Despite career best 168: Latif disappointed as KPK make it to final

17-year-old Sameen Gul over the moon as his two wickets help side to narrow win

Nabil Tahir April 29, 2016
Latif’s unbeaten 168 single-handedly took his side to the brink of victory but it was not to be as Sindh tasted defeat for the first time in the Pakistan Cup. PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

FAISALABAD: While man-of-the-match Khalid Latif was disappointed that Sindh ended up on the losing side, KPK’s 17-year-old Sameen Gul was delighted at claiming his first wickets at the senior level during the side’s matches at the Pakistan Cup in Faisalabad.

Gul’s 2-37 against Sindh helped his side to a narrow seven-wicket win as the fast-bowler dismissed the in-form Khurram Manzoor early on before coming back to claim the prized scalp of Fawad Alam (74).

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His second strike was particularly important as it ended Alam’s 164-run stand with Latif that had threatened to chase down the steep 320-run target despite the two coming together with the score at 22-3.

Latif’s unbeaten 168-run knock is the third-highest in list A history in Pakistan while chasing; after Naved Malik’s 179 and Asif Zakir’s 176 not out.

“I am happy to score this much and get near the domestic record but this century did not help my team win so I am upset about that,” Latif told The Express Tribune. “I did not enjoy my inning as much as I would have had we won.”

Apart from Latif and Alam, only all-rounder Bilal Asif (21) and bowler Sohail Khan (25) were able to reach double figures. “We were so very near to victory; the batsmen should have stayed on the crease. Fawad and I were able to score only because we tried to stay on the crease and read the wicket,” he said.

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However, the right-hander is already looking forward to the next match. “A win against Punjab will send us through to the final so I hope we play well.”

For Gul though, the two wickets were a dream come true. “When I came out onto the field, I had one thing on my mind and that was to claim the wickets of the players who have been scoring runs for Sindh,” he said. “I had a feeling that I could dismiss Manzoor so I was elated when I got him.”

The second wicket, though, was even sweeter. “That was the best moment of my career; I was happier since I broke the Latif-Alam partnership,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2016.

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