Bangladesh’s all-rounder Nasir Hossain had a decent performance in Asia XI’s three-wicket win over International XI in an all-star Twenty20 cricket match in Toronto on Saturday.
Nasir, the only Bangladeshi to have featured in the game at the Rogers Centre One Blue Jays Way, was expensive with the ball, giving away 22 runs in his only over of the innings that saw the International XI side amass 164-6 in 20 overs.
But he made a decent contribution with the bat, having joined the side at the eleventh hour, as he made 21 from 20 balls with three fours to help Asia XI reach 167-7 with one over to spare.
The game lost some of its star power with the late news that the Pakistan Cricket Board is looking to prepare its team for a tour of Sri Lanka, had refused to release six players among whom were the names of Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez.
Without the Pakistan players, the Asia XI turned into a hybrid line-up with the addition of five Canadian players of Asian origin.
South Africa’s Mark Boucher captained the International XI while Sri Lankan veteran Sanath Jayasuriya led the Asia XI.
Former West Indies great Brian Lara was expected to lead the International squad. He was present at the venue and was seen sitting on the bench in civilian clothes.
But there were many superstars playing on the field like Pakistan’s Saqlain Mushtaq and Zimbabwe’s Grant Flower. A temporary synthetic strip was laid like
a Band-Aid in the middle of the Rogers Centre turf, which is actually a baseball stadium.
Batting first, the International XI were propelled by West Indian batsman Devon Smith, later named man of the match, who led the way with 69 from 63 balls, hitting seven fours.
Smith was well supported by Zimbabwean Brendon Taylor who made 34 from 16 balls with two fours and three sixes.
The Asia XI reached their target without any serious trouble as Jayasuriya gave them a good start, clobbering seven fours and a six in his 41 from 24 balls.
He was well supported by Canadian Hiral Patel (39) and Nasir.
-With New Age input