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Ice Cricket: Afridi-led Royals beat Sehwag’s Diamonds by six wickets

ST. MORITZ: Shahid Afridi-led Royals have defeated the Palace Diamonds led by Virendar Sehwag by six wickets in the first match played on ice in the Swiss resort of St. Moritz in the backdrop of the Alps.

Many renowned cricketers included Shoaib Akhter, Mike Hussey, Mahela Jayawardene and Jacque Kallis also played the first Twenty20 match on the ice field.

The tournament’s first match was being played on a frozen, snow-covered lake on an artificial turf carpet, with players using traditional cricket gear and a red ball, but wearing normal sports shoes rather than spikes.

Owais Shah slapped a six off the first ball of the over to seal the victory for the Royals. The Diamonds, batting first, gave a target of 165 for the loss of nine wickets.

Skipper Sehwag became the first cricketer to score a half-century on ice field after he hit a six off Daniel Vettori’s delivery. He scored 62 from 31 balls.

Andrew Symonds impressed with a 40-run knock, while India’s Mohammad Kaif and Joginder Sharma contributed 19 and 18 runs respectively in a line-up that saw five batsmen being dismissed for a single-digit score on ice.

Abdul Razzaq picked up 4/18 while Shoaib Akhtar took 2/32 for the Royals.

The Royals completed the target in the sixteenth over. Owais Shah scored 74 off 34 balls including 7 sixes. Jacques Kallis scored 36 and Graeme Smith scored 23.

Royals lead the 2-match series 1-0.

Organisers VJ Sports have claimed that the event has the approval of International Cricket Council (ICC). Cricket on ice has been played in St. Moritz by amateurs since 1988 but it is the first time that greats of the game have graced the Alpine resort.

Shahid Afridi’s Royals XI: Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan), Abdul Razzaq (Pakistan), Jacques Kallis (South Africa), Graeme Smith (South Africa), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), Nathan McCullum (New Zealand), Grant Elliott (New Zealand), Monty Panesar (England), Owais Shah (England), Matt Prior (England), Aidan Andrews (Switzerland)

Virender Sehwag’s Diamonds XI: Virender Sehwag (India), Zaheer Khan (India), Mohammad Kaif (India), Ajit Agarkar (India), Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka), Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka), Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka), Michael Hussey (Australia), Andrew Symonds (Australia), Mithun Manhas (India), Ramesh Powar (India), Rohan Jain (Switzerland)

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