KARACHI: Hosts Rawalpindi claimed a comfortable eight-wicket win over Peshawar in their One Day Cup for regions clash at the Pindi Stadium.
Shadab Khan (3-25), Sohail Tanvir (2-31) and Muhammad Ramiz (2-47) shared the wickets among themselves as Rawalpindi dismissed Peshawar for just 180 in 42.4 overs, justifying their decision to bowl first. Khalid Usman scored the lone half-century of the innings with 66 off 57 balls, while opener Israrullah anchored the innings with 49 off 68 balls.
However, there was precious little to write home about other than these two as the Pindi bowlers ran through Peshawar.
The match was reduced to 43 overs a side due to a wet outfield but the chase was never really in much doubt as Rawalpindi scored 183-2 in just 30.5 overs after being powered by half-centuries by Naved Malik (83 not out off 90 balls) and Sohaib Maqsood (65).
The match at the Margazar Ground in Islamabad was almost a carbon copy of the Pindi Stadium, with Karachi Blues defeating Lahore Whites by five wickets.
Lahore was put into bat by Karachi Blues and their bowlers followed the exact same script as Rawalpindi; dismissing their opponents for 180 to set up a simple chase. Once again the wickets were shared between the bowlers, with young left-arm spinner Muhammad Asghar impressing the most with figures of 3-16.
With the match reduced to 46 overs, Khurram Manzoor and Saud Shakeel ensured the result was never in doubt, both scoring impressive half-centuries as skipper Manzoor finished with an unbeaten 77 off 70 balls and Shakeel scoring 67 off 85 balls. The two ended the chase in just 33.4 overs despite Ahmed Bashir claiming 3-30.
At the KRL Stadium, the other Karachi team, Karachi Whites, also got the better of the other Lahore team, Lahore Blues.
Karachi Whites scored 240 before being dismissed in the 46th, and final, over of the shortened game. Anwar Ali made 67 off just 68 balls, while Shahzaib Hasan scored an attacking 49 to help the side register a steep total.
In reply, Lahore Blues were skittled over for just 170 as Danish Aziz and Tabish Khan claimed three wickets apiece while giving away just 28 and 34 runs respectively to hand Karachi a resounding 70-run win.
“It is great for the team to have won three matches in a row; this shows that the players are in form and are even playing well in such wet and cold conditions,” said Karachi Whites captain Akbarur Rehman. “The weather in Karachi is different from here. Tabish has been outstanding till now and I hope he stays fit and continues his form in the next matches.”
He added that the side is lucky that rain isn’t washing out the matches entirely. “Rain is affecting the outfield and the game but it is good that we are at least getting matches to play rather than having matches abandoned,” he said. “We are hopeful that we will end up taking the trophy to Karachi.”
In the day’s final match, hosts Islamabad pulled off a superb chase, much to the delight of their fans at the Diamond Ground.
FATA had scored 266-6 in their 43 overs, with Khushdil Shah scoring 108 off 114 balls to power the chase, but the Islamabad batsmen all chipped in with vital contributions to help their side reach the score off the last ball of the game.
What was even more impressive was that only one batsman, Faizan Riaz (51), scored a half-century for Islamabad as others came up with handy knocks.