KARACHI: Opener Salman Butt inspired WAPDA to their first-ever Quaid-e-Azam Trophy title thanks to their first innings lead against HBL on Thursday at the National Stadium of Karachi.
Needing just a draw to win the elusive title after taking a lead in the first innings, WAPDA’s captain Butt scored his second century of the match as he finished with a patient 105 not out off 337 balls, helping the eventual winners finish the last day on the score of 198 for three.
The 32-year-old had earlier scored 125 in the first innings, which gave WAPDA a decisive lead of 42 runs.
The left-hander was well supported by middle-order batsmen Mohammad Sajjad and Aamer Sajjad, who collectively faced 276 balls and spent crucial time at the crease with Butt.
Butt was declared man of the match, whereas fellow teammate Kamran Akmal was declared the best batsman of the tournament with his 1035 runs.
KRL’s Muhammad Abbas was declared the best bowler of the tournament.
Winning side received the winning trophy along with Rs 2.5 million, while HBL, who finished as the runners up were awarded Rs 1.5 million.
Butt, talking after the match, praised his player’s effort which led WAPDA to their first title. “All the players in the team played their role in a really good manner that led us to this victory,” said Butt.
“We were in trouble when we lost two wickets but then we got the hold on the crease and won the match. Each batman played their role to take WAPDA to lead the first innings that helped us in winning this match.”
Butt further added that the purpose of this tournament was to give team Pakistan new players. “I am glad that I was able to perform in the tournament after a long time as this was my comeback,” he said.
“This team was not able to win the title in the previous editions. I was with the team in the last season as well, but was not allowed to play and the energy was missing which we had in this season.”
Meanwhile, HBL captain said that he is happy with the team performance despite failing to win the title. “The boys played really well in the end,” said Abdur Rehman. “We faced some trouble in the pool matches, but when we reached the super eight round, the team started performing well.
“We tried to get wickets on the final day by putting close catchers but we missed some chances. Still, I am glad that the team reached the final and gave a tough time to the WAPDA team.”
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