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December 6, 2018

Pakistan lose Veterans WC final in a thriller


December 6, 2018

KARACHI: Pakistan went down fighting against hosts Australia in the final of the Over-50 World Cup Cricket Tournament, losing the pulsating encounter only by three runs at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney on Wednesday.

According to information available here chasing a target of 166 in 45 overs, Pakistan recovered from 94 for nine to be bowled for 162 in 42.4 overs. The last pair added no less than 68 runs with Babar Butt scoring 46 off 59 balls and Imtiaz Tarar remaining unbeaten on 28 off 54 balls. Pakistan had become the favourites to lift the trophy when the requirement was down to just a few runs with plenty of deliveries in hand. But final twist came in the 43rd over when John Short trapped Babar Butt leg before wicket and Australia won the game by the skin of their teeth. The Pakistan team did not look happy at the umpire’s decision.

At the conclusion of the final, the Australian captain, Peter Solway, received the winning trophy while Babar Butt of Pakistan was declared Man of the Match.Solway was also declared the best batsman of the tournament while Stephen Foster (England), Javed Hafeez (Pakistan) and Mason Robinson (New Zealand) were adjudged the best bowler, the best fielder and the wicketkeeper respectively.

It was in the fitness of things that the grand final of the tournament, contested between the only two unbeaten unfits, went to the wire and Pakistan came perilously close to spoiling the party for the home side.

Australia fought back after a shaky start to post a fighting total of 165. It were the fine knocks from the trio of Tony Clark (44 off 77 balls), Joseph Santostefano (33 off 55 balls) and Todd O’Keefe (25 off 38 balls) which repaired the damage for Australia after they had lost their first three batsmen with only 26 runs on the board.

Dastagir Butt jolted Australia by picking up a couple of wickets in his opening spell of five overs while left-arm spinner Jaffer Qureshi was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers with the figures of three for 25 off six overs with Sagheer Abbas, Javed Hafeez, Zafar Ali and Imtiaz Tarar being the other successful bowlers.

Pakistan also got off to a dreaded start to their innings as three of their prolific batsmen, Shahid Anwar, Ghulam Ali and Sajid Ali, perished without making any significant contribution.

Australia was firmly in control of the game when the ninth Pakistani wicket fell at the total of 94. The match came into life as Pakistan’s last wicket pair of Babar Butt and Imtiaz Tarar inched towards the target.

The bowling honours for Australia were shared between John Short (3-27), William Blair (2-33) and Tony Clark (2-34).

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