St Moritz’s witnessed a special afternoon as legends of cricket rolled back the years to put up a spectacular show but this time on ice. Shahid Afridi-led Team Royals squared off against Virender Sehwag’s Badrutt’s Palace Diamonds in the first of the two encounters and it was the former Pakistan legend’s side who won the inaugural contest by six wickets. This was after the Diamonds batted first and set a target of 165 before the Royals cantered home, courtesy of a blistering 74 by Owais Shah.
Earlier, the Diamonds won the toss and opted to bat first on an artificial turf carpet laid out on the perfectly laid out snowfield. Skipper Virender Sehwag led the charge with a quickfire 62 of 31 balls. Along with him, Andrew Symonds chipped in with a handy 40. For the Royals, Abdul Razzaq was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4/18. However, the most entertaining aspect of the first innings was when Sehwag took on arch-rival Shoaib Akhtar. Enroute to his first half-century on the ice, The Sultan of Multan started the innings by cutting Shoaib Akhtar’s very first ball to score a boundary and then went on to make a dazzling 62. Team Diamond ended up with 166 runs in 20 overs.
In reply, the Royals dominated proceedings from the start with Graeme Smith getting off to a flyer. While the Diamonds did get wickets at regular intervals, it was Owais Shah’s innings which proved decisive. His unbeaten 74 of 34 deliveries and Grant Elliot’s 21 of 11 saw the Royals reach home with 28 balls to spare.
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
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