KARACHI: After crushing Pakistan Cup table-toppers Sindh by 127 runs to seal spot in the final of the 50-over competition here on Friday, Central Punjab kept alive their hopes of annexing a big title for a second straight time.
Sindh were left to rue the decision to bowl first after their stand-in captain Asad Shafiq won the toss on a placid wicket in the first semi-final at the SBP Sports Complex as Central Punjab rattled up 87 in the Powerplay overs and proceeded to score easily before reaching 339-9 in the stipulated 50 overs.
Sindh easily lost Omair Bin Yousuf and Mohammad Hasan as they all ran out of opposing fashions. And despite former Pakistan opener Khurram Manzoor hitting a 73-ball 88 (12 boundaries), they were denied for 212 in the 37th.
Tayyab Tahir (60 out of 70 balls) and Rizwan Hussain (56 out of 29, five sixes and four fours), who outperformed his partner during their 87-run stand, were their chief run-getters.
Zafar Gohar played a good hand with a 39-ball 53 with three sixes and four fours.
Zafar, who had claimed Khurram’s coveted scalp, was proclaimed the man-of-the-match.
The opponents of Central Punjab in Sunday’s final will be determined on Saturday as Khyber Pakhtun’khwa and Northern collide at the same venue in the second semi-final.
Tayyab Tahir c Asad b Danish 60
Rizwan Hussain c Hasan b Shahnawaz 56
Mohammad Akhlaq b Hassaan 14
Raza Ali Dar c Hassaan b Hasnain 37
Saad Nasim c Saad b Shahnawaz 39
Qasim Akram run out 27
Zafar Gohar b Hasnain 53
Usman Qadir c Saad b Umar 16
Sohaibullah c Danish b Hassaan 10
Mohammad Ali not out 11
EXTRAS (LB-5, W-11) 16
TOTAL (for nine wkts, 50 overs) 339
FALL OF WKTS: 1-87, 20108, 3-161, 4-211, 5-231, 6-254, 7-315, 8-317, 9-339
DID NOT BAT: Ahmed Bashir
BOWLING: Mohammad Hasnain
10-0-49-2 (2w); Mir Hamza 10-0-69-0 (2w); Mohammad Umar 10-0-63-1 (3w); Shahnawaz Dhani 8-0-59-2 (4w); Hassaan Khan 6-0-42-2; Danish Aziz 3-0-32-1; Asad Shafiq 3-0-20-0
Khurram Manzoor c Usman b Zafar 88
Omair Bin Yousuf run out 0
Mohammad Hasan run out 9
Asad Shafiq c Saad b Ali 14
Saad Ali lbw b Ahmed 54
Danish Aziz b Usman 5
Hassaan Khan st Akhlaq b Usman 15
Mir Hamza c Akhlaq b Ali 16
Mohammad Hasnain b Ali 5
Shahnawaz Dhani not out 0
EXTRAS (B-1, LB-1, W-2) 4
TOTAL (all out, 36.5 overs) 212
FALL OF WKTS: 1-9, 2-53, 3-83, 4-137, 5-144, 6-180, 7-184, 8-205, 9-206
BOWLING: Sohaibullah 5-0-35-0 (2w); Raza Ali Dar 3-0-14-0; Zafar Gohar 7-0-40-1; Ahmed Bashir 8-0-40-2; Mohammad Ali 6.5-1-31-3; Usman Qadir 7-0-50-0
RESULT: Central Punjab won by 127 runs.
UMPIRES: Waleed Yaqub and Faisal Afridi
TV UMPIRE: Imtiaz Iqbal
MATCH REFEREE: Iqbal Sheikh
OFFICIAL SCORER: Rashid Aslam
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Zafar Gohar
SATURDAY’S FIXTURE: Second semi-final — Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Northern (SBP Sports Complex, 9:30am PST)