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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

Abu Dhabi T20: Sohail Akhtar pays tribute to bowlers for Lahore Qalandars success

The captain top scored in the final against Titans but believed the credit for the victory should be shared around

Lahore Qalandars captain Sohail Akhtar led from the front for his team as they emerged as winners of the inaugural Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

He followed up scores of 100 and 37 in the first two games with another top score of 56 to lead the Pakistan franchise to defeat Multiply Titans by 15 runs in the final.

“My role in the team was to play my best and I did that,” he said the 32 year old opener of his part in his side's triumph.

“I scored a half-century and very happy our bowlers did their part to take us across the line. I thought to get to 148 was a good effort because they (Titans) have played very well in every game.”

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Sohail hit four fours and three sixes in his 47-ball knock and shared a valuable 81-run partnership for the second wicket with Mohammed Faizan who chipped in with a 35-ball 32.

Titans who had to play to play the final shortly after their second group game made no excuses of their defeat to the Qalandars.

“I'm very proud of the guys and we had a bit of bad patches in this game, but congratulations to Lahore Qalandars,” said the Titan’s captain Albie Morkel.

“A lot of players made a name for themselves in this tournament and we can take a lot of positives from this. We will be flying home tomorrow and will get ready for a long season ahead.”

For the second time in two games on the same day the Titans won the toss and elected to bowl first.

They managed to restrict the Qalandars to their lowest score in three games in the tournament as they made 148-6.

The Qalandars in reply began their defence with spinners operating from both ends.

Mazz Khan had Tony de Zorzi, who had scored an unbeaten hundred on Friday, trapped in front in his first over and had Henry Davids (9) bowled of an inside edge in the next to leave the South African franchise 10-2.

Theunis de Bruyn (37) and Rivaldo Moonsamy (27) then gave the Titans hope and Heino Kuhn (37) kept their slim hopes alive until Shaheen Afridi had him bowled to leave them needing 20 from the last over.

The 18 year old left arm paceman who made his debut for Pakistan in the recent Asia Cup bowled an excellent second last over to take the Qalandars within a whisker of victory.

Harris Rauf then came into bowl a tight last over to concede four runs and a wicket to begin the celebrations.