KARACHI: Inspired by hat-tricks from pace duo of Mohammad Ilyas and Taj Wali, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) were in complete command against Navy on the opening day of their Patron’s Trophy Grade-II Cricket Tournament on Sunday.
Put into bat by Usman Salahuddin on a green-top at Islamabad’s Diamond Club Ground, Navy were blown away inside 16 overs for a paltry total of 52 with Wasim Ahmed (17 off 29 balls) and Israr Aslam (15) not only the only batsmen to reach double figures but also sharing the highest partnership of the innings — 25 for the sixth wicket — after the top four wickets fell with the score on 11.
Ilyas, who finished with five for 29 in eight overs, took his hat-trick by clean bowling opener Hafiz Asad Baig (7), trapping Latif Junejo and having Jahangir Javed caught in the gulley by Saad Ali.
Left-armer Taj, coming on as first change, dismissed Israr Aslam (caught behind by Rohail Nazir), Abdul Saad (taken in the slips by Usman) and Navy skipper Nasir Owais (also caught at the wicket) on his way to figures of 4-12 in 3.3 overs.
State Bank then put up a dazzling batting exhibition to close at 436-4 in 69 overs to enjoy a massive lead of 384 on the first innings. Their reply was dominated by Sahibzada Farhan who blasted 157 from 137 deliveries while hammering 22 boundaries and a six.
Farhan and Israrullah (39 off 44 balls) added 89 for the first wicket before the former was joined by Mohammad Nawaz (62 off 75, seven fours and one six) in a second-wicket stand of 152.
Navy’s miseries multiplied as Rohail (75 off 79, six fours and two sixes) and Saad Ali, who is still at the crease on 77 (73, six fours and two sixes) shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 121.
Former Pakistan opener Imran Nazir led from the front to give Sabir’s Poultry ascendency in the other semi-final at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi after the Higher Education Commission (HEC) skipper Asfand Mehran elected to bowl first.
Imran banged 100 off 111 balls with the aid of 14 boundaries while dominating the fourth-wicket stand of 139 with Irfan Haider (65 off 100, nine fours and one six) as Sabir’s Poultry posted 346 in 80.5 overs.
Opener Imran Dogar contributed 59 with his 95-ball knock laced with nine hits to the fence.
By stumps, HEC had collected 42-1.
Close of play scores on Sunday (day one of three):
At Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi: SABIR’S POULTRY 346 in 80.5 overs (Imran Nazir 100, Irfan Haider 65, Imran Dogar 59, Yawar Bashir 38; Bilal Anwar 3-75, Asfand Mehran 2-67, Mamoon Riaz 2-84); HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION 42-1 in 7 overs (Hammad Butt 27 not out).
At Diamond Club Ground, Islamabad: NAVY 52 in 15.3 overs (Wasim Ahmed 17, Israr Aslam 15; Mohammad Ilyas 5-29, Taj Wali 4-12); STATE BANK 436-4 in 69 overs (Sahibzada Farhan 157, Saad Ali 77 not out, Rohail Nazir 75, Mohammad Nawaz 62, Israrullah 39; Latif Junejo 2-96).
Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2019