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Vikings edged out as controversial century gives Lahore win

— 4 October 2018

A maiden century from Lahore captain Sohail Akhtar proved too much for Yorkshire as they were unable to defend a 185 target in the opening match of the Abu Dhabi T20, losing by six wickets with two balls to spare.

Opener Akhtar saw his side slip to 12-1 in the second over of the Qalandars chase and reached his century off 54 balls, by which time the Pakistanis were 165-3 in the 18th over and on course for the win.

The 32-year-old was fortunate in that he was given out on 51 by the umpire following a boundary catch at long-off by Adam Lyth off Josh Poysden.

However, the on-field umpire had misheard the TV umpire, who had adjudged that Lyth had touched the rope and given it not out.

Akhtar had not left the field and was recalled, much to Yorkshire’s frustration.

Sussex batsman Phil Salt successfully gained the eight needed off Tim Bresnan’s final over and finished 37 not out.

Match highlights

The Vikings looked to have posted an imposing 184-5 in a Group A clash with a Lahore side who have finished bottom of the PSL in each of its first three years and were missing some big names.

A series of useful contributions with the bat underpinned the Vikings total on a pitch used earlier in the day as Boost Defenders from Afghanistan beat Auckland in Group B.

Harry Brook top-scored with 37 off 26 balls, while Gary Ballance hit 33, Lyth 32, Jack Leaning 26 and Tim Bresnan 17.

Lahore then flew out of the blocks and reached 82-1 in the ninth over of their reply and later 139-3 after 15, needing 46 more.

This result means Yorkshire have to beat Big Bash side Hobart Hurricanes on Saturday morning (8am UK) to have any chance of reaching the final later in the day.

If Lahore beat Hobart tomorrow, the Vikings are out.

Lahore, featuring veteran international trio Zulfiqur Babar, Imran Nazir and Abdul Razzaq, struggled in the field having earlier won the toss in front of a smattering of spectators but a much bigger global TV audience.

Yorkshire recovered from the loss of Tom Kohler-Cadmore for two to left-arm spinner Babar in the first over of the match and were well placed at 93-3 after 10 overs.

Brook played the feature innings, peppering the cover region as he hit six fours in hot and humid conditions despite it being an 8pm local time start.

Brook shared 57 for the second wicket with Lyth before Ballance and Tattersall later shared 50 for the fourth wicket on a largely good surface which gripped a touch.

Leaning and Bresnan then both hit sixes in the last over bowled by expensive New Zealand T20 specialist Mitchell McClenaghan.

Bresnan then struck in the second over of the Lahore chase when 36-year-old Nazir, who has been out of all cricket for nearly five years due to arthritis, pulled a short ball to deep mid-wicket as the score fell to 12-1.

But captain Akhtar and Bilal Irshad put the Vikings under pressure.

Akhtar launched Bresnan over long-on for six as the Qalandars topped 50 in the sixth over.

The second-wicket pair shared 70 in exhilarating fashion, chancing their arm.

Their stand was broken when Irshad, who made 30, miscued a Poysden full toss to long-on as the score fell to 82-2 in the ninth.

Then came the controversy which saw Akhtar called back to the crease by the umpire.

Akhtar fell to Bresnan, caught at mid-off, with 20 needed in the 18th over, but Salt saw them home.

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