KARACHI: Danish Kaneria’s career best figures ensured Sindh Dolphins defeated Punjab Stallions by four wickets and go through to the final of the RBS Pentangular One Day Cup at the National Stadium.
Kaneria, who grabbed six wickets for the first time in List A matches, was ably supported by Anwar Ali, who took three for 30 to contain Punjab to 199 before Sindh chased down the target in the 46th over. With their tournament’s fourth straight victory, Sindh finish at the top of the points table and will face Balochistan Bears in the final today. Bears finished second with three wins in four games. The 200-run target was not much but Sindh were made to work hard. After Khurram Manzoor (48) and Shahzaib Hasan (24) took their team to 41, two quick wickets halted their charge. Aqeel Anjum came and went after Shahzaib was bowled by Raza Hasan.
Manzoor, however, continued with his good form adding another 59 runs with skipper Faisal Iqbal (31) before both fell within the space of 17 runs. But Sheharyar Ghani (44) added 46 with Saeed bin Nasir as Punjab slipped out of the game. Another two wickets spiced things up a bit, as Sindh were reduced to 177 for six. But wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed (11) and Anwar (20) made sure there were no further hiccups as they knocked off the remaining runs in 21 balls.
Earlier, Stallions, led by opener Nasir Jamshed in the absence of regular Imran Farhat, were off to the worst possible start with the left-hander bowled by Ali on the first ball of the match. Kamran Younis was dismissed on five by Ali again before his new ball partner, Tabish Khan, reduced Punjab to 32 for three. Naeemuddin (73) and Aamer Sajjad (64) then put Punjab back on track with a 124-run fourth wicket partnership to take the score to 156 in the 35th over. But Ali came back to break the stand before Kaneria took charge and derailed the innings. Punjab collapsed to 199 all out as Pakistan’s leading spinner claimed the last six wickets and cleaned up the tail.