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May 2, 2018

Pakistan Cricket Cup: Kamran hammers 170 off 96 balls


May 2, 2018

KARACHI: Skipper Kamran Akmal blasted 170 off 96 balls to put Federal Areas in the final when they overwhelmed Punjab by seven wickets in their day-night outing of Pakistan Cup National One-day Cricket Championship at Iqbal Stadium Faisalabad on Tuesday.

The test wicket-keeper hammered 11 sixes and 15 fours in his expolsive knock as Federal Areas romped to their third straight win when they chased the 307-run target in 35.1 overs after losing three wickets in the process.

Earlier test stumper Mohammad Rizwan hit his career-best 140 to guide Punjab to 306 all out in 48.2 overs. Left-arm paceman Usman Shinwari got 5-51 in 9.2 overs. Chasing a fighting total on the batting pitch Kamran did some merciless hitting, punishing every bowler over the park with an enviable ease. Kamran, who hit his second century of the tournament and 21st of his List A career, dominated a 104-run opening stand with the last match centurian Abid Ali (30) who got run out. Abid smacked four fours from 41 balls. After losing Sarmad Bhatti (5) soon afterwards, Kamran then put on 65 for the third wicket association with international hard-hitting batsman Sohaib Maqsood to make the target easier for Federal Areas. Leg-spinner Usama Mir got rid of Kamran at a stage when he had already put his side within strking distance of a well-deserved victory. And Sohaib completed the rest of the work with his tremendous power-hitting as the 31-year old Multan-born batsman hammered seven sixes and five fours in his blistering 41-ball 77 not out to make his sdie home. Hussain Talat remained not out on 14. The 22-year old Usama Mir got 2-96 in his quota of ten overs. Left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti conceded 91 runs in ten overs. After being invited to bat first when Kamran Akmal won the toss Punjab lost a couple of quick wickets. Left-arm pacer Usman Khan Shinwari gave an early breakthrough to Federal Areas when he got rid of Zain Abbas (4) cheaply.

Soon afterwards leg-spinner Raza Hasan held Sahibzada Farhan (21) off his own bowling to reduce Punjab to 38-2 in the 12th over. However at this stage Mohammad Rizwan (140) and Asif Ali (64) batted with great responsibility and shared 168 for the third wicket association to pave way for Punjab to put a huge total on the board. Usman Shinwari broke the dangerous partnership when he bowled Asif after the highly talented batsman had hammered four sixes and two fours in his run-a-ball knock.

Rizwan, who hit his second century of the event, then added 67 for the fourth wicket with Shoaib Malik before the former lost his wicket as a result of a big mix-up. Rizwan smashed three sixes and 16 fours in his 123-ball best effort in List A career. Left-arm pacer Waqas Maqsood then got rid of Sohail Akhtar (2) to reduce Punjab to 280-5 in 43.2 overs. In the next over Hussain Talat also removed skipper Shoaib Malik who hammered 33-ball 40 with three fours and one six. Usman Shinwari then blew the tail to fold Punjab for 306 in 48.2 overs. Kamran Akmal was declared man of the match. Ahmed Shahab and Ahsan Raza supervised the matcn. Asif Yaqoob acted as television umpire and Khalid Mehmmod as reserve umpire. Iftikhar Ahmed was the match referee. On Wednesday (today), Sindh will take on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in another vital game.

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