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Big-hitting Umar powers Omar CC to KG T20 semis


June 10, 2018

KARACHI: Pakistan’s celebrated power hitter Umar Akmal played a gem of a knock for Omar Cricket Club as they edged out New Al Habib Cricket Club by one run in the most thrilling quarter-final yet of Karachi Gymkhana Ramadan Festival T20 here at the KG Cricket Ground on Saturday.

Omar CC joined Qasmi Gymkhana and hosts Karachi Gymkhana in the semi-final line-up which will be completed by the winners of the Agha Steel-Sparco Paints quarter-final on Sunday (today).

The semi-finals are scheduled to be held on Monday (tomorrow) and Tuesday and the final on Wednesday.

Umar, who opened the Omar CC innings, smashed four sixes and seven fours in his breathtaking 75 off 42 balls, which set the platform for the eventual total of 216 for five. He was adjudged the Man of the Match.

Qasmi Gymkhana responded aggressively and the match was wide open until the very end. They were only one run short of the big target when last man Nadir Shan was run out by Danish Aziz on the penultimate ball of the final over.

Opener Bismillah Khan got Qasmi Gymkhana going with his typically explosive 48 off 20 balls. He struck three sixes and five fours. The momentum was sustained by Saim Ayub (42 off 29 balls) and Tariq Haroon (49 off 26 balls) as they raced to 115 off 10 overs, needing 102 in the last 10.

They put themselves in the driving seat by scoring 38 in the next three overs which brought down the target to 64 off the last seven. But they were jolted by left-arm spinners Ali Asghar (4-40), Lal Kumar (2-22) and Faraz Ahmed Khan (2-46).

Even Yasir Ali’s unbeaten 23 off 15 balls was not enough as he ran out of partners in the end.

Omar CC, who chose to bat after calling correctly, amassed 116 for the loss of one wicket in the first 10 overs and got exactly 100 in the last 10.

Opener Ahsan Ali scored a breezy 33 off 17 balls. Rameez Raja (39 off 24 balls), Usman Khan (36 off 13 balls) and Danish Aziz (27 off 21 balls) kept up the high rate of scoring.

All the bowlers were punished but off-spinner Haris Ayaz had the satisfaction of picking up a couple of wickets.

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