Tuesday May 01, 2018 | By: Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: International all-rounder Anwar Ali batted ferociously to keep Balochistan alive when they defeated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by four wickets in their day-night thriller of the Pakistan Cup National One-day Cricket Championship at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad, on Monday.
Anwar (58*) completed his fifty off just 16 balls and added 80 within no time for the seventh wicket unbroken stand with left-hander Khushdil Shah (64*) to achieve the 373-run target with five balls to spare after losing six wickets.
Anwar hammered five sixes and five fours in his 18-ball fire-work. Khushdil struck three sixes and three fours in his 51-ball unfinished effort. Earlier, Khurram Manzoor (111) hit another glorious century to guide KP to post 372-8 in the stipulated 50 overs.
After opting to bat first when KP’s skipper Mohammad Hafeez won the toss, Khurram built a couple of solid partnerships to pave the way for a huge total.Khurram, along with Test discard Shan Masood (50), provided a solid 98 runs foundation to KP.
Shan, who was the first to depart, smashed ten glorious fours in his 45-ball fifty. Khurram added 105 for the second wicket with left-handed Israrullah, who fell after hitting four fours and one six in his run-a-ball 40.
Khurram, who was removed by left-arm international spinner Mohammad Nawaz, smashed 16 fours in his 99-ball excellent knock.After losing skipper Hafeez (32) and Umar Akmal (11) in quick succession in the middle, rookie Hassan Khan (51*) played a key role in inflating KP’s total when the Karachi-born player shared 56 for the sixth wicket with Pakistan discard Hammad Azam, who chipped in with a quick-fire 28-ball 44, which had four fours and two sixes.
Hassan, who is developing as a useful all-rounder, put on 52 for the seventh wicket with Mohammad Irfan Junior (22). Irfan smashed one four in his 21-ball knock. Hassan smacked six fours and one six in his fantastic 29-ball fire-work. Nawaz got 3-72 in his quota of ten overs, while Umar Gul captured 2-67 in eight overs.
In response, Balochistan received an early blow when in-form wicket-keeper batsman Bismillah Khan was removed by left-armer Zia-ul-Haq for only ten. Skipper Ahmed Shehzad (72) batted aggressively and dominated a 94-run second wicket association with Rizwan Hussain (67) before getting run out.
Shehzad smacked 14 fours in his explosive 36-ball knock. Left-arm spinner Hassan Khan had Mohammad Nawaz (12) to leave Balochistan at 139-3 in 19 overs. Mohammad Rameez (64) and Rizwan scored 45 runs for the fourth wicket. Rizwan fell after hitting five fours and one six from 71 balls.
Soon afterwards Balochistan lost Sohail Tanvir (18). However, Khushdil Shah and Rameez kept Balochistan in the hunt, adding 85 for the sixth wicket. Left-arm pacer Sadaf Hussain broke the stand when he had Rameez after the right-hander had hit six fours from 70 balls.
Balochistan were 298-6 in the 45th over. They needed 75 from 34 balls. But Anwar and Khushdil batted splendidly to make the tough chase possible.
Hammad was the pick of the bowlers with 2-44 in ten overs. Zia-ul-Haq (1-89), Sadaf Hussain (1-54 in 5) and Hassan Khan (1-47 in 6) were the other successful bowlers. Anwar Ali was declared man of the match.
KP skipper Hafeez said the way Anwar batted and used his skills changed the match in favour of Balochistan.Anwar said that he knew how important the match was for them. “I thought that I should play my role. In the past too I finished tough matches,” Anwar said.On Tuesday (today), Punjab will take on Federal Areas in their important match which will begin at 2:30pm.
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