RAWALPINDI  -  Sensational Ammad Butt and outstanding Umar Akaml helped Balochistan thrash Sindh by 72 runs in the Mughal Steel Pakistan Cup 2019 played here at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on late Thursday night.

Umar Akmal hit classy 99 while Ammad first shone with the willow as he scored 42 off just 18 deliveries he faced and smashed 5 boundaries and two massive sixes and then tok three wickets to lead his side to victory.

Umar Akmal is highly unfortunate to born in this art of the world as his matchless and above all consistent performances are not enough to win the backing of chief selector and head coach Micky Arthur who have issues with Umar and didn’t want the highly talented and one of the natural striker of the cricket ball to flourish and represent Pakistan team.

Balochistan piled up a mammoth total of 346 for the loss of 9 wickets. Once again, Asad ignored highly talented Ali Imran, who is a genuine opening batsman and a right arm fast bowler and opted to go with Awais Zia and Zeeshan Ashraf. Both consumed too many precious deliveries and added 42 runs for opening stand. Awais failed to repeat first match’s performance and was out after scoring just 13 runs with the help of 3 fours while Zeeshan and Asad Shafiq were involved in 100 runs third wicket stand. Asad went back to the pavilion after scoring 53 runs while Zeeshan made 75. But it was once again Uamr Akmal, who stole the limelight by playing yet another magnificent innings. It is highly unjustified and totally uncalled for approach shown by the PCB selection committee, who announced the 23-member probales for the World Cup ignoring both Umar Akmal and a highly charged up Wahab Riaz.

Umar was highly unfortunate not to complete a well-deserving ton as an edge form the bat cost him the wicket and a century as he was bowled on a Rahat Ali’s delivery after scoring marvelous 99. He hammered Sindh bowlers to all corners of the park and was in delightful form. He hit 7 boundaries and 6 sixes in his 66-ball innings. Ammad then scored a quick-fire 42 as Ali Imran, who was sent to bat at number 6 rather than opene innings could score 9 runs. Hammad Azam and Nauman Ali shared 2 wickets apiece conceding 36 and 59 runs respectively.

After scoring 42, Ammad delivered wonders with the leather as well grabbing 3 for 58, which landed him player of the match award. Sindh were bowled out for 274 in 44.2 overs. Sindh were never looked like chasing down the despite a gutsy 88 of 64 by opener Umar Siddiq, who hit 12 fours and two sixes. He was playing superbly till he was run out which all but kill Sindh’s outside chances of chasing down the target as he was involved in 92 runs partnership with Ahsan, who scored 42. While stylish left hander Umar Amin also batted superbly for his 60 and al-rounder Aamer Yamin contributed 46 as both put on 93 runs for the sixth wicket. Sindh from 149 for the loss of just 1 wicket were soon 5 down with 164 runs on the board. M Irfan took two for 58.

It was once again highly sizable crowd at Pindi Stadium as youngsters came in huge numbers. PCB’s policy of making entry free on general stands brought more than desired fruits as families and people from all walks of life came to witness their favourite stars in action. Long queues were witnessed at the roads leading towards Pindi Stadium. Security, especially police was highly cooperative. Such attitude was missing in the last several tournaments.

Scorecard

BALOCHISTAN:

Awais Zia b Ashiq Ali 13

Zeeshan Ashraf c Umar Siddiq b Nauman Ali 75

Asad Shafiq lbw b Nauman Ali 53

Umar Akmal b Rahat Ali 99

Fawad Alam c Asif Ali b Umar Gul 24

Ali Imran c Aamer Yamin b Hammad Azam 9

Bismillah Khan run out 14

Amad Butt not out 42

Umer Khan run out 0

Haris Rauf c Ashiq Ali b Hammad Azam 1

Mohammad Irfan not out 1

EXTRAS: (lb3, nb1, w11) 15

TOTAL: (9 wkts; 50 overs) 346

FOW: 1-42, 2-142, 3-153, 4-211, 5-241, 6-301, 7-301, 8-309, 9-338

BOWLING: Umar Gul 8-0-52-1, Rahat Ali 9-1-71-1, Ashiq Ali 8-0-57-1, Aamer Yamin 8-0-68-0, Nauman Ali 10-0-59-2, Hammad Azam 7-0-36-2

SINDH:

Umar Siddiq run out 88

Sahibzada Farhan c Awais Zia b Haris Rauf 19

Ahsan Ali c Haris Rauf b Amad Butt 42

Umar Amin c Ali Imran b Mohammad Irfan 60

Asif Ali c Umer Khan b Amad Butt 5

Hammad Azam c Asad Shafiq b Fawad Alam 0

Aamer Yamin c Asad Shafiq b Umer Khan 46

Nauman Ali c Bismillah Khan b Amad Butt 0

Ashiq Ali c Bismillah Khan b Mohammad Irfan 2

Umar Gul run out 1

Rahat Ali not out 0

EXTRAS: (lb4, w7) 11

TOTAL: (all out; 50 overs) 274

FOW: 1-57, 2-149, 3-157, 4-163, 5-164, 6-257, 7-259, 8-264, 9-267, 10-274

BOWLING: Mohammad Irfan 8.2-0-58-2, Haris Rauf 8-0-52-1, Umer Khan 9-0-37-1, Ali Imran 4-0-29-0, Amad Butt 10-1-58-3, Fawad Alam 4-0-28-1, Asad Shafiq 1-0-8-0

TOSS: Sindh

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Amad Butt

UMPIRES: Asif Yaqoob, Tahir Rasheed

TV UMPIRES: Waleed Yaqub

MATCH REFEREE: Aziz-ur-Rehman