the trend going with a spectacular end to the tournament,” said Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman, T Ten Global Sports.
Mr. Rajeev Khanna, Chief Operating Officer, of T10 Sports Management, said, “The US Masters T10 has kicked off a fantastic journey, wherein the fans in the US and cricket meet, only to make it an absolute carnival. The cricket has been top quality from the word go, and a fitting finale awaits us. We look forward to another day of superb cricket, and may the best team win.”
Brief Scores: Texas Chargers140/3 (Mohammed Hafeez 68*, Mukhtar Ahmed 40, Ricardo Powell 1/12) beat California Knights 139/3 (Jacques Kallis 56*, Milind Kumar 41, Mohammed Hafeez 2/16) by 7 wickets.