Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sohail Khan and Anwar Ali Rip Apart Baluchistan - Sindh Win inside 2 Days.

Sohail Khan took 6-21 in 9.2 overs including a wicket in each of his first 5 overs to demolish Baluchistan in their 2nd innings on the 2nd day at the National Stadium in Karachi (NSK) in the 3rd set of matches of the Pentangular Trophy.
In what was an extraordinary match between Sindh and Baluchistan, 18 wickets fell on day 1 and another 16 on day 2 as Sindh won the match by 6 wickets before close of play on the second day.

Shahid Afridi, who had just landed from a flight from the US 6 hours earlier, won the toss and sent Baluchistan in on a green top at the NSK - similar to the pitch on which Irfan Pathan took a hatrick in the first over of a test match a couple of years ago.

The Baluchis were bowled out for 187 with Anwar Ali, the star of Pakistan's victorious U-19 WC campaign in 2006, picking up 4-41. Anwar ripped through the heart of Baluchistan's batting as he dismissed 3 middle order batsman in the space of a few deliveries for 1 run during his second spell. He was well supported by Afridi and Danish Kaneria who picked up 2 wickets each.

Sindh failed to capitalize on their bowler's effort and ended day 1 on 131-8. They were then bowled out for 139 on the 2nd morning conceding a 50 run 1st innings lead. Khalid Latif, Khurram Manzoor, Naumanullah, Fawad Alam, Shahid Afridi, Sarfraz Ahmed all failed to get going and it was only Faisal Iqbal who held the innings together with a well made 52.
What was to follow was absolute carnage as Sohail Khan and Anwar Ali bowled 17 overs in tandem and picked up 6-21 and 3-12 to bowl the Baluchis out for 42.

Sindh got to their target of 91 after losing 4 wickets, with Pakistan prospects Khalid, Khurram, Naumanullah, and Fawad failing yet again.

Sohail Khan has been touted as the next best thing in Pakistan bowling throughout this season - he has broken several domestic records in his first first-class season in Pakistan and at 23 seems to be a good bet for the future. If he can remain injury free, could be leading Pakistan's attack along with Mohammad Asif very soon.
Anwar Ali has been considered as a bright prospect for a long time now because of his performances at the U15 and U19 levels, however he had lost his way in the last 2 years playing on dead tracks around Pakistan. He has shown immense potential during the Pentangular Trophy and should also be playing for Pakistan sooner rather than later.

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