Scintillating Shahzad powers HBL to final of one day cup

Discarded batsman hammers six sixes and 17 fours in match-winning 166


Our Correspondent December 31, 2016

KARACHI: Ahmad Shahzad played perhaps the finest innings of his List A career to lead HBL to the final of the National One Day Cup tournament against SNGPL.

The first semi-final was turned into a one-sided affair by Shahzad’s belligerence as his 166 — six sixes and 17 fours — made light work of the 285-run target that the Bankers were set at the National Stadium of Karachi.

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Batting first, SNGPL were well served by all-rounder Imran Khalid, who hit a 79-ball unbeaten knock of 105 to take his team to a challenging total of 284-8 in the allotted 50 overs. Opener Imran Butt scored 81 while captain Mohammad Hafeez contributed 49.

However, Khalid’s superb innings was to be overshadowed by what was to come later. HBL’s chase revolved around a 152-run second wicket alliance between Shahzad and opener Fakhar Zaman who scored 61. The chase was duly completed in 46.1 overs as Shahzad turned a tricky target into a cruise.

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SSGC join HBL in the final after defeating WAPDA in a low scoring semi-final at the National Bank Ground in Karachi.

WAPDA were dismissed for only 145 runs in a match reduced to 45 overs due to dew. Aamer Sajjad fought a lone battle as the batsmen around him found the pitch difficult to negotiate. Ahmed Jamal, Zaffar Gohar and Shoaib Malik took two wickets apiece for SSGC.

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The target was chased down in just 29.3 overs as the pitch eased once the early morning moisture dried out of the surface. Opener Awais Zia scored 59 runs while the experienced middle-order duo of Fawad Alam (34) and Australia-bound ODI squad member Malik (33) saw their team home with an unbeaten 65-run stand for the fifth wicket.

The final will be played at the National Stadium on Monday.

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