RAWALPINDI – September 08, 2015: Pakistan’s opener Mukhtar Ahmed unleashed aggression par classon Tuesday to set a new record of highest score in country’s domestic T20 match when he brought a close seven runs win for Sialkot at Pindi Cricket Ground, Rawalpindi.
As the star-studded Cool & Cool Haier Mobile T20 Cup 2015 opened up at the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Sialkot, Hyderabad, Karachi Blues, Lahore Whites and Rawalpindi triumphed. Another feature of note was the performance of Mohammad Aamir who made his presence felt with three wickets for Rawalpindi.
In the T20 Cup Group A match, Mukhtar broke the highest runs record in Pakistan’s domestic cricket by hammering 123 in just 67 balls and hit 18 boundaries and three sixes in his mighty inning. His blistering innings led Sialkot to the first victory of the tournament. Karachi Whites in response to Sialkot’s 198 for five, showed courage to reach 191 for six but fell short.
Mukhtar in his fete had broken the record of left-handed batsman Imran Farhat who had scored 115 runs in a domestic T20 match. Karachi Whites player Tariq played an innings of 32 runs and remain unbeaten. Sialkot won the toss and elected to bat first. His opening partner Numan Anwar made 51 runs with the help of seven fours and a six while facing 36 balls. Mir Hamza took two wickets while Tariq Haroon and Babar Rehman shared one each.
In reply, Karachi Whites’ Ehsan Ali played to the plan and got 76 runs, while Tariq who remained not out made 32 and Saifullah Bangash scored 34. Karachi, however, fell short of the target due to Bilawal Bhatti and Sultan Ahmed’s to the line bowling who grabbed two wickets each.
At the same time, Hyderabad’s opener Sharjeel Khan missed his century by nine runs but excelled enough to get an eight wickets win for his team against Multan.
Multan opted to bat first and posted fighting 186 runs for four wickets but Hyderbad reached 190 runs for the loss of two wickets in 18.4 overs.
Sharjeel who was later named man of the match took 45 balls to reach 91 runs which was studded with 13 fours and four sixes. His partner in runs, Faisal Athar remained not out for 56 that came off 41 balls in which he also hit six boundaries, Lal Kumar with 23 not out was another prominent batsman.
Multan, earlier, got 186-4 in 20 overs due to Sohaib Maqsood’s 77 in 50 balls. He also hit 10 fours and three sixes. Naveed Yasin on his part remained unbeaten at 55, studded with four fours and three sixes. He faced just 31 balls. Kashif Naveed was the other not out batsman at 26.
At Marghazar Ground, Islamabad, Khalid Latif’s unbeaten 65 runs innings was enough for qualifier Karachi Blues to seal a seven wickets win against Abbottabad.
Asked to bat, Abbottabad piled up 153 for eight wickets. Younas Khan with his 51 runs innings was the only prominent batsman in an otherwise high scoring opening day of the tournament. He smashed five boundaries and three sixes. Sajjad Ali 36, Adnan Raees 30, and Sohail Akhtar 21 were the other players who reached double figures. Muhammad Sami and Ruman Raees shared two wickets.
Karachi Blues got the score losing three wickets in 16.4 overs. Khalid Latif took 36 balls to get 65 runs with the help of six boundaries and four sixes. Fawad Alam posted an unbeaten 54, while Shahzaib Hasan contributed 36 runs in their win.
Lahore was taken to its limits by Islamabad in the fourth match of the day at Pindi Stadium. Though Lahore got three wickets win but was tested by Islamabad to the maximum.
Islamabad decided to bat and reached 168 runs in the given quota of overs while playing with an average of over eight runs an over. Crumpled at six for one, Islamabad managed 59 runs for two when Shan Masood 36 and Babar Azam, who remained not out at 59 provided authority to the total. Later Shahid Yousuf made useful 30 while Imad Wasim 38 not out was good enough to get a fighting score. Aizaz Cheema and Wahab Riaz toiled hard to get one wicket each for Lahore.
Lahore, in reply, reached 169 runs in the final over losing seven wickets. Ahmed Shahzad provided strong footing to Lahore with his 48 runs. But Pakistan ODI captain Azhar Ali could make 12 runs. Then Mohammad Hafeez 34, Umar Akmal 21 and Saad Nasim 28 not out maintained the average. Shehzad Azam with three wickets, Zohaib Ahmed’s two and Zafar Gohar’s one checked Lahore’s batting.
In the final match of the opening day, Rawalpindi (129 for three in 15.1 overs) eased past Bahawalpur by seven wickets. Rawalpindi bowlers kept the Bahawalpur batsmen in their limits with their tight bowling. They only allowed Bahawalpur to manage 125 runs for nine wickets. Reformed national pace bowler Mohammad Aamer finished the match with figures of three for 23 in four overs. He was ably supported by Hammad Azam who snared two wickets while Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Asghar shared one wicket each.
Apart from Aamir Ijaz who scored 33 runs none of the other Bahawalpur batsmen showed guts to stay at the crease for more than two overs. Their openers Shahan Akram and Mohammad Yasir scored 15 and 12 runs respectively and coming in the middle Rana Safeer Tariq managed 10 runs and from the lower order Waqas Khan 11 and Mohammad Zahir Siddiqi got 16. He and Saadat Munir 7 remained not out.
Rawalpindi after losing an early wicket for just one run on board came back in the game very strongly. Nasir Jamshed and Naved Malik shared a 107 runs partnership for the second wicket to build a path of win. Though Malik lost his wicket at his personal score of 51, came off 43 balls that also included four fours and the same number of sixes, Nasir saw the match through with his unbeaten 62 runs innings. He timed eight fours and a six while facing 36 balls. Nasir was supported by Umer Amin (7) to finish off the match. Kamran Hussain, Mohammad Zahir Siddiqi and Faisal Mubashir shared the three wickets.