Bears end Panthers’ resistance in nail-biting finish

Bilal Memon April 27, 2010

KARACHI: Balochistan Bears withstood Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s resistance and sneaked home in the nail-biter by four runs in the last over of their RBS Pentangular One Day Cup match at National Stadium Karachi.

Panthers were reduced to 111 for seven while chasing 188 courtesy Rizwan Haider’s five wickets. However, Zohaib Khan (41) and Khalid Usman (25) added 52 in a defiant eight-wicket stand to keep the Bears at bay. It was only after captain Abdur Rauf broke the partnership and then claimed Zohaib’s wicket as well to bring Balochistan back in the game. But it was the left-arm fastbowler Haider, playing his 15th List-A match, who tore apart the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s batting order with five for 31 in 10 overs as Balochistan went from 56 for one to 87 for six.

Choosing to bat first, the Bears crawled towards the fiftymark, losing three wickets in the process. Imran Khan, who began the collapse with the crucial wicket of Taufeeq Umar (seven), dismissed the other opener as well as Balochistan found runs hard to come by. Zohaib got in the act as well, picking up Abid Ali before Khalid Usman had Saeed Anwar junior caught by wicketkeeper Ahmed Said to reduce Balochistan to 59 for four. Meanwhile, Rameez Alam (86) continued to power through as wickets fell at the other end, waiting for an able partner.

After Gulraiz Sadaf was dismissed, Balochistan were running out of batsmen but Rizwan Haider (24) gave the support to Rameez, adding 57 runs for the seventh wicket. Rameez battled on, hitting 10 boundaries and was the last man out as Balochistan finished with 187. Imran, who dismissed both openers, added another big fish to his tally when he had Rameez to finish with three for 25. Khalid picked up three wickets for 38.

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