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Ice cricket 2018: Shahid Afridi’s Royals clean sweep Virender Sehwag’s Diamonds

Jacques Kallis blasted 90 as Shahid Afridi’s Royals chased down 206 against Virender Sehwag’s Palace Diamonds to clean-sweep the Twenty20 series 2-0 in the 2018 Ice Cricket challenge at St Moritz.

cricket Updated: Feb 09, 2018 20:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Virender Sehwag‬,‪Ice cricket‬,‪Shahid Afridi‬
Shahid Afridi’s Royals defeated Virender Sehwag’s Diamonds by eight wickets to sweep the Twenty20 Ice cricket challenge in St Moritz 2-0.(HT Photo)

After a sunny and pristine opening day in St Moritz, the second day of the Ice Challenge Twenty20 cricket tournament witnessed overcast conditions and a dip in temperature. However, there was no change in the result as Shahid Afridi’s Royals chased down a mammoth 206 to beat Virender Sehwag’s Diamonds by eight wickets to sweep the series 2-0.

Jacques Kallis’ 90 and Graeme Smith’s magnificent 58 trumped aggressive fifties from Andrew Symonds and Mohammad Kaif as St Moritz witnessed a high-scoring encounter which saw 411 runs being scored in just 36.4 overs for the loss of just seven wickets.

Diamonds once again won the toss and chose to bat but they started badly again with Tillakaratne Dilshan (1) and Mahela Jayawardene (0) falling cheaply to Abdul Razzaq. Sehwag (46) lit up the venue with some blazing hits and singled out former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar for some punishment, blasting four boundaries and one six. The Indian dasher looked good for his second consecutive half-century but Grant Elliott denied him the milestone.

Andrew Symonds and Mohammad Kaif then took charge, with both batsmen going after the spinners. Symonds, the former Australian all-rounder, hit Shahid Afridi for a six and a four followed by two big sixes off Nathan McCullum. Kaif ended with a flourish by hammering three consecutive sixes in the final over as Diamonds scored 77 runs in the last five overs to finish on 205/5.

In response, Royals lost Matt Prior (11) with Zaheer Khan providing the breakthrough. Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith shared an 80-run stand with the former South Africa skipper contributing 58. Following Smith’s exit, Kallis changed gears and hammered Lasith Malinga for three consecutive fours followed by two big sixes off India off-spinner Ramesh Powar.

Owais Shah, who blasted an unbeaten 74 in the first game, continued his great form with an aggressive 43 off 16 balls and the former England batsman sealed the game in the 17th over with a six and four off Tillakaratne Dilshan as Shahid Afridi once again trumped over Virender Sehwag.

The two-day challenge in St Moritz has witnessed some new things in cricket. The game played on ice in the backdrop of the Swiss Alps, combined with high scores in both games, is a step forward in taking the game to the heart of Europe.

Brief scores: Diamonds 205/5 in 20 overs (Andrew Symonds 67*, Abdul Razzaq 3/48) lost to Diamonds 206/2 in 16.5 overs (Jacques Kallis 90*) by eight wickets

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 20:57 IST