LAHORE, Dec 2: Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) will meet Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) in the final of the Faysal Bank T20 Cup for Departments after both recorded impressive semi-final victories at the Gaddafi Stadium here on Monday.
Former international Junaid Zia starred with career-best analysis of five for 31 as ZTBL comfortably defeated tournament’s giant-killers United Bank Limited (UBL) by 35 runs after SNGPL had cruised to a cakewalk nine-wicket win in the first semi-final against Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) earlier in the day.
Tariq Haroon, the UBL skipper, opted to bowl first in the second semi-final upon winning the toss. But he was left to rue his decision as ZTBL rattled up 178-3 with fine contributions from Sharjeel Khan, Yasir Hameed and Shahid Yousuf.
Left-handed opener Sharjeel celebrated his inclusion in the Pakistan squad for the upcoming Twenty20 fixtures against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates late this month by scoring a stroke-filled 41 from 26 deliveries.
After skipper Imran Nazir (18 off 13 balls, three boundaries) had departed in the fourth over, having put on 34 for the first wicket, Sharjeel and Yasir then doubled the tally when Sharjeel was caught by Adil Raza off paceman Asif Raza after hitting three sixes and four boundaries.
Haris Sohail, recalled to the national T20 squad on Sunday, made just seven before Bismillah Khan pulled off a smart stumping off the bowling of off-spinner Atif Maqbool who finished with two for 32 from his four-over quota.
The stage was then set for Yasir and Shahid to open up as the pair shared a magnificent unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 92 off just 50 balls. Yasir, the former Pakistan player, struck three sixes and as many fours in making a 46-ball 61 — the right-hander’s fifth half-century in T20 cricket.
Shahid, the diminutive right-hander, was even more aggressive he blasted 44 from 25 balls with the aid of three sixes as well as three boundaries.
Faced with a daunting chase, UBL launched their reply circumspectly with openers Ahsan Ali (43 off 37 balls seven fours) and Abid Ali (run-a-ball 35, four boundaries) adding 81 while together negotiating 70 balls before Ahsan fell to paceman Imran Khan in the 12th over.
ZTBL then gained complete control as Junaid dismissed Abid, Asif Raza (2), Tariq Haroon (9), Mohammad Wajihuddin (18 off 11 balls, three fours) and Kashif Bhatti (1), while Zohaib Khan sent back Bismillah Khan (0) and Atif Maqbool (4).
UBL finally ended up at 143-9 after Rumman Raees Khan was bowled by Usman Khan for four, leaving Saad Surkhail (14) and Adil Raza (6) to bat out final nine deliveries. Junaid was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match.
Earlier, PIA had no answer to fine display by SNGPL who were bolstered by presence of Pakistan Test and ODI skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal after the pair had flown into Lahore early in the morning after the short tour of South Africa.
Despite being SNGPL regular captain, Misbah graciously let Taufiq Umar continue in that role. The first thing Taufiq did was to insert PIA into bat after winning the toss.
From the onset, PIA suffered as their in-form opener Sarfraz Ahmed was bowled by Imran Ali for one in the second over. Captain Kamran Sajid departed in the same fashion to the same bowler after mustering only eight runs.
Adeel Malik, sent in as the pinch-hitter, managed to pull left-arm seamer Samiullah Khan Niazi for a six over deep square leg before falling to leg-spinner Yasir Shah for a run-a-ball 18.
Older brother Shoaib Malik was PIA’s last hope of a respectable score. The former Pakistan captain didn’t disappoint to an extent as he contributed 42 with his 43-ball knock containing one six off slow left-armer Imran Khalid before he slammed medium-pacer Tanvir Sikandar for three more such hits in successive balls in the 17th over of the innings.
But once Malik fell to Imran Khalid in the next over, caught by Ali Waqas, PIA were down and out. Remarkably, their innings included six sixes — the last one struck by Shaharyar Ghani — but just a solitary four which Fahad Iqbal hit off Imran Khalid on the last delivery of the 18th over.
Imran Ali took 2-14 and Imran Khalid 2-21.
Despite losing Taufiq (12 off eight balls, two fours) in the third over, SNGPL reached their target without much fuss, although Mohammad Rizwan, who finished unbeaten with 60 (54 balls, five fours and two sixes) was ‘caught’ off left-arm seamer Najaf Shah but earned a reprieve when TV replays revealed that the bowler had over-stepped in his delivery stride.
Ali Waqas played second fiddle in the 93-run stand in 85 balls with Man-of-the-Match Rizwan who notched up his maiden T20 half-century. The left-hander helped himself to a 41-ball 28 that included a single hit to the fence.
The final will be played on Tuesday at the same venue, starting at 5:00pm.
At Gaddafi Stadium: Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited beat United Bank Limited by 35 runs.
ZARAI TARAQIATI BANK LIMITED 178-3 in 20 overs (Yasir Hameed 61 not out, Shahid Yousuf 44 not out, Sharjeel Khan 42; Atif Maqbool 2-32); UNITED BANK LIMITED 143-9 in 20 overs (Ahsan Ali 43, Abid Ali 35, Mohammad Wajihuddin 18, Saad Surkhail 14 not out; Junaid Zia 5-31, Zohaib Khan 2-26).
At Gaddafi Stadium: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited beat Pakistan International Airlines by nine wickets.
PAKISTAN INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES 107-5 in 20 overs (Shoaib Malik 42, Adeel Malik 18, Shaharyar Ghani 14 not out, Faisal Iqbal 11; Imran Ali 2-14, Imran Khalid 2-21); SUI NORTHERN GAS PIPELINES LIMITED 108-1 in 16.5 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 60 not out, Ali Waqas 20 not out, Taufiq Umar 12).
Final: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited v Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (Gaddafi Stadium, 5:00pm).