Fakhar, bowlers help KP to lift Pakistan Cup

AHORE - High-flying Khyber Pakhtunkhwa outclassed struggling Punjab by 151 runs in the final to clinch the Pakistan Cup title at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium on Sunday.

It was an excellent performance by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who outplayed Punjab in every department of the game and became the crowned champions of the inaugural Pakistan Cup One-Day Tournament.

Punjab started their run chase in the worst possible manner and were restricted to only 160 runs in 36.1 overs. Zia-ul-Haq provided KP early breakthroughs as he first sent opener Salman Butt (0) packing in the second ball of the second over and then then dismissed Aamer Yamin, who along with Shan Masood contributed 24 runs for the second-wicket partnership.

Punjab team couldn’t set a big partnership which could help them in registering the title victory. Asad Shafiq, who is known as cool and consistent batsman, couldn’t stay at the crease for long, and could add just 12 runs for the third-wicket partnership and was dismissed by Fahim Ashraf at his individual score of 16. In the very next over, Shan, who was playing the KP bowlers at his will and scoring runs freely, was clean-bowled by M Asghar when his team was struggling at the total of 55. Shan scored 36 run off 40 balls with the help of five fours.

After that, no Punjab batsmen could resist the magical bowling of KP bowlers and kept on losing their wickets cheaply. Captain Shoaib Malik and Rizwan though tried to play a pivotal role in chasing the huge target, yet both couldn’t do so and lost their wickets one after another as in the 20th over, Malik (24) was dismissed by Yasir Shah while M Rizwan (22) was bowled out by Zohaib Khan.

At the time when Punjab were struggling at 119-8 in the 26th over, it seemed they could hardly add a few more runs and would lose their wickets quickly, but their tail-enders resisted KP bowlers well and kept on contributing more and more runs in their team’s total. After playing almost 10 overs, first Zulfiqar Babar (29) was dismissed by Zohaib Khan and then Ehsan Adil (5) gifted his wicket to Yasir Shah. Kashif Bhatti remained unbeaten for 15 runs.

Zohaib Khan and Yasir Shah emerged as the key bowlers for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as both grabbed three wickets each while Zia-ul-Haq bagged two and Fahim Ashraf and M Asghar got one wicket each.

Earlier, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa won the toss and decided to bat first. Swashbuckling century by opener Fakhar Zaman and tremendous half century by another opener Ahmed Shehzad helped their team post a mammoth total of 311-9 in the allotted 50 overs. Zaman gathered his sparkling 111-ball 115 runs by hitting 12 boundaries and three sixes whereas Shehzad played 45 balls to collect 62 smashing seven fours and two sixes.

KP captain Younus Khan missed out on his half century as he was dismissed after contributing 49 runs with the blade. Amad Butt clinched three wickets for 55 while Ehsan Adil bagged two wickets for 75 and Aamer Yamin, Kashif Bhatti and captain Shoaib Malik got one wicket each.

The best all-rounder of the tournament award was won by Zohaib Khan, the best batsman of the tournament award by Ahmed Shehzad, the best bowler of the tournament award was shared between Zohaib Khan (KP) and M Aamir (Sindh) and the man of the final award went to Fakhar Zaman for his brilliant century.



Ahmed Shehzad st Rizwan b Kashif 62
Fakhar Zaman c sub b Ehsan 115
Zohaib Khan c Amad b Malik 12
Younus Khan c Shan b Amad 49
Fahim Ashraf lbw b Ehsan 31
Musadiq Ahmed c Amad b Yamin 19
Bismillah Khan c Saif b Amad 5
Yasir Shah b Amad 4
Sameen Gul run out 0
M Asghar not out 4
EXTRAS: (lb3, w6, nb1) 10
TOTAL: (9 wickets; 50 overs) 311
FOW: 1-118, 2-156, 3-208, 4-265, 5-288, 6-298, 7-305, 8-305, 9-311
BOWLING: Aamer Yamin 6-0-49-1, Ehsan Adil 10-0-75-2, Zulfiqar Babar 10-0-63-0, Amad Butt 10-0-55-3, Kashif Bhatti 6-0-32-1, Shoaib Malik 8-0-34-1
Shan Masood b Asghar 36
Salman Butt lbw b Zia 0
Aamer Yamin c Yasir b Zia 1
Asad Shafiq c Fakhar b Fahim 16
Shoaib Malik c Fahim b Yasir 24
M Rizwan c Fahim b Zohaib 22
Saif Badar c Younus b Yasir 10
Amad Butt c&b Zohaib 0
Zulfiqar Babar lbw b Zohaib 29
Kashif Bhatti not out 15
Ehsan Adil c Shehzad b Yasir 5
EXTRAS: (w2) 2
TOTAL: (all out; 36.1 overs) 160
FOW: 1-5, 2-29, 3-53, 4-55, 5-97, 6-107, 7-107, 8-119, 9-155, 10-160
BOWLING: Sameen Gul 5-0-31-0, Ziaul Haq 8-2-25-2, M Asghar 8-0-45-1, Fahim Ashraf 2-0-10-1, Yasir Shah 8.1-0-26-3, Zohaib Khan 5-0-23-3
TOSS: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
MAN OF MATCH: Fakhar Zaman (KP)
UMPIRES: Ahsan Raza, Shozab Raza
TV UMPIRE: Asif Yaqoob
MATCH REFEREE: Mussadaq Rasool

Azhar Khan

Azhar Khan is an accomplished senior sports journalist with extensive experience in the field. He can be reached at azharmasood786@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at @azharmasood786

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