Last Man Stands cricket (LMS) is an 8-a-side, T-20 format, which originated in England, in 2005, to allow semi-professionals/amateurs an opportunity of being part of global cricketing action. LMS Global has distributed franchises across the globe in 15 countries.
Local tournaments run in each country and every 2 years – the two best teams from each nation represent their country at a World Champs tournament.
The 2019 edition was held in Sydney, Australia, between 6th and 17th December. One of the teams that represented Pakistan was a franchise named “Legends”, owned by Shehryar Ansari, a local businessman and cricket enthusiast; and captained by a wicket-keeping hard hitting batsman Zain Sohail.
Legends had ensured dominance in local competitions to ensure a spot at the World Champs 2019 and in Sydney they ended runners-up of the Plate Championship – at a tournament featuring 24 teams – making their nation very proud. Legends thus became the only Pakistani team ever in the history of LMS to bring home a piece of the Silverware.
Much to the contrary of what was expected – the wickets in Sydney were unorthodox and produced low bounce and a lot of turn – which made way for a low-scoring tournament.
The Legends won their opening match against a strong local Australian side (Tradies) defending a modest total of 125 in 20 overs. Asad Bokhari and Zorain Masood scripted the win with excellent all round skills.
In the 2nd game – the Pakistani side demolished an Indian team with an almost bonus point win. Captain Zain scored a blistering fifty while Hassan Naqvi returned with 3 wickets in the bag.
Despite a loss to Farani Stallions (England) in the group stages – in the quarters, the Legends beat the Primary Club of Australia convincingly. Despite a few early hiccups the middle order completed the chase of 131 thanks to some convincing batting by Shaan Tahir (44), Zorain (43*) and Fayez Qamar (33*).
In the semis the Legends were again very convincing, beating a Kiwi side by 26 runs. Batting first the Legends chipped together 151 courtesy some fantastic batting by senior most member Majid Niazi. 6 wickets between the new ball bowling pair of Fayez Qamar (4) and Shaan Tahir (2) made the win all but a mere formality.
The Legends unfortunately could not translate the same skill and effort in the final where they were beaten by Laila Cricket Club. The final was played on a horrendous wicket that suited the spin attack of the opposition and Legends were outplayed by the opposition.
Asad Bokhari was the star bowler with 10 wickets and Zain Sohail and Zorain being the leading run scorers.
Legends have made the nation proud and they look forward to ensuring their local domination to hopefully feature in the next World Champs due to be held in the Caribbean in 2022.
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