KARACHI: Khurram Manzoor silenced his critics when he slammed his second successive hundred, while Test pacer Mohammad Amir got five wickets to enable Sindh to register their second victory on the trot when they crushed Islamabad by 118 runs in their day-night match of the Pakistan Cup 2016 at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad on Saturday.
Khurram, who had struck 100 against Balochistan in the opener, hammered 123 off 90 balls to guide Sindh to 336-6 in the stipulated 50 overs after skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bat in hot conditions.
Amir then picked 5-36 from 7.5 overs and off-spinner Bilal Asif captured 4-39 from ten overs to dismiss Islamabad for 218 in 39.5 overs.
This was the first loss for Islamabad who had beaten Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in their opener of the five-team affair being played on single league basis.
Khurram and Sami Aslam (75) started from where they had left in their first showdown against Balochistan and once again played superbly. They added 196 for the opening stand to pave way for Sindh to set a huge target for Misbah-ul-Haq-led Islamabad. This is also the highest partnership for any wicket in this tournament so far.
International pacer Mohammad Irfan finally gave the breakthrough to Islamabad when he had Khurram, caught by Hammad Azam at short fine-leg in the 28th over when the right-hander wanted to drag it from the off-side with a flat bat.
Khurram hit young spinner Shadab Khan for a four to bring in his well-deserved century. Khurram, who seemed unstoppable, smacked 16 fours and three sixes in his belligerent feat. The 29-year old also hit Iftikhar Ahmed for three fours and one six in the 26th over of the innings that fetched 20 runs.
After Khurram’s fall, Sindh tried to keep the same firework which they had when their experienced opener was at the crease. However, young leggie Shadab Khan removed Sami Aslam and Sohaib Maqsood (19) in quick succession to leave Sindh at 263-3 in 38.5 overs.
Sami, who had also hit unbeaten 108 against Balochistan, struck seven fours and a six from 86 balls. His fifty had come off 61 balls.
Sohaib, who once again failed to impress, struck one four from 21 balls.
Young medium fast Mohammad Abbas then clean bowled off-colour Fawad Alam (6) with a splendid delivery that pitched on the off-stump and came in sharply with the left-hander offering an awkward stroke. Sindh were 272-4 in 41.2 overs. Irfan then had Sarfraz Ahmed (2) who wanted to hit it over mid-wicket but skied it and Shadab took a well-judged catch at point.
Anwar Ali (18) then tried to score quickly but was held in the deep by Iftikhar Ahmed off Mohammad Abbas after the international all-rounder had struck one six and a four.
Khalid Latif (62*) and Sohail Khan (14*) then managed to take the score to 336-6 in the allotted overs.
Khalid, who was seen in excellent mood, hammered three sixes and two fours from 64 deliveries. Sohail struck one six and one four in his seven-ball rapid innings.
Tall Irfan was the most impressive with 2-45 from ten overs. Mohammad Abbas (2-59) and Shadab Khan (2-61) remained expensive.
Iftikhar conceded 27 runs in two overs.
Chasing a huge total, Islamabad had a disastrous start. It was Test left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir who blew away the top order to reduce Islamabad to 55-4 in ten overs.
Amir in his fiery spell had Sharjeel Khan (5), Nasir Jamshed (14), Iftikhar Ahmed (10) and Test stumper Kamran Akmal (25) to break the back of Islamabad.
Kamran, who again failed to play a big innings, struck five fours from 26 balls.
Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (73) and all-rounder Hammad Azam (45) then tried their best to make a fightback. They added 113 for the fifth wicket stand before off-spinner Bilal Asif gave a vital breakthrough to Sindh when he had Misbah, caught by Hasan Khan after the Pakistan’s Test captain had smacked four sixes and six fours in his brave 59-ball feat.
Islamabad were 168-5 in the 26th over at that stage. Imran Khalid (9) then joined Hammad but he was also undone cheaply by Hasan (1-80) to leave Islamabad gasping at 179-6.
Bilal Asif then had the key wickets of Hammad, Shadab Khan (4) and Mohammad Sami (13) to bring Sindh near a huge victory. Hammad struck five fours from 57 deliveries, while Sami struck one six from 11 balls. Amir then bowled Mohammad Abbas (10) to fold Islamabad’s innings. Amir’s impressive haul is also the best so far from any bowler in the event.
Irfan remained not out on five.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa face Balochistan in a vital game on Sunday (today). KP will be missing their skipper Younis Khan who surprisingly bowed out of the event in protest after he was served with a notice by match referee for criticising the umpiring standard in the event.
Sindh won toss
Khurram Manzoor c Hammad b Irfan 123
Sami Aslam lbw b Shadab 75
Khalid Latif not out 62
Sohaib Maqsood c Iftikhar b Shadab 19
Fawad Alam b Abbas 6
*†Sarfraz Ahmed c Shadab b Irfan 2
Anwar Ali c Iftikhar b Abbas 18
Sohail Khan not out 14
Extras (lb 10, w 7) 17
Total (6 wickets; 50 overs) 336
Did not bat: M Amir, Bilal Asif, Hasan Khan
Fall: 1-196, 2-219, 3-263, 4-272, 5-287, 6-314
Bowling: Irfan 10-1-45-2 (1w); Sami 9-0-48-0 (2w); Abbas 10-0-59-2 (2w); Imran 5-0-47-0; Hammad 5-0-39-0; Shadab 9-0-61-2 (1w); Iftikhar 2-0-27-0 (1w)
†Kamran Akmal c Sarfraz b Amir 25
Sharjeel Khan c Sarfraz b Amir 5
Nasir Jamshed lbw b Amir 14
Iftikhar Ahmed c Sarfraz b Amir 10
*Misbah-ul-Haq c Hasan b Bilal 73
Hammad Azam c Hasan b Bilal 45
Imran Khalid st Sarfraz b Hasan 9
Shadab Khan st Sarfraz b Bilal 4
M Sami c sub (Saad) b Bilal 13
M Abbas b Amir 10
M Irfan not out 5
Extras (lb 1, w 3, nb 1) 5
Total (all out; 39.5 overs) 218
Fall: 1-8, 2-40, 3-54, 4-55, 5-168, 6-179, 7-189, 8-190, 9-212, 10-218
Bowling: Sohail 6-0-29-0 (1nb); Amir 7.5-1-36-5; Anwar 7-0-33-0 (1w); Hasan 9-0-80-1; Bilal 10-1-39-4 (2w)
Result: Sindh won by 118 runs
Man of the Match: Khurram Manzoor (Sindh)
Umpires: Ahsan Raza and Asif Yaqoob. TV umpire: Qaiser Waheed. Match referee: Aziz-ur-Rehman