Thursday, April 2, 2009

PIA make it 17 as Pakistan's Internationals get Good Outings

Before this RBS Cup got underway, PIA and Habib Bank were tied on a record 16 national one day titles.

Today, PIA went one up.

They beat the favorites National Bank of Pakistan by 59 runs to clinch their 17th record one day title.

Batting first, PIA posted 315 on the back of Shoaib Malik's explosive 96 of 80 deliveries and Yasir Hameed's 91.

Sarfraz Ahmed, the benched keeper gave PIA a flying start with a 40 ball 56.

In response NBP could manage only 256 as their attacking opening pair of Salman Butt and Nasir Jamshed failed to get going.

A 4th wicket stand of 132 between Umar Amin (68) and Fawad Alam (74) threatened PIA but Aizaz Cheema's medium pace won the day for the champs as he finished with figures of 5-37 off 9 overs.

With the one-day cup over and a few good performances on display, it gives Pakistan a good platform to select the squad for the ODIs against Australia.

All of Pakistan's international stars were in good form throughout the competition.

Younis Khan - 299 runs in 5 innings at 99.67 with 1 fifty and a century.

Salman Butt - 505 runs in 7 innings at 126.25 with 1 fifty and 3 centuries.

Shoaib Malik - 241 runs in 6 innings at 48.20 with 2 fifties.

Misbah Ul Haq - 172 runs in 4 innings at 57.33 with 2 fifties.

Shahid Afridi - 167 runs in 5 innings at 41.75 with 2 fifties. Strike Rate? 133.60 - what else could you expect?

The bowling remains a worry as none of Pakistan's frontline pacers had a good outing while the likes of Uzair Ul Haq, Tariq Haroon, Asad Ali, Mohammad Aamer, and Mohammad Sami (The ICL Rebel) had very good tournaments.

Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, and Iftikhar Anjum were largely listless or absent.

Shoaib Akhtar turned up for a few matches for KRL and bowled economically without making much of an impact.

Shahid Afridi was his usual self picking up 7 wickets at 22.00 in 5 outings.

The fringe batsmen also impressed during the competition with Khalid Latif seriously pressing his claims to that 1 opening slot, which thus far has been filled by Khurram Manzoor or Nasir Jamshed.

Khalid Latif was the 2nd highest run scorer with 455 runs in 5 innings with 3 centuries including the record breaking 204*.

Khurram Manzoor did his chances no harm by scoring 246 runs in 6 innings with 3 fifties.

Nasir Jamshed had a poor tournament though managing only 153 runs in 7 innings.

Fawad Alam continued his awesome domestic run that has lasted for almost 5 years now, with his 246 runs coming at 46.40 with the help of 3 fifties.

While Sarfraz Ahmed displayed his batting prowess opening the innings for PIA in the competition and scoring 251 runs at an average of 50.20 and a strike rate of 125.20! His 6 innings included 4 fifties.

Opener and a keeper and a better balanced ODI XI?

The selectors have a task on their hands.

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