Thursday Dec 06, 2018 | By: Syed Khalid Mahmood
KARACHI: Pakistan went down fighting against hosts Australia in the final of the Over-50 World Cup, losing the pulsating encounter only by three runs at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney on Wednesday.
Chasing a target of 166 in 45 overs, Pakistan recovered from 94 for nine before losing their last wicket in the 42nd over for 162. Babar Butt and Imtiaz Tarar, the last pair, added 68 runs. Babar scored 46 off 59 balls and Imtiaz remained unbeaten on 28 off 54 balls.
John Short trapped Babar Butt leg before wicket and Australia won the game by the skin of their teeth. The Pakistan team was not happy at the umpire’s decision.
Australia fought back after a shaky start to post a fighting total of 165. Fine knocks from Tony Clark (44 off 77 balls), Joseph Santostefano (33 off 55) and Todd O’Keefe (25 off 38) repaired the damage for Australia after they had lost their first three batsmen with only 26 on the board.
Dastagir Butt jolted Australia by picking up a couple of wickets in his opening spell of five overs. Left-arm spinner Jaffer Qureshi was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers with the figures of three for 25 off six overs with Sagheer Abbas, Javed Hafeez, Zafar Ali and Imtiaz being the other successful bowlers.
Pakistan also got off to a dreaded start as Shahid Anwar, Ghulam Ali and Sajid Ali perished without making any significant contribution.
Australia were firmly in control of the game when the ninth Pakistani wicket fell at 94. The match came into life as Babar and Imtiaz inched towards the target.The bowling honours for Australia were shared by John Short (3-27), William Blair (2-33) and Tony Clark (2-34).
Australian captain Peter Solway received the winning trophy. Babar of Pakistan was declared the Man of the Match.Solway was also declared the best batsman of the tournament, while Stephen Foster (England), Javed Hafeez (Pakistan) and Mason Robinson (New Zealand) were adjudged the best bowler, the best fielder and the best wicketkeeper, respectively.