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You are here: Cricket CLT20 Azhar Mahmood leads Auckland into the Champions League T20 proper

Azhar Mahmood leads Auckland into the Champions League T20 proper

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Veteran Pakistani allrounder Azhar Mahmood showed the true value of experience in the Twenty20 format, producing the goods with both ba and ball to power Auckland into the main draw of the 2012 edition of the Champions League T20.

Following up on their comfortable win against the Sialkot Stallions on Tuesday, Auckland became the first qualifier to book their spot in the main event with an 8-wicket annihilation of the Hampshire Royals. Batting first, the Royals posted an under par 121-8 in their 20 overs, their innings largely curtailed by Mahmood, who took 5-24. If that wasn't enough of a match winning contribution, the veteran superstar came out at Centurion and blazed his way to an unbeaten 55 from just 31 balls to lead his side to a thumping win in just 14.3 overs.

The result means that the game between Hampshire and Sialkot tomorrow is effectively a dead rubber, but one that both sides will be keen to win to ensure that they take some happy memories away from their short sojourn to South Africa.

Earlier in the day, Hampshire skipper Dmitri Mascarenhas lost the toss and was put in to bat, an outcome which he feels cost his side the game. Hampshire had made a bright start, racing to 23 in a little over 3 overs before James Vince fell for 11 to become Azhar Mahmood's first victim, having struck a six and a four during his brief stay at the crease.

Hampshire collapsed thereafter, losing Jimmy Adams and Shahid Afridi for noughts, leaving the English side in a world of trouble. They never really recovered, with Michael Carberry's run-a-ball 65 at the top of the order their only saving grace. Hampshire battled their way to 121-8, a well under par score.

Auckland were off to the races early in their chase, adding 49 for the opening wicket inside the powerplay before Lou Vincent fell for 19. Martin Guptill continued to plunder runs in the company of Azhar Mahmood and scored 38 before Shahid Afridi got the better of him.

Azhar Mahmood though took charge of proceedings in the middle, and led Auckland to a very easy win.

Mini Scorecard:

Hampshire 121-8 (20 overs, 6.05rpo)
M Carberry 65 (65) A Mahmood 5-24

Auckland 123-2 (14.3 overs, 8.48rpo)
A Mahmood 55 (31) C Wood 1-21

Auckland win by 8 wickets