KARACHI: In a stunning turnaround, the State Bank of Pakistan secured an emphatic victory over the Higher Education Commission (HEC) by a huge margin of 499 runs to clinch the Patron’s Trophy Grade-II cricket title in Rawalpindi on Sunday.
The four-day final at the Pindi Cricket Stadium was poised to culminate a dreary draw given the placid nature of the pitch when play started on the last day with State Bank opting to bat on despite holding a huge lead of 494.
Resuming at 385-5, State Bank were eventually dismissed for 493 with their young stand-in captain Saad Ali extending his overnight score of 153 to 220 before being last man out while trying to go for a big hit, caught at mid-on, four minutes before the lunch interval.
Saad, who scored 105 in the first innings, adorned his sublime 278-ball knock in a stay of 375 minutes with 29 boundaries. The left-arm spin duo of Kamran Afzal and Asfand Mehran with four wickets apiece, for 105 and 136 runs, respectively.
The HEC had no idea what hit them when they started their second innings in pursuit of a meaningless target of 603 with the remaining two sessions to survive. Within a space of just 20.1 overs they were blown away for 103 to hand State Bank an unexpected win with the final concluding at 2:33pm, seven minutes before the scheduled tea break.
At one point the students had lost five wickets for no run as they stumbled from 30-2 to 30-7 with Basit Ali, quite incredibly, grabbing the third hat-trick of the match from his team.
Following in the footsteps of his pace-bowling team-mates, Mohammad Ilyas and Taj Wali who both took separate hat-tricks in the HEC’s first innings, Basit got rid of Hammad Butt (bowled for 16), Sajid Khan (caught behind) and Sharoon Siraj (leg-before-wicket) in his very first over.
The HEC’s miseries just didn’t end there as Ilyas claimed two wickets in successive deliveries in the next over. Bowling unchanged, Ilyas picked up four wickets but gave away 72 runs in his 10 overs. Basit finished with 3-13 in five overs while Israrullah bagged a brace with his occasional slow left-armers.
Hamza Akbar was the only batsman to make some impression with a top-score of 37 with his 29-ball innings laced with six fours and one six.
Saad, who was the undisputed man-of-the-match, also won the best batsman prize for scoring 674 runs in the competition. Nisar Ahmed of Sabir’s Poultry was adjudged the best bowler hit tally of 28 wickets with HEC’s Hamza Akbar named the best wicket-keeper for effecting 18 dismissals (16 catches and two stumpings).
Besides wining the PCB purse of Rs500,000 and the winners’ trophy, the State Bank team manager Zaheerul Hasan also announced a purse of Rs1 million for his triumphant charges and Rs100,000 for Saad.
The HEC settled for Rs250,000 and the runners-up trophy.
STATE BANK (1st Innings) 392-6 in 83 overs (Naved Yasin 118 not out, Saad Ali 105, Sahibzada Farhan 90, Rohail Nazir 36; Mamoon Riaz 2-81).
HEC (1st Innings) 283-8 in 83 overs (Mohammad Faiq 82, Hamza Akbar 56 not out, Hammad Butt 44, Kamran Afzal 40; Israrullah 2-26, Mohammad Ilyas 2-74).
STATE BANK (2nd Innings, overnight 385-5):
Umar Waheed lbw b Asfand 115
Sahibzada Farhan c sub b Mamoon 20
Israrullah c Asfand b Kamran 42
Saad Ali c Sharoon b Kamran 220
Rohail Nazir c Kamran b Asfand 0
Naved Yasin run out 51
Mohammad Nawaz c and b Kamran 24
Basit Ali c Fahad b Asfand 3
Taj Wali c Hamza b Kamran 13
Mohammad Ilyas lbw b Asfand 0
Hamza Nadeem not out 0
EXTRAS (B-1, LB-2, W-1, NB-1) 5
TOTAL (all out, 133.1 overs) 493
FALL OF WKTS: 1-26, 2-122, 3-264, 4-264, 5-377, 6-436, 7-453, 8-492, 9-493.
BOWLING: Mamoon Riaz 30-2-136-1 (1w); Fahad Usman 9.4-0-33-0; Kamran Afzal 36.1-8-105-4 (1nb); Bilal Anwar 0.2-0-4-0; Asfand Mehran 42-3-136-4; Sajid Khan 11-2-64-0; Arsalan Zia 4-2-12-0.
HEC (2nd Innings):
Fahad Usman c Naved b Taj 0
Hammad Butt b Basit 16
Mohammad Faiq c Farhan b Ilyas 8
Arsalan Zia c Rohail b Ilyas 4
Sajid Khan c Rohail b Basit 0
Sharoon Siraj lbw b Basit 0
Hamza Akbar c Farhan b Israrullah 37
Kamran Afzal b Ilyas 0
Asfand Mehran c Farhan b Ilyas 21
Mamoon Riaz b Israrullah 11
Bilal Anwar not out 0
EXTRAS (NB-2) 2
TOTAL (all out, 20.1 overs) 103
FALL OF WKTS: 1-1, 2-23, 3-30, 4-30, 5-30, 6-30, 7-30, 8-69, 9-90.
BOWLING: Taj Wali 4-0-12-1 (1nb); Mohammad Ilyas 10-2-72-4 (1nb); Basit Ali 5-1-13-3; Israrullah 1.1-0-6-2.
RESULT: State Bank won by 499 runs.
UMPIRES: Nasar Khan and Mohammad Kaleem.
MATCH REFEREE: Ali Naqvi.
OFFICIAL SCORER: Shakeel Ahmed.
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Saad Ali.
Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2019