After all is lost, a consolation win
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Sialkot Stallions will go back home with some pride as they defeated Hampshire by six wickets in their inconsequential Pool 1 qualifying match of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament. It was a dead rubber since both the teams have already been eliminated. Auckland Aces had qualified for the main draw from Pool 1 after defeating both Hampshire and Sialkot in the earlier matches.
Stallions did a good job by restricting Hampshire to 143 for eight after electing to bowl and then overcame a poor start to overhaul the target with five balls to spare. Left-handed batsman Haris Sohail played a vital unbeaten knock of 63 runs and raised a 96-run match-winning partnership with skipper Shoaib Malik (39) for the fourth wicket in Stallions' win.
The Pakistan domestic T20 champions were playing in the CLT20 tournament first the time but could not qualify for the main competition. It was Glenn Maxwell's quick-fire 42 off 29 balls and his 56-run partnership with Shahid Afiridi (14) that had lifted the English County team to a decent total from a miserable 66 for four in 11 overs.
Hampshire bowlers raised hopes of win by getting three quick wickets, reducing the rivals to 28 for three in seven overs but Malik and Sohail responded to the SOS call well. They took time to settle down as the ball was doing a bit. Stallions had lost both the openers ó Imran Nazir (0) and Shakeel Ansar (15) inside fifth over. Nazir was castled by spinner Liam Dawson in the very first over while Ansar was scalped by David Griffiths.
Shahid Yousuf (3) was brilliantly caught by Maxwell at point off Chris Wood. However, Malik together with Sohail repaired the innings well before being stumped off Afridi at the start of the 18th over. Sohail, whose knock came off 57 balls with eight fours and a six, though completed the job by staying till the end.
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