KARACHI: Sindh Dolphins lifted the Pentangular Cup, beating Balochistan Bears by 78 runs in a one-sided final at the National Stadium Karachi.
Sindh, who won all their league matches en route to the final, would have expected the Bears to challenge for the title after being dismissed for a below-par 270. Balochistan, however, collapsed from 37 for no wicket to 73 for eight courtesy Danish Kaneria and Lal Kumar and were eventually bowled out for 192 in the 44th over.
Abid Ali (63) and Abdur Rauf (55) shared an irritating 110-run partnership for the eighth wicket to put some respectability to the otherwisedisappointing performance by Balochistan. After Rauf was dismissed for an impressive half-century, Azam Hussain picked up his second by claiming the stubborn Ali to seal the contest. Kaneria, fresh from a six-wicket haul earlier in the tournament, took three for 36 while Kumar claimed three wickets as well.
Earlier, Sindh’s total was courtesy of decent contributions from most batsmen. Though the openers and the tournament’s highest runscorers were dismissed early – Khurram Manzoor (nine) and Shahzaib Hasan (23) – Asad Shafiq and Tanvir Ahmed ensured Sindh stayed on track. Shafiq hit three boundaries in a 59-ball 40 while Ahmed was run out three runs short of a half-century. At 137 for four, captain Faisal Iqbal (43) and Hasan Raza (61) combined to take the score past 200 in the 44th over. Iqbal, who had so far made 73 in four matches, hit his highest score of the tournament while Raza continued with his good form to ensure Sindh finished with a formidable total.
When Iqbal was out to Zulfiqar Babar, Sindh were 202 for five. Meanwhile, Sarfraz Ahmed then increased the scoring rate with a quick 18 off 12 balls to take the score to 237. Kumar gave the final impetus to the innings with a 33-run stand in 16 balls to take the total to 270 as Raza remained not out. Mohammad Irfan, who bore the brunt of the big hits, finished with a brace for 57 in eight expensive overs. Babar, 31, finished as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with 15 wickets in five games but failed to inspire his side to a win.