RAWALPINDI - Imad Wasim and Umar Gul carved out sensational 17-run victory for Islamabad against Lahore Eagles in the Faysal Bank Twenty20 for Regions 2014 played here at Pindi Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Lahore Eagles were firm favourites to win this particular tie keeping in mind some top names in their squad, but Imad Wasim, Umar Gul and Rana Shahzad destroyed Lahore batting with some hostile fast bowling and combination of left arm spin.
Chasing 119 runs for victory, Lahore Eagles could only score 101-9 in 20 overs. Test player Taufeeq Umar was top scorer with 41 while Azhar Ali added 19 and Abid Ali 14. Imad Wasim took 3-16, Umar Gul 3-18 and Rana Shahzad 2-10. Imad was named player of the match. Last over of Lahore Eagles proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Earlier, Lahore skipper Imran Farhat won the toss and decided to bowl first. Islamabad made worst possible start to their innings as they lost opener Ali Sarfraz on the very first delivery. All the top order batsmen continued to throw away wickets on regular intervals, they could have restricted to below 100 runs had Naeem not played a whirlwind innings in the last over in which Islamabad managed to score 23 runs. He hit two fours and one six in his 15 runs unbeaten innings in only four balls to help Islamabad post 118-7. Faizan Riaz made 24, Imad Wasim unbeaten 23 and Junaid Nadir 21. M Khalil took 2-19.
Earlier, in the first match played at Pindi Stadium which was reduced to just five overs a side due to wet ground, one of the major upsets was witnessed as strong Abbottabad Falcons had to taste defeat at the hands of debutants Dera Murad Jamli.
Put into bat first, Dera Murad Jamli scored 35-5 in the allotted overs. M Ayub and Sanaullah made 8 runs each while Abid Ali made unbeaten 7. Yasir Shah and Fazal Rabi took two wickets each. Abbottabad could manage to score only 24 runs in the allotted overs for the loss of seven wickets. Yasir Hameed and Younus Khan could not save the blushes of Abbottabad.
Kamran Sajid and Shabbir Ali took two wickets each. Kamran Sajid was named man of the match.
Earlier at Diamond Cricket Ground, Karachi Zebras remained very lucky to win a nail-biting encounter against Fata by just one run. The match was reduced to 14 overs aside due to wet out field. Put into bat first, Karachi scored 97-5 in the allotted overs. Test discarded Hasan Raza made 45 while skipper Faisal Iqbal added 20. Asif Afridi took 3-11. Fata were bowled out for 96 runs on the final delivery. Khushdil Shah made 38. Akber-ur-Rehman, Tabish Khan and Shahzaib Hasan got two wickets each.
At National cricket ground, Quetta beat Hyderabad by five wickets in another rain-effected 16 overs a side match. Put into bat first, Hyderabad were bowled out for 99 runs in 15.5 overs. Azeem Ghuman made 27 while Mir Ali added 18.
Nazar Hussain and Ghulam Muhammad grabbed three wickets each. Quetta achieved the target on the second last bowl losing five wickets. Bismillah Khan hammered 51. Nazar Hussain was named man of the match.
At Marghazar ground, Mighty Sialkot Stallions gave a cricketing lesson to new boys Larkana by thrashing with 97 runs. Put into bat first, Sialkot posted a huge total of 166-6. Sharjeel Khan made unbeaten 54, Shahid Yousaf 39 and Haris Sohail 34 runs. Zahid Mehmood and Ghulam Yasin got two wickets each.
Larkana could only score 69-9 in 20 overs. Zafar Ali made 20. Bilawal Bhatti rattled Larkana batting taking 3-7 while Sarfraz, Raza Hasan and Abdul Rehman took two wickets each. People throng Pindi Stadium in quite a few numbers despite the local side was not in action. Around 10,000 strong crowd was present at the venue, cheering for the sister city Islamabad, which put a new lease of life in their camp and they took full advantage of the crowd-backing to register thumping victory.