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April 26, 2018
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Pakistan Cup National One-day Cricket Championship

Sports

April 26, 2018

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Farhan, Rizwan hit tons as Punjab win opener by 7 wkts

By Alam Zeb Safi

KARACHI: Sahibzada Farhan and international stumper Mohammad Rizwan blasted fine centuries to enable Punjab take a fine start when they overwhelmed Balochistan by seven wickets in their day-night high-scoring opener of the Pakistan Cup National One-day Cricket Championship at Iqbal Stadium Faisalabad on Wednesday.

Charsadda-born Farhan hit his career-best 155 while Rizwan blasted 124 not out to enable Punjab to achieve the seemingly much difficult 366-run target in 48.5 overs after losing three wickets in the process.

In pursuit of a daunting target, Farhan, who hit his third List A century, along with Zain Abbas (47) provided a solid 92-run opening stand to Punjab. Zain got run out in the 15th over of the innings after the left-handed batsman had hammered six fours and one six from 43 balls. International stumper Mohammad Rizwan then joined Farhan and the duo batted with great command, adding 238 runs for the second wicket stand to make the chase easier for Punjab. Farhan was the second man got out, bowled by debutant Shaheen Afridi after he had hit 17 fours and two sixes in his 145-ball excellent innings.Skipper Shoaib Malik (21) then scored quickly before being bowled by leg-spinner Mohammad Irfan.

However Asif Ali (5*) then completed the victory with seven balls to spare. Rizwan smashed 13 fours and two sixes in his unbeaten 97-bll knock. Irfan (1-79) and Shaheen Afridi (1-61) were the successful bowlers.

Elier Balochistan’s skipper Ahmed Shehzad won a crucial toss and opted to bat first in simmering heat that caused great trouble, especially for the fast bowlers. After losing Naved Malik (9) in the shape of a run out due to a big mix-up, Bismillah Khan (106) and Ahmed Shehzad (95) played effortless knocks, sharing 173 for the second wicket to put a solid foundation for Balochistan.

Bismillah, who completed his century in 98 balls, was removed by left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti. Quetta-born 28-year old Bismillah, who hit his third List A hundred, smashed 14 fours in his 105-ball innings.

International left-hander Mohammad Nawaz (83*) then joined Shehzad but the latter also was unlucky not to complete his hundred as he got run out. Shehzad struck six fours and three sixes in his exquisite effort.

Nawaz and Ramiz Raja Junior (51*) then further consolidated the position and punished Punjab’s bowlers, taking Balochistan to a huge total. The duo shared 126 runs for the fourth wicket unbroken association. Both scored 114 runs in the last ten overs. Nawaz hammered eight fours and two sixes in his quick-fire 55-ball unfinished feat. Ramiz smacked five fours and two sixes from only 36 balls.

Kashif got 1-59 in his quota of ten overs. Test pacer Mohammad Sami (0-77 in 10 overs), Usama Mir (0-77 in 10 overs) and medium-pacer Mohammad Imran (0-66 in 10 overs) remained very expensive on the pitch which had nothing for the bowlers.

Shoaib Malik used eight bowlers.

Rashid Riaz and Mohammad Sajid supervised the match. Zameer Haider remained television umpire and Qaiser Waheed, the reserve umpire. Aziz-ur-Rehman was the match referee. On Thursday (today), Federal Areas will take on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The match will begin at 2:30pm.

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