Rawalpindi: Khurram Manzoor’s 24th List A century helped Punjab down Sindh by six wickets in the last round match of the Mughal Steel Pakistan Cup at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi, on Thursday.
Khurram’s 168 (highest individual innings of the tournament) helped Punjab make light work of Sindh’s 295-run total as the score was chased down with 70 balls to spare.
In Punjab’s run-chase innings, captain Kamran Akmal fell for 26 in the 10th over, before Khurram and Sami Aslam (54, 50 balls, five fours, one six) added 139 runs for the second wicket to set the platform for a comfortable chase.
Iftikhar (33) and Khurram then joined hands in a 54-ball 82-run third wicket stand as Punjab cruised towards the target.
Khurram fell for a stroke-filled 116-ball 168 (23 fours, four sixes) with Punjab a mere 10 runs away from the target. Saad Ali (eight) not out and Fahad Iqbal (five) not out finished the chase in 38.2 overs.
Punjab ended their campaign with four points and third spot on the points table, while Sindh with a solitary win and two points, finished fourth, ahead of the winless Federal Areas.
Friday’s final will be between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Balochistan. While Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will attempt to regain the title they won in the inaugural edition in 2016, Balochistan will aim to lift the silverware for the first time after reaching the final in 2017.
Earlier in the day and after opting to bat first, Sindh started cautiously slipped to 82 for three following the dismissals of Sahibzada Farhan (20), Ahsan Ali (four) and Umar Siddiq (38).
At the stage, Umar Amin and Asif got together in a rescue act and put on 123 runs for the fourth wicket. Asif blazed away to a 41-ball 62 (seven fours, three sixes) before falling to Fahad Iqbal, while Umar was dismissed for a fine 85-ball 83-run that included four fours and as many sixes.
Hammad Azam 42 (31 balls, three sixes, one four), Mohammad Hasan (16) and captain Umar Gul (14 not out) helped Sindh reach 295 for nine in 50 overs.
Sohail Tanvir bowled with control and precision to register remarkable figures of 10-1-17-3. Fahad took three for 44 from his five overs.
Scores in brief:
Punjab beat Sindh by six wickets
Sindh 295- 9 in 50 overs (Umar Amin 83, Asif Ali 62; Sohail Tanvir 3-17, Fahad Iqbal 3-44)
Punjab 299-4 in 38.2 overs (Khurram Manzoor 168, Sami Aslam 54, Iftikhar Ahmed 33; Mohammad Ilyas 2-64)
Player of the match – Khurram Manzoor
Friday’s fixture (final): Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Balochistan