A spectacular all-round show from Naved-ul-Hasan propelled the Lahore Badshahs to a comfortable 5-wicket win over Dhaka Warriors in their ICL Twenty20 match at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad yesterday.
While the win takes Lahore to the brink of a semifinal berth, Dhaka will be disappointed to have missed out after a promising start to the match.
But it was Naved's day from the off.
After putting in a disciplined bowling performance (3-18), he starred with the bat stroking a sparkling 64 off only 32 balls with half-a-dozen sixes.
He was particularly harsh on left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique, peppering him to all corners of the ground as the senior Warrior went for 42 off his four overs.
After Imran Farhat fell early to a good diving catch from Shahriar Nafees, Naved was a surprise choice in the number three slot.
He grabbed the chance with both hands and combined beautifully with Imran Nazir (25 of 15) to effectively take the game away from the Warriors with a stunning assault.
There was even time for Mohammed Yousuf to show signs of his prodigious talent on his debut. The dependable middle-order batsman, so often a mainstay of the Pakistan innings in the past years, made a fine start to his ICL career with three superb boundaries of his first three balls.
And captain Inzamam-ul-Haque made sure of the win in the 17th over guiding his team home with a well-judged unbeaten 27.
Earlier, the Warriors made a good start through Shahriar Nafees (35) and Nazimuddin (20) and had solid contribution from Aftab Ahmed (20).
But for once Alok Kapali did not fire and when Saqlain snared him for 16 it was all downhill for the Warriors, most of whom perished trying to up the ante.
Habibul Bashar played a responsible knock of 17 towards the end to guide Dhaka to 145 but it was to prove ultimately futile as Naved was to prove the star turn of the day.