Sunday, April 30, 2017

Pakistan Cup Ramblings...

The Pakistan Cup came to a conclusion last night with the Federal Areas completing a thrilling one wicket win over Balochistan in the final.

Chasing a rather steep target of 324, Federal Areas had a great start with Sami Aslam and Mohammad Hafeez making it look rather easy. A collapse, however made the game close than it should have been. And it ended up being a nail biter!

The Pakistan Cup had some impressive performances, which should be noted by the selectors.

Mohammad Hafeez
I have stated many times that I will never understand the criticism against Hafeez, especially in ODIs. In Tests and T20s, I get it. But in ODIs, Hafeez has been Pakistan's best batsman over the past 6-7 years; barring the recently blooming Babar Azam.

The Pakistan Cup further consolidated his status in the ODI format. Not only was he the leading run scorer of the tournament with 362 runs in 5 innings at an average of 72.4 and a strike rate of 99.5, he was also the Man of the Final and the best batsman of the tournament.

There really should not be any doubt about his place in the ODI team.

Sami Aslam
I have no clue why he was dropped from the test squad to the West Indies and replaced by lesser openers. Whatever the reason was, Sami Aslam responded in the best manner possible.

He amassed 333 runs in 5 innings at an average of 66.6 and a strike rate of 114.4. Quite awesome for a modern day opening batsman.

There should never be a doubt regarding his position as a test opener; this Pakistan Cup has also opened the opportunity for him to be considered as an ODI opener.

Sahibzada Farhan
This unknown 21-year old batsman from Charsadda is playing his second domestic season in Pakistan and he had everyone take notice following his consistent performance in the Pakistan Cup.

In 5 innings as opener of Balochistan, he knocked 4 half centuries and 1 century, which came in the final. He scored 331 runs at an average of 66.2 and a strike rate of 103.4.

He is definitely one for the future!

Fahim Ashraf
He was recently selected for Pakistan's ODI squad to play against the West Indies; however he did not make it to the playing XI in either of the matches.

He was the second highest wicket taker of the Pakistan Cup and has a very impressive List A and First Class Record with the ball.

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