- Scorecard available here; action photos and post-match media conferences of Hammad Azam and Rameez Raja Jr available here for free download and editorial use
Rawalpindi, 6 April 2019: Sindh bounced back strongly in the Mughal Steel Pakistan Cup 2019 with a resounding 85-run win over defending champions Federal Areas at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi, on Saturday.
This was Umar Gul-led Sindh’s first win in the tournament, while second successive defeat for Federal Areas have made their task of retaining the title extremely difficult.
On Saturday, Sindh, electing to bat first, posted a mammoth 385 for four in 50 overs, with Ahsan Ali hitting a polished 115. He faced 102 balls and struck 16 fours and two sixes.
Ahsan dominated a 203-run second wicket partnership with Sahibzada Farhan after Umar Siddiq had departed at the score of 11. The partnership ended when Ahsan became one of the two Bilal Asif wickets, as the off-spinner ended up with two for 81.
Sahibzada Farhan joined Ahsan in the dressing room four runs later, but not before scoring a fine 92-ball 82 with 12 fours.
The decisive unbroken fifth partnership between Umar Amin and Hammad Azam yielded 126 runs, which helped Sindh to lift from 259 for four in 40.1 overs to finish at 385 for four in 50 overs.
Umar Amin slapped four fours and five sixes in a 46-ball 69 not out, while Hammad Azam’s 35-ball 78-run cameo included 10 fours and three sixes.
Chasing 386 for victory, Federal Areas, were pegged down by captain Umar Gul as they were reduced to 118 for five in 17 overs.
At that stage, Rameez Raja Junior and Mohammad Nawaz held the innings together to take the score to 240 by adding 122 runs for the sixth wicket. However, Hammad Azam dismissed Nawaz and Rameez on successive deliveries and then added the wicket of Bilal Asif as the Federal Area were bowled out for 300 in 43 overs with Hammad finishing with figures of four for 57.
Rameez was Federal Areas’ top scorer with a 62-ball 70 with six fours and three sixes, while Nawaz contributed 55 off 51 balls with three fours and as many sixes. Saud Shakeel was the only batsman from the upper half of the batting line-up to show some grit when he scored 52 from 37 balls with nine fours.
Umar Gul grabbed the wickets of both the Federal Areas’ openers as well as the last-wicket to finish with figures of three for 30.
Scores in brief:
Sindh beat Federal Areas by 85 runs
Sindh 385-4, 50 overs (Ahsan Ali 115, Sahibzada Farhan 83, Hammad Azam 78 not out, Umar Amin 69 not out; Bilal Asif 2-81)
Federal Areas 300 all out in 43 overs (Rameez Raja Jr 70, Mohammad Nawaz 55, Saud Shakeel 52; Hammad Azam 4-57, Umar Gul 3-30)
Player of the match – Hammad Azam (Sindh)
Sunday’s fixture – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Balochistan