All Stars takes US Open.A number of West Indies T20 stars visited Fort Lauderdale on the weekend but all ended up on the losing side, as the US All Stars took the 2016 US Open T20 title with a narrow two-run victory over Al Masafi of Afghanistan at the Central Broward Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale, USA.
World T20 stars Lendl Simmons and Denesh Ramdin both lined up with the Indian Lions but they were defeated in the semi-finals by the US All Stars. Samuel Badree played for the Houston Lions but they could not get past the Al Masafi in the other semis. Other Caribbean players taking part in the tournament were Mervyn Dillon, Ricardo Powell, Navin Stewart, William Perkins and Ganganand Singh.
In the finals, the US All Stars batted first scoring 181/3 of their 20 overs with Singh getting 15, Jashkaran Malothra 37, Hassan Raza the former Pakistani batting star 37 not out and Sri Lanka all rounder Dilhara Lokuhettige 54 not out. The right hander scored his runs of 26 balls with six fours and three sixes.
Al Masafi with nine of the Afghanistani national players on board lost wickets at regular intervals in the chase but skipper Javed Ahmadi kept them in the hunt with a 31-ball 53. He struck nine fours and a six. After his dismissal the US All Stars looked set for a comfortable win but Gul Badin Naib 23 and Najibullah Zadran 25 not out brought them right back into the contest. They took it down to the last over with 16 runs needed and US All Stars bowler Herlando Johnson held his nerves to give his team the victory and US$50,000 first prize. Al Masafi reached 179/9.
President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Dave Cameron was on hand for the tournament and said it showed just how well T20 cricket has caught on in America. “This was a wonderful tournament staged here and I was really impressed with the quality of cricket played. The organisation of the tournament was excellent and Cricket Council USA did a great job in showcasing cricket, which is on the way up in these parts.”
SCORES: US All Stars 181/3 (Jashkaran Malothra 37, Hassan Raza 37 not out, Dilhara Lokuhettige 54 not out) vs Al Masafi 179/9 (20)(Javed Ahmadi 53, Hashmatullah Shaidi 30, Gul Badin Naib 23, Najibullah Zadran 25 not out, Herlando Johnson 3/35, Junaid Sidique 2/31) - US All Stars won by 2 runs.
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