Ice cricket in St Moritz witnessed history as Shahid Afridi’s Royals defeated Virender Sehwag’s Badrutt’s Palace Diamonds in the second and final T20 encounter by eight wickets to complete an emphatic 2-0 whitewash. This was after Sehwag’s XI scored a formidable 205/5 in 20 overs. In reply, the Royals cantered home with 20 balls to spare, courtesy of a blistering unbeaten 90 by Jacques Kallis.
Earlier, the Diamonds once again won the toss and elected to bat first on an artificial turf carpet laid out on the perfectly laid out snowfield. However, they faced a couple of early jolts and were reduced to 15/2 after 2 overs. From thereon once again it was skipper Virender Sehwag (48) and Andrew Symonds who got together and steadied the ship. Symonds in particular had a subdued start but as his innings progressed he kept depositing the ball beyond the boundary ropes comfortably. Courtesy of his unbeaten 67 and a late blitzkrieg by Mohammad Kaif (57) the Diamonds reached a challenging total of 205. Abdur Razzaq was once again the most successful bowler with three wickets while Daniel Vettori and Grant Elliot chipped in with a wicket each.
Chasing a stiff target of 206, the Royals lost opener, Matt Prior early, with the scoreboard on 28. But from thereon the mighty Jacques Kallis stole the show with a brilliant 90 of just 37 deliveries. In his dazzling knock, Kallis slammed 13 fours and four sixes. Along with him, man of the series – Owais Shah was once again on song with a quickfire 43 of just 21 balls. Bowling on the artificial surface proved difficult for the bowlers as most of them leaked runs at an economy rate of more than 10 per over. Former India bowler Zaheer Khan and T20 world cup star Joginder Sharma were the most economical bowers for the Diamonds.
Badrutt’s Palace Diamonds Squad: Virender Sehwag (c), Mohammad Kaif, Lasith Malinga, Michael Hussey, Mahela Jayawardene, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Tillakaratne, Andrew Symonds, Joginder Sharma, Ramesh Powar, Rohan Jain
Royals Squad: Jacques Kallis (c), Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Nathan McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Grant Elliott, Monty Panesar, Graeme Smith, Owais Shah, Abdul Razzaq, Jacques Kallis, Matt Prior, Aidan Andrews