Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pentangular Day 1 Round Up

The ABN Amro Pentangular Trophy got underway this morning at the National Stadium in Karachi and the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

The Karachi game is being played between Sindh and NWFP. Winning the toss, Sindh skipper Shahid Afridi sent NWFP into bat and his bowlers delivered a knock out punch led by Pakistan's most recent pace prospect Sohail Khan, who is also this domestic season's leading wicket taker. Sohail, who ended the first day with figures of 4-65, struck early and twice in his 2nd and the innings' 3rd over to leave NWFP at 11-2. Both the batsmen, including Yasir Hameed, bowled.

NWFP skipper Younis Khan toiled hard for 40 odd deliveries scoring only 12 before he was plumb in front to a beauty from Anwar Ali, the star of Pakistan's victorious U-19 world Cup campaign in 2006. The pacers were well supported by spinners Kaneria and Afridi, each taking 2 wickets and bowling NWFP out for only 203.

By the close of play Sindh had raced to 60 for the loss of opener Khurram Manzoor in 15 overs. At stumps Khalid Latif (12*) and Naumanullah (33*) were at the crease. Openers Khurram and Khalid made their international debuts in the series against Zimbabwe last month and Naumanullah is this season's leading run scorer in domestic first class games.

At the same time there was a match going on in Lahore between Punjab and Federal Areas. I had heard that Shoaib was not playing and I thought that there goes Shoaib Akhtar's chance of redemption in front of the PCB but I later on realised it was Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik who was missing the match and not Shoaib Akhar. In Malik's absence it was Misbah ul Haq who walked out to the toss with Shoaib Akhtar.

Shoaib Akhtar won the toss and elected to bat on a typical rock solid Gaddafi pitch. The Federal Areas batsmen took full advantge of the good batting conditions and ended day 1 on 301 for the loss of 4 wickets. Opener Raheel Majeed knocked a century scoring 107 of only 130 deliveries with 12 boundaries and 3 sixes. He was ably supported by his opening partner Afaq Raheem (40) in their opening partnerhsip of 80 runs. Usman Saeed and Naveed Ashraf carried the innings to close of play leaving the Federal Areas team in a commanding position.

Of all the punjab bowlers only the left arm quick, Wahab Riaz, who made his ODI debut against Zimbos looked impressive picking up 2 wickets.

The Punjab and Sindh teams playing today look like All Star Line ups:

Punjab: 1. Salman Butt, 2. Nasir Jamshed, 3. Mohammad Hafeez, 4. Mohammad Yousuf, 5. Misbah ul Haq, 6. Mansoor Amjad, 7. Kamran Akmal, 8. Abdur Rehman, 9. Mohammmad Khalil, 10. Aizaz Cheema, 11. Wahab Riaz.

Sindh: 1. Khurram Manzoor, 2. Khalid Latif, 3. Naumanullah, 4. Faisal Iqbal, 5. Fawad Alam, 6. Shahid Afridi, 7. Sarfraz Ahmed, 8. Danish Kaneria, 9. Sohail Khan, 10. Anwar Ali, 11. Uzair ul Haq.

While Punjab looks like a Pakistan side, Sindh looks like Pakistan A with the emerging upcoming cricketers.

Stay tuned, I will keep you all updated on the days play.

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