Sports Reporter :
WHEN Lisburn’s overseas professional player Faiz Fazal joined the squad, it was placed seventh in the eight-team Lagan Valley Steels Twenty20 Cup cricket tournament, after three matches. With his all-round show, the Vidarbha skipper helped the team make it to the last four. And, on Saturday, he again played his part in the important semi-final against Carrickfergus but a middle and lower order collapse saw the team go down by eight runs at Middle Road, Carrickfergus. Chasing Carrickfergus’ 173-3 in 20 overs, Lisburn were 117-7 in 14 overs before a premature end to the match. They were found short of the revised target by eight runs.
Needing 174 for a win, southpaw opener Faiz (33; 32b, 3x6) played a solid knock. He added 31 runs in 4.3 overs with R Rankin (16) for the first wicket and then in company of skipper A Berry (39; 27b, 2x4, 1x6) took the score to 78 in 10.3 overs before getting out lbw. None of the later batsmen scored in double digits as wickets continued to fall regularly. Earlier, Carrickfergus, put into bat, posted a challenging 173-4 in stipulated twenty overs. Middle-order batsman J Lawlor hit an unbeaten 78 from 45 balls with seven fours and four sixes.
With three scores in twenties including 24 from opener skipper M Gilmour, wicketkeeper N Rock’s 25 and an unbeaten 20 by CJ van der Walt, Carrickfergus managed a par score. For Lisburn, D Simpson(2-27) and M Humphreys (2-23) took two wickets each bowling their full quota of four overs. Faiz too rolled his arm over and was the most economical bowler for the side. In his two overs of military medium stuff, he gave way just seven runs. A fine fielder that he is, Faiz also took two catches. The final will be held on Sunday.