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Pakistan edge USA as Global Cup gets off to exciting start

By Our Correspondent
September 20, 2023

KARACHI: The inaugural MCW Over 40 Cricket Global Cup 2023 got off to a dramatic start as hosts Pakistan registered a thrilling come from behind one-wicket victory over USA in their opening match here at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

In the other matches of the day, West Indies, Hong Kong and Canada triumphed over Australia, Nepal and UAE respectively.

Tasawwar Abbas turned to be the hero for Pakistan as he farmed the bowling brilliantly in the 63-run unbroken stand for the last wicket to turn the table decisively in the home team’s favour from the jaws of defeat.

He remained undefeated on 86 off 63 balls with the help of four sixes and eight fours to be declared Man of the Match.

USA appeared coasting towards a comfortable triumph when Pakistan, chasing 251 in 45 overs, lost ninth wicket at the total of 193. But Tasawwar and lastman Imran Ali rode their luck to overhaul the target in the 42nd over. Medium-pacer Jan Nisar Khan (3-22) and leg-spinner Saqib Hameed (3-43) caused the slump after skipper Misbah-ul-Haq had put hosts in front with his typically stylish knock of 65 off 67 balls, hitting one six and seven fours.

Earlier USA, looking good for an emphatic total after a captain’s innings from Muhammad Farrukh (82 off 94 balls), crashed from 167 for two to 250 all out with off-spinner Haris Ayaz (4-35) leading the Pakistan fightback.

Hong Kong overwhelmed Nepal by eight wickets in what turned to be a one-sided affair at Moin Khan Academy. Electing to bat, after calling correctly, Nepal was bowled out for 105 in 31.5 overs with number three Santosh Bandhari remaining unbeaten on 21 off 80 balls. The innings was wrecked by the trio of Shelton Joseph (2-19), Kashif Shams (2-20) and Zar Khan (2-26).

As expected, Hong Kong didn’t face any problems in knocking off the modest target of 106. Opener John Patrick Roy, declared Man of the Match, for his unbeaten 40 (off 80 balls), and Rahul Sambus, who finished unbeaten on 30 off 35 balls, saw them home in the 28th over.

Skipper Narsingh Deonarine’s 65 off 76 balls powered West Indies to a comfortable 84-run victory over Australia at Karachi Gymkhana. Batting first, West Indies scored a formidable 267 for seven in the allotted 45 overs with opener Andy Thomas (43 off 41 balls) and Dary Balgobin (42 off 27 balls) also contributing substantially. Medium-pacer Mark Leard (4-56) was the pick of the Australian bowlers.

The target of 268 proved to be too steep for the Australian batters and they were all out for 183 in 35 overs. Tim Bott (47 off 52 balls) was the topscorer as the West Indian bowlers pressed home the advantage with medium-pacer Shazan Babwah (3-28) and leg-spinner Sanjeev Goolijar (2-36) being the stars.