KARACHI: Abid Ali hammered a superb century and then the bowlers did a fine job to enable Federal Areas to pull off their second successive victory when they routed Sindh by 149 runs in their day-night match of the Pakistan Cup National One-day Cricket Championship at Iqbal Stadium Faisalabad on Sunday.
Abid smashed 109 and single-handedly guided Federal Areas to 242-8 in the stipulated 50 overs after being asked to bat first when Sindh’s skipper Umar Amin won the toss.In response, Sindh were folded for 93 in 31 overs thanks to brilliant bowling from left-arm pacer Waqas Maqsood and spinner Agha Salman.
Chasing a tricky target Sindh had a brittle start to their innings as they lost their four quick wickets that put them in dire straits.The whole credit goes to spinner Agha Salman who got rid of both openers Salman Butt (18) and skipper Umar Amin (12) before spinner Raza Hasan bowled test cricketer and the last match centurian Iftikhar Ahmed (11) to leave Sindh reeling at 55-3 in the 16th over.
The former Pakistan captain Salman Butt smacked three fours in his run-a-ball knock. Ramiz Aziz (3) joined Khurram Shehzad but fast bowler Umaid Asif removed the former to leave Sindh gasping at 58-4. Test-discard Adnan Akmal (2) then got run out before Raza Hasan had international allrounder Aamer Yamin (6) to leave Sindh tottering at 74-6.
Left-arm pacer Waqas Maqsood then got a vital wicket of Bilal Asif (8) to reduce Sindh to 83-7 in 27th over. In his next over Waqas further brought Federal Areas close to victory when he had Mohammad Asghar (2), trapped lbw.
Agha Salman then got rid of Khurram Shehzad (25) when he was stumped by wicketkeeper Abid Ali. Khurram struck one four from 50 balls. In the next over Waqas removed Mohammad Irfan (1) to seal a solid win for his side.
Waqas (3-14) and Agha Salman (3-8) bowled extremely well. Left-arm leg-spinner Raza Hasan ably backed them by taking 2-33 in ten overs.
Earlier international allroudner Aamir Yamin created cracks in Federal Areas top order when he had the key man Kamran Akmal (0) off his second ball of the innings before test seamer Junaid Khan removed Awais Zia for nine to leave them in deep trouble. However it was Abid Ali who stayed like a rock, keeping one end to take his side to a fighting total in the end.
Abid smashed 13 fours in his 145-ball sensible century. He shared 58 runs for the third wicket with hard-hitting Pakistan’s discard Sohaib Maqsood who chipped in with 40-ball 34 which had two fours and one six. Waqas Maqsood (29*) and Agha Salman (26) were the others who showed some resistance with the willow. Waqas, who is a fast bowler, smashed three fours and one six from 17 balls while Agha Salman, who remained impressive in the PSL-3, struck one six and one four from 34 deliveries. International left-arm pacer Mohammad Irfan (2-28), spinners Bilal Asif (2-54) and test seamer Junaid Khan (2-63) bowled intelligently.
Ahmed Shahab and Shozab Reza supervised the match. Ahsan Raza served as television umpire and Mohammad Sajid acted as reserve umpire. Mohammad Javed was the match referee. On Monday (today) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will take on Balochistan in another vital clash of the five-team event being held in a simmering heat.