SJAL XI beat RISJA XI in friendly T20 fixture

LAHORE  -   The Sports Journalists Association of Lahore (SJAL) XIthumped the Rawalpindi Islamabad Sports Journalists Association (RISJA) by 63 runs in a friendly T20 match played here at Lahore Qalandars High Performance Center on Saturday.

The standout performance came from magnificent Murtaza, whose unbeaten century was instrumental in SJAL XI’s triumph. After winning the toss, SJAL XI elected to bat first, setting a formidable total of 149 runs for the loss of seven wickets. Murtaza Ali led the charge with an impressive unbeaten 109 runs, while Muhammad Waqas contributed 20 runs.

In response, the RISJA XI struggled and was all out for 86 runs. Ayaz Yusufzai was the notable performer for RISJA, scoring 56 runs. For SJAL XI, Sanaullah took three wickets, while Imran Sohail and Muhammad Waqas each claimed two. Ehtesham-ul-Haq, Yusuf Anjum, and Aqib Qureshi each took one wicket. At the conclusion of the match, Lahore Qalandars owner Atif Rana presented commemorative shields to the journalists from both the teams, celebrating their participation and sportsmanship during the friendly match.

Speaking on the occasion, Atif Rana highlighted the collective ambition of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), fans, and the franchise to establish PSL as a successful league. “Our shared goal, along with PCB, is to make PSL the number one league in the world,” he said.

He suggested that organizing the PSL during the Indian Premier League (IPL) season and offering higher compensation to attract top players would significantly benefit the league. “Holding PSL during the IPL and attracting top players with better pay would be ideal for the league.”

Rana expressed confidence in PCB’s commercial decisions regarding the PSL’s scheduling. “We hope PCB will make a commercially sound decision about the PSL window. If good decisions are made for PSL, we will appreciate them,” he added.

He also addressed the possibility of hosting PSL playoffs abroad. “If PCB believes that hosting playoffs overseas and alongside IPL will make PSL successful, we will support these decisions. Commercial opportunities should also be considered,” he noted.

Reflecting on the player development program, Rana took pride in the achievements of Haris Rauf. “It is a matter of great pride that Haris Rauf, a product of our player development program, represents Pakistan. The hopes and prayers of 250 million people are with him,” he said and added: “Sports journalists are stakeholders in Pakistan cricket and have often been overlooked. We aim to involve Karachi journalists in future events.”

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