CHI - Pakistan's top batsmen and fast bowlers would be seen in action in the final of the RBS Pentangular Cup One-Day cricket which will be played between favourite Punjab Stallions and a strong Federal Areas Leopards here on Wednesday at the National Stadium.
Punjab Stallions, which reached final unbeaten in the league stage, had depth in batting and a good pace and spin attack.
Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed Adnan Raza and skipper Shoaib Malik will provide the batting depth while young Muhammad Talha, Junaid Zia, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz will lead the pace attack. Shoaib Malik, Abdul Rehman and Mansoor Amjad will handle the spin attack.
Pakistan and Punjab skipper Shoaib Malik has emerged the best all-rounder in the competition. He is leading the run aggregate with 262 which included a hundred and two fifties. He has also taken eight wickets in the league round.
Federal Areas Leopards led by pacer Shoaib Akhtar look weak in batting but have strong pace attack which will be led by the skipper himself. He would be supported by Sohail Tanveer and Rao Iftikhar Anjum and Yasir Arafat. Saeed Ajmal will be lone spinner in the playing eleven.
The weather in the city is ideal for the fifty-overs-a-side competition. The temperatures are low and sun is shining. The weather bureau has predicted sunny and cloudless day for the final.
Besides the coveted trophy the two teams will also be vying for the winners prize purse of Rs. 1.5 million which is the biggest ever in a limited overs match in a national competition.
The PCB selectors are expected to be in full force to witness the final and asses the performance and fitness of the players. They would be specially assessing the fitness of Shoaib Akhtar who for the first time had played in a competition without getting unfit. His physical fitness would be tested against good batting side.
The match starts at 9.30 in the morning.
Toss is expected to play a vital part in the outcome of the competition.
The captain calling the toss correctly is expected to send the opponents in. The weather and atmosphere in the morning of a winter day at the National Stadium always support the swing and seam bowling.
An interesting day's cricket would be on the menu in the final.
FEDERAL AREAS LEOPARDS: Shoaib Akhtar(Captain); Raheel Majeed; Umair Khan; Baber Naeem; Umer Ameen; Usman Saeed; Bazid Khan; Yasir Arafat; Sohail Tanvir; Rao Iftikhar (Vice Captain); Saeed Ajmal; Afaq Raheem; Fiaz Ahmed; Immad Wasim; Naeem Anjum (Wicket Keeper). Reserves: Muhammad Salman (Wicket Keeper); Aqeel Ahmed
PUNJAB STALLIONS: Shoaib Malik (Captain); Salman Butt (Vice Captain); Nasir Jamshed; Ahmed Shahzad; Azhar Ali; Umer Akmal; Adnan Raza; Mansoor Amjad; Muhammad Talha; Junaid Zia; Wahab Riaz; Abdul Rehman; Sarfraz Ahmed; Kamran Younis; Kamran Akmal (Wicket Keeper)
Reserves: Adnan Akmal (Wicket Keeper); Sohail Ahmed
Umpires: Akram Raza and Mian Aslam
Referee: Ilyas Khan
TV Umpire: Kamal Merchant
Scorer: Mohammad Ahsan