Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pakistan Nationals Light Up President's Trophy

The President's Trophy continued this week with some exciting games and good work outs for Pakistan's national team cricketers. With no international cricket being played, this season's President's Trophy has been set alight with the presence of all the national stars.

Habib Bank's First Loss

Habib Bank fell from the number 1 spot for the first time this season as PIA ended their winning streak this week. PIA's victory came on the back of a big performance from Shoaib Malik who followed up his first innings 56 with an unbeaten 94 in the second innings to help PIA chase 176 and win the game by 6 wickets.

Aizaz Cheema continued his good form with the ball picking up 7 wickets in the match including the wicket of Younis Khan in both innings. A rare twin failure by Younis Khan meant that Habib Bank could manage only 200 and 147 in their two innings.

Habib Bank's rare failure allowed Sui Gas to take the lead in the table and they now sit at number 1 with a 3 point lead over HBL.

Sui Gas at the Top of the Table

Sui Gas crushed ZTBL by 186 runs as Pakistan skipper Misbah Ul Haq, Azhar Ali, Taufeeq Umar all returned to form at the same time. The three had had an atrocious run this season so far, but in this week's game against ZTBL, which included Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Khalil, and Abdul Razzaq, the Pakistan trio put on their best show.

Misbah's 110 in the first innings allowed Sui Gas to put up a fighting total of 250 after they were reeling at 63-3. And then Azhar Ali's second innings unbeaten 129, during which he was involved in a 153 run partnership with Taufeeq Umar who scored 80, enabled Sui Gas to set ZTBL a daunting target of 408.

Abdul Razzaq's good form with the ball also continued as he picked up 6 wickets in the first innings that helped restrict Sui Gas to 250; but the effort was not enough to avoid a crushing defeat. Nor was Haaris Sohail's well made century in the second innings. Haaris, who should be in the national selectors' thoughts for future tours, remained unbeaten 117 as ZTBL were bowled out for 221.

Samiullah Khan Niazi, who had been on the fringes of Pakistan's national team for some time picked up 10 wickets for Sui Gas, with his first innings 6 resulting in ZTBL collapsing for a first innings 99.

National Bank Finally Win

National Bank of Pakistan, who have a star studded batting line up with Nasir Jamshed, Sami Aslam, Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal, and Hammad Azam finally won their first game of the President's Trophy as they won a closely fought encounter against Port Qasim by 2 wickets.

NBP were able to fight off a super performance from Tanvir Ahmed whose 12 wickets for Port Qasim were not enough to avoid a close defeat after they had set NBP a target of 211. Fawad Alam had a rare failure in both innings in a game that was dominated by the bowlers.

Imran Khan, the 25 year old medium fast bowler from Peshawar picked up 6 wickets to restrict Port Qasim to 150 in the first innings. His effort was bettered by Tanvir Ahmed who picked up 7 wickets and restricted NBP to only 117. Then it was the turn of Silakot's Umaid Asif who picked up 5 wickets and bowled Port Wasim out for 177 in their 2nd innings. Tanvir's 5 wicket haul was not enough to restrict NBP who scraped home by 2 wickets to finally notch up a win.

In other games this week KRL and State Bank played out a draw, while Wapda crushed UBL by an innings.

The President's Trophy continues next week.

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