KARACHI: Larkana, Hyderabad and Shaheed Benazirabad joined Karachi in the semi-finals of the T20 cricket event in the 17th Sindh Games on Friday after the completion of the remaining two group-stage fixtures here at the TMC Ground.
Shaheed Benazirabad defeated Mirpur Khas by five wickets in the morning fixture to clinch the second place in Group ‘A’ behind Karachi, who had already qualified for the next phase after securing crushing victories against two divisions on Thursday.
Batting first, Mirpur Khas collected 169-6 with Mohammad Shahbaz scoring 49 with the aid of four boundaries and a brace of sixes, while Rehan Nizam hit five fours in making 33.
Shaheed Benazirabad, however, easily secured victory by posting 170-5 in only 17 overs. Mohammad Yasir scored an undefeated 48 that included six hits to the fence. Haris Khanzada contributed 30 (six fours), while Shahbaz remained unbeaten with 29.
Larkana did Hyderabad — who had finished their league matches on Thursday — a big favour when they eliminated Sukkur out of the competition with a 28-run triumph in the afternoon game.
Larkana, who had stunned Hyderabad on Thursday, posted 153-7 with Zohaib Ali (29) and Habibullah (25) being the chief run-getters. Israr-ul-Haq picked up 3-19 and Kamran Ali took 2-24.
Sukkur’s response to the 154-run chase terminated at 125 on the last ball of the innings as slow left-armer Farooq Aziz and paceman Ghulam Farooq grabbed three wickets each, while conceding 14 and 24 runs, respectively.
Meanwhile, the organisers of the cricket competition were left scratching their heads on Friday when it was officially announced that the gold medal match will be played on Saturday evening after the semi-finals the same day.
This abrupt arrangement is against the tradition followed worldwide in mult-isport events where the gold medal is decided in the final match of that particular discipline.
Now the Sindh Games would be setting a new trend because the bronze-medal match between the losing semi-finalists will be staged on Sunday’s last day of the action.
Sardar Mohammad Baksh Khan Mehar, the provincial sports minister, will be the chief guest at Saturday’s floodlit final which starts at 7:30pm.
At TMC Ground: Shaheed Benazirabad beat Mirpur Khas by five wickets.
MIRPUR KHAS 169-6 in 20 overs (Mohammad Shahbaz 49, Rehan Nizam 33,Naveed Buland 27; Mohammad Usman 2-25,Yousuf Pathan 2-32); SHAHEED BENAZIRABAD 170-5 in 17 overs (Mohammad Yasir 48 not out, Haris Khanzada 30, Shahbaz 29 not out; Abid Nazeer 2-22).
At TMC Ground: Larkana beat Sukkur by 28 runs.
LARKANA 153-7 in 20 overs (Zohaib Ali 29, Habibullah 25, Abdul Sattar 24 not out; Israr-ul-Haq 3-19, Kamran Ali 2-24); SUKKUR 125 in 20 overs (Mohammad Imran 24, Bakht Ali 22; Farooq Aziz 3-14, Ghulam Farooq 3-24).
Semi-finals: Karachi vs Hyderabad (TMC Ground, 9:00am); Larkana vs Shaheed Benazirabad (TMC Ground, 1:00pm).
Gold medal match (final): TMC Ground, 7:30pm.
Bronze medal match: TMC Ground, 9:00am.
Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2018