Sehwag’s 50 in vain as Afridi’s side wins Swiss T20 contest
New Delhi:In the annals of cricket, February 8 will be known for the game taking a big step into the frozen cold of the Alps. A Twenty20 match was played in the ski resort of St Moritz on Thursday, when the fire of subcontinent cricket was settled on Swiss ice. The teams were led by the two most explosive batsmen of India and Pakistan with Virender Sehwag’s Palace Diamonds taking on Shahid Afridi’s Royals. The former Pakistan skipper’s team emerged victorious by six wickets in the first of two matches. Palace Diamonds scored 164/9 in 20 overs with Sehwag top-scoring with 62. Royals reached 166/4 in 15.4 overs with former England batsman, Owais Shah scoring 74. The match, played on a frozen lake with temperature around minus five Degrees Celsius, featured former stars. Australia’s Mike Hussey, Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar and Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene were all there. The players slipped and slid on the hard surface, and wore gloves and shades for protection from the cold. Fielding was an effort in the rarefied atmosphere – St Moritz at almost 6,000 feet above sea level – with few managing to collect the ball on first attempt. In the televised game, Palace Diamonds won the toss and chose to bat. The pitch was an astro-turf strip rolled out with wooden planks underneath. Blue lines were drawn to mark the batting and bowling crease. Palace Diamonds made a poor start with Tillakaratne Dilshan (8), Mahela Jayawardene (7) and Michael Hussey (1) falling cheaply. However, Sehwag spewed fire on ice, showing he is the boss as he blasted 62 off 31 balls, including four fours and five sixes.