Pakistan Domestic: Wills Cup Semi Final

Pakistan Domestic: Wills Cup Semi Final

Post by Salman [Ustad] Azha » Tue, 11 Mar 1997 04:00:00

Friday, March 7, 1997

         National Bank drub Faisalabad

           to reach 16th Wills Cup final

                      From Imtiaz Sipra

LAHORE: National Bank, winners of the Wills Cup in 1992 and 1994, get
one more chance to claim this premier one-day title in Pakistan when they
defeated Faisalabad by an emphatic 82 runs in the first semi-final of the 16th
Wills Cup under floodlights at the Qaddafi Stadium here on Thursday night.
Initially, bolstered by the flamboyance of Saeed Azad, Sajid Ali and the
outrageous Akhtar Sarfraz, for a match winning total of 289 in allotted 50
overs; NBP, well served by their bowlers, bowled out Faisalabad in 45.1
over for 207 to make their third appearance in the Wills Cup final.

Set to score a daunting 5.80 runs per over, Faisalabad were never in the
chase after being 36-3 in only the 11th over; though their main batsman Ijaz
Mahmood did express a flickering intent to take the charge to NBP, through
that one over where he took 14 runs off Athar Laeeq through three fours in
five balls. But with Athar taking a sweet revenge on the very first ball of the
next over to have Ijaz caught at long-off by Akhtar Sarfraz, the die was cast,
with the Faisalabad defeat very much on the cards.

All this appeared bar the shouting but for a defiant 58 stand between skipper
Naseer Shuakat and Hamid Iqbal for the 7th wicket after the top six batsmen
had been accounted for only 105 in the 26th over. But when Naseer holed
out Salman Fazal at 163 off the last ball of the 35th over, the Faisalabad
charge had been stalled good and truly. Hamid Iqbal run out in the 40th over
signaled the end of the Faisalabad resistent and the whole team was bowled
out in the 45.1 overs for a total of 207 runs. For NBP, Naeem Ashraf
bowled the best, his 10-1-22-1 being the best and most penetrating bowling
where most batsmen just hung their bats and missed. His statistics would
have been more flattering but for those six NB and 5 wides.

Earlier, winning the toss, NBP reached a good total of 289-6 in the allotted
50 overs; thanks to three swashbuckling batsman who capitalised on some
very friendly and at times lose bowling by the Faisalabad lads, appearing in
their first ever semi final. The batting strip appreciably in favour of the
batsmen, was made good use off by Saeed Azad, Sajid Ali and Akhtar
Sarfraz, through unimaginative field placing and putrid fielding by Faisalabad
lads allowed the NBP batsman to steer the balls through wide gaps, lofted
hits over close in fielders.

Shahid and Sajid started the innings against Naseer and Saadat Gul and were
given a reprieve when Sajid was dropped by Ijaz Mahmood at third man off
Naseer when only 6 in the 3rd over on the match. Though the break through
came in the 8th over when Shahid was neatly picked up by Ijaz in the first
slip, it was more than 25 overs later that Faisalabad could earn another
wicket. And not before, Sajid had added 134 very valuable runs for the
second wicket with man of the match Saeed Azad, Sajid let off a second
time when on 47.

Saeed, 65 not out when Sajid departed, made an exact hundred taking a
cheeky single in 109 balls in 44 overs. His was an innings of grace, power
and beauty, short ones were pulled pitch up driven through the line of the ball
and even though their was too much right hand in his driving he found gaps at
will in that a strange field placing by the Faisalabad captain. His was classic
batting given the bowling resources, communicating a sense of enjoyment.
Saeed reached his fifty in 69 balls through 6x4 and was out trying to pace the
innings in the closing overs. He added 76 runs in only 73 balls with Akhtar
Sarfraz 34 not out that time. Akhtar's was an innings of the situation, blended
with some outrageous strokes, moments of daring and planned improvisation.
His and Saeed Azad's charge brought 84 runs to the NBP total in last ten





Played at Qaddafi Stadium, Lahore (D/N)

March 6, 1997

National Bank won toss

National Bank Runs Balls 4s 6s

*Shahid Anwar c Ijaz b Saadat 13 30 1 -

Sajid Ali c Shahzad b Hamid 75 91 8 -

Saeed Azad c Saadat b Naseer 100 110 12 -

Akhtar Sarfraz lbw b Fida 61 54 5 1

Muhamm194, 9-200

Bowling: Athar 8-1-36-1; Naeem 10-1-22-1 (6nb, 5w); Aleem 7-0-34-3
(5w); Salman 9.1-1-46-3; Javed 8-0-46-1 (2w); Sajid 3-0-18-1 (1w)

Result: National Bank won by 82 runs

Man of the Match: Saeed Azad (National Bank)

Umpires: Khizer Hayat and Muhammad Nazir Jr. TV replays: Mian
Muhammad Aslam. Match referee: Agha Zahid. Official scorer: Saqib Irfan

Salman Azhar, PhD
Currently: Principal Engineer, Eaton Corporation
"A human achieves nothing, except what he strives for."