KARACHI: Test batsman Khurram Manzoor blasted his third successive hundred to put Karachi Whites in the final when they survived anxious moments in the last half an hour before prevailing over holders Peshawar by five wickets in the first semi-final of the National One-day Cup for Regions at the Pindi Stadium in Rawalpindi on Thursday.
Khurram hit 100 off 102 balls as Karachi Whites achieved the 282-run target with five balls to spare after losing five wickets in the process.Karachi Whites needed three runs in the last over from part-time spinner Israrullah when left-hander Danish Aziz (20*) hit the left-armer for a glorious six towards onside to bring in a well-deserved victory.
Earlier, international all-rounder Anwar Ali (3-49) and left-arm spinner Mohammad Asghar (3-43) did a glorious job with the leather to dismiss Peshawar for 281 in 49.5 overs.
Chasing a tricky target on a pitch which seemed suitable for batting, it was once again the classy Khurram who dominated the proceedings right from the start. He provided a solid 80 runs foundation to Karachi Whites with skipper Asad Shafiq who fell for 47-ball 36. Asad, who was held by young left-arm pacer Shah Faisal off his own bowling, smacked five fours in his responsible knock.
Test opener Khurram, who took his personal tally in the event to 515 at the summit, then shared 113 for the second wicket stand with Akbar-ur-Rehman (82) before getting out soon after completing his third century of the event and 21st of his List A career.
It was a delivery from the left-arm spinner Zohaib Khan that pitched up and Khurram wanted to hit it hard over the bowler’s head, failed to do so with Zohaib taking a superb catch off his own bowling while bending towards his left. Khurram smashed 11 fours and a six in his glorious knock.
Akbar then put on 48 for the third wicket association with Pakistan’s discard Fawad Alam who fell after a quick-fire 17-ball 25 with three fours. Fawad opted to play across the line to a delivery from Israrullah that pitched on middle and leg and went through the gap before crashing the stumps. Karachi Whites were 241-3 in 43.3 overs at that stage.
Soon afterwards Test pacer Imran Khan Senior, who bowled poorly in the entire game, removed Akbar, held by stumper Gauhar Ali who did not perform well behind the stumps. Akbar, who also survived a stumping chance, struck five fours and one six in his 107-ball knock.
And off the first ball of the next over left-arm pacer Taj Wali took the wicket of Test batsman Faisal Iqbal (6), caught at gully by substitute Ubaidullah to leave Karachi Whites seemingly struggling at 261-5. They needed 21 off 17 balls at that stage. However, Danish Aziz did not panic, hitting a couple of sixes to see his side home comfortably.
Peshawar squandered a few chances in the field and their three part-time bowlers including Adil Amin, Akbar Badshah and Israrullah conceded 71 runs in 9.1 overs they collectively bowled.
Imran Khan Senior (1-57), Taj Wali (1-44), Zohaib (1-84), Shah Faisal (1-57) and Israrullah (1-36) were the successful bowlers.
After opting to bat, Peshawar were 93-3 in the 22nd over. However, skipper Mohammad Rizwan (72) added 79 for the fourth wicket association with Adil Amin (33) to pave way for posting a fighting total.
Rizwan, who was run out by Asad Shafiq, hammered four fours and two sixes in his rapid 65-ball knock. Adil smacked two fours and one six from 52 deliveries. The late cameos from Akbar Badshah (40) and Zohaib Khan (31) took Peshawar to a good total.
Akbar hit five fours from 32 balls. Zohaib hammered four fours and one six in his 20-ball fire-work. Earlier, opener Israrullah (47) did a solid job, hitting four fours and one six in his patient 66-ball feat. Anwar Ali and Mohammad Asghar were ably backed by left-arm young pacer Zia-ul-Haq (2-66) who took the prized scalps of Ashfaq Ahmed and Zohaib.
Asif Yaqoob and Rashid Riaz supervised the match. Aziz-ur-Rehman served as match referee. Saqib Khan acted as TV umpire and Faisal Afridi, as reserve umpire.
On Friday (today), Rawalpindi will face Islamabad in the second semi-final which begins 9:30am. The final will be held on Sunday.
Peshawar won toss
Sahibzada Farhan c Danish b Anwar 12
Israrullah c & b Asghar 47
Ashfaq Ahmed c sub (Waqas) b Zia 13
*Mohammad Rizwan (c) run out (Asad) 72
Adil Amin c Asad b Asghar 33
Akbar Badshah run out (Anwar) 40
†Gauhar Ali c Sami b Asghar 6
Zohaib Khan c Asghar b Zia 31
Shah Faisal not out 11
Taj Wali b Anwar 1
Imran Khan b Anwar 1
Extras (b 4, lb 6, w 4) 14
Total (all out; 49.5 Overs) 281
Fall: 1-31, 2-55, 3-93, 4-172, 5-216, 6-232, 7-239, 8-276, 9-277, 10-281
Bowling: Sami 10-0-51-0 (w 2); Anwar 9.5-2-49-3 (w 1); Zia 10-0-66-2 (w 1); Asghar 10-1-43-3; Danish 10-0-62-0
Khurram Manzoor c & b Zohaib 100
*Asad Shafiq c & b Shah 36
Akbar-ur-Rehman c Gauhar b Imran 82
Fawad Alam b Israrullah 25
Faisal Iqbal c sub (Obaidullah) b Taj 6
Anwar Ali not out 4
Danish Aziz not out 20
Extras (b 5, lb 3, nb 1, w 3) 12
Total (5 wickets; 49.1 Overs) 285
Yet to bat: †Mohammad Hasan , Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Asghar, Zia-ul-Haq
Fall: 1-80, 2-193, 3-241, 4-261, 5-261
Bowling: Imran 10-1-57-1; Taj 10-0-44-1 (w 1, nb 1); Zohaib 10-1-48-1 (w 1); Shah 10-0-57-1; Adil 4-0-25-0;
Israrullah 4.1-0-36-1; Akbar 1-0-10-0 (w 1)
Result: Karachi Whites won by five wickets
Umpires: Asif Yaqoob and Rashid Riaz. Match Referee: Aziz-ur-Rehman