Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan hopes to carry forward his rich international form into the Pakistan Cup when he captains defending champions Federal Areas in the five-team one-day tournament, which commences at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

Federal Areas are the two-time winners of the Pakistan Cup with back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018, making them the most successful team in the very brief history of the tournament.

The 50-over tournament, whose all matches will be played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium and will start at 2pm, and provides a final opportunity to the players to stake a claim for the ICC Cricket World Cup-bound Pakistan cricket team which will be announced at the end of the tournament.

Rizwan, who to date has hit two centuries in four matches in the ongoing Pakistan-Australia ODI series in the UAE, has high hopes from his squad, while, on a personal note, he has vowed to make full use of his batting form.

“Our target like any other side is to reach the final and win it. As an individual, I want to continue my good performances in the Pakistan Cup and lead from the front”, Rizwan said on Monday, who will be available for the April 3 game as the Pakistan cricket team returns from the UAE on April 2.

Rizwan also had a successful run in the Pakistan Cup 2018, when, representing Punjab, the right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman scored 294 runs in four innings, a tally that also included scores of 140 and 124 not out.

Interestingly, Rizwan’s 140 was against his new side Federal Areas in a losing cause, while his 124 not out had helped Punjab achieve a 366-run target against Balochistan.

Besides Rizwan, Federal Areas possesses some quality performers with the bat in Ahmed Shehzad and Sohaib Maqsood, and Rizwan hopes the duo will deliver the goods.

“We have Ahmad Shehzad and Sohaib Maqsood as our main batters and both are richly experienced. We also have other talented and experienced batsmen in Israrullah, Khurram Shahzad and Ramiz Raja Jr in the line-up who provide great depth to our batting”, Rizwan added.

Rawalpindi-born right-handed batsman Nihal Mansoor is another one to watch out for in the Federal Areas’ line-up. In 15 List A games, the 25-year-old has scored 655 runs at 50.38, including an unbeaten 133 not out for the PTV against WAPDA during the Quaid-e-Azam One-Day Cup last October.

Federal Areas bowling is spearheaded by Pakistan internationals Rumman Raees and Waqas Maqsood. Waqas was the leading wicket-taker in the Pakistan Cup 2018 with 14 wickets, including six for 63 against Balochistan.

Rizwan has identified Waqas and Rumman, the linchpins of his bowling attack. “If you look at our bowling, we have the talented and capable duo of Waqas and Rumman, while Mohammad Nawaz (left-arm spinner) is also there to support the pacers”.

Federal Areas – Mohammad Rizwan (WK, captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Asad Afridi, Bilal Asif, Israrullah, Khurram Shahzad, Mohammad Nawaz, Nihal Mansoor, Ramiz Raja Jr, Rumman Raees, Sameen Gul, Saud Shakil, Sohaib Maqsood, Waqas Maqsood and Zia-ul-Haq Federal Areas Fixtures (matches start 2 pm):

Wed, April 3 v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sat, April 6 v Sindh Mon, April 8 v Punjab Wed, April 10 v Balochistan Fri, April 12-Final