Lucknow, Mar 24 (UNI) Powered by a scintillating performance by current Ranji player Shivakant Shukla, Lucknow Cricket Academy crushed Youngster Cricket Club, Lahore, by nine wickets in the inaugural encounter of the five-match Indo-Pak Youth Cricket series here today.
Batting first at the North Eastern Railway (NER) Stadium, the club from across the LoC, boasting off four players from U-19 World Cup winning Pakistan team, were bundled out for a meagre 138 in 27.3 overs only, against the deadly off breaks from Uttar Pradesh Ranji player Shivakant Shukla, who claimed six sclaps including a hat-trick.
Barring Mohd. Umer Akmal -- the youngest brother of senior Pak stumper Kamran Akmal -- who entertained the crowd with 64 runs of 57 balls (eight boundaries and two sixes), no Pakistan batsman could face the deadly bowling of Shukla, who, interestingly, was the member of the U-19 Indian side that lost World Cup final to Pakistan in Sri Lanka.
Besides Shukla, Mumtaz Kadir claimed two wickets for 15 runs, while Shailendra Singh and Saurabh Singh ended up with a scalp each.
The hosts, guided by a sterling knock by Mumtaz Kadir (77) and Shivakant Shukla (42), went past the low target in the 11th over only.
Shukla was adjudged the man of the matches for his stellar all round performance.
The next match of the five-match ''Deep Fire Trophy'' takes place at the same stadium tomorrow, followed by the third match at the mini-stadium in neighbouring Unnao district. The two teams return to the NER stadium for the fourth and final matches on March 26 and 27.
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