By VINODE MAMCHAN
The X-factor came in the form of skipper Shayan Jahangir as his led the Stallions X to the title at the coveted 14th edition of the US Open T20 tournament at the Central Broward Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday.
Jahangir was the leading run scorer at the tournament and scored a magnificent 79 not out in the finals that took his team to the title and the US$100,000 first prize. Batting first, Stallions X made a wonderful 201/4 off their 20 overs on a beautiful batting strip at Central Broward. They then restricted Dallas All Stars to 108 all out in 14.5 over, recording a resounding victory by 93 runs and sparking wild celebrations among their players and fans.
With the match starting at 11am, the pitch got enough time to dry out and the ball came on nicely unto the bat. Jahangir and fellow opener Tajinder Singh added 87 runs by the 10th over and the foundation was laid for a hefty score. Singh did the early lifting and spanked 56 off 29 balls with eight fours and two sixes.
Shehan Jayasuriya was up next and counted a quickfire 34 off 19 balls with three sixes and two fours. All the while, Jahangir was scoring freely and kept the momentum up. In the end he was unbeaten on 79 off 61 balls with three sixes and seven fours. No bowler stood out for Dallas with four of them taking a wicket apiece.
When Dallas started their innings they were put under pressure as wickets fell regularly. Skipper Unmukt Chand stood among the carnage as the left arm seamer Zia ul Haq proved a handful. U Haq who finished the series as the leading bowler with 15 wickets took 4/11 in the final.
Chand finished with 45 off 33 balls with it was not enough as the others did not provide the support they needed to, in order to get the huge target.