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Misbah shines for Faisalabad

FAISALABAD - May 12, 2015: Faisalabad Wolves led by Mr Cool Misbah-ul-Haq eased to a seven runs win over Multan Tigers in the third match of the Cool & Cool Presents Haier Super 8 T20 Cup 2015 reduced by rain here at the Iqbal Stadium on Tuesday.

An innings of unbeaten 67 runs off 27 balls laced with five sixes and the same number of fours saw Misbah lead Wolves from the front after they opted to bat. Three short partnerships of 36 runs for first wicket, 42 runs for the third wicket and 52 runs for the sixth wicket lifted Wolves score to massive 183 runs for six wickets in 20 overs. On their part, when the Tigers reached 139 for six, the heavens opened, compelling the organisers to use Duckworth Lewis Method under which the target was revised to 146 and Multan lost the match by seven runs.

Bilal Shah and Farrukh Shehzad started off cautiously for Wolves and both the batsmen together gathered 36 runs before Bilal was sent back by Majid Ali at 32, caught by Aftab Niazi. In the very next over, Wolves lost Asif Ali, but Farrukh stood at the crease and was supported by fresh entrant Khurrum Shehzad. They took the score to 80 in which Khurrum Farrukh contributed 29. When the score reached 96, Farrukh got stumped off Naved Yamin for 25. From then on Misbah held the reign and went on to score 67 runs. He found valuable partners in Aamar Ali (run out at 7) and Mohammad Salman (14). Majid Ali grabbed two wickets with Aamir Yameen, M Ali and Naved Yasin sharing one wicket each.

In reply, Tigers had a moderate start which was further slowed down by M Talha who kept them quiet with his to the line seam bowling. He swung the ball so intelligently that it made the Multan openers Ahmed Rasheed and Ammar Ali nick the ball in the safe hands of Misbah for 15 and 14 respectively and later he bowled Babar Ali for one. His three back to back wickets in three overs pushed the Tigers to the wall.

The fifth wicket stand between Aftan Niazi and unbeaten Naved Yasin that yielded 65 runs developed a hope of survival for the Tigers. But Niazi was trapped by Saeed Ajmal and Misbah did the rest, showing him way back to the pavilion for 25 runs.

Yasin tried to play a role of saviour for the Tigers but wickets kept tumbling from the other end. After Niazi, he saw Gulraiz Sadaf (3) and  Aamir Yamin (5) walking to the dressing room. At the  time Kashif Mansha came to join Yasin at the crease when the score was 139 for six in 16.3 overs, rain came in to halt proceedings of the match and later till the cut off time kept drizzling. It made the officials apply D/L Method to decide the outcome of the match and Wolves turned out to be the winners.

Though D/L Method was applied and Tigers lost the match, but looking at the match situation the win was quite difficult for them to achieve. As Wolves attack was keeping their batsmen at bay, Talha was the pick of bowlers taking three wickets while Asad Ali and Ajmal shared one wicket each and in this commotion Misbah took four catches.