LAHORE - Captain Kamran Akmal’s blitz took Federal Areas into the final after they routed Punjab by 7 wickets in the One-Day Pakistan Cup 2018 match played at Iqbal Stadium on Tuesday.

The highlight of the day was another smashing century by in-form Kamran, who played just 96 balls to score swashbuckling 170 runs and guided their team to triumph well before 14.5 overs with 7 wickets still in their hands. M Rizwan was also another star of the day who slammed superb 140 but Kamran’s classic knock not only trumped his sterling performance but also the finest bowling performance of pacer Usman Khan Shinwari, who grabbed 5-51 in 9.2 overs.

Chasing a decent total of 307 runs set by Punjab on a batting-friendly pitch, Federal Areas were off to flying start as they scored 104 runs for the first-wicket partnership with captain Kamran playing with opener Abid Ali. The skipper was the magician as he played some merciless shots and punished the Punjab bowlers severely. The last match centurion Abid Ali this time couldn’t live up to the expectations and was run out at his individual score of 30, which he scored off 41 balls with the help of 4 fours.

After the dismissal of Abid, Sarmad Bhatti was also sent packing cheaply at his individual score of 5 runs. After that, Kamran put on 65 runs for the third-wicket stand with Sohaib Maqsood to make the target easier for Federal Areas. Leg-spinner Usama Mir though took the important wicket of Kamran to give life to Punjab in the match, but Sohaib’s heroics were good enough for Federal Areas to register a thumping 7-wicket win in 35.1 overs. This was Federal Areas third consecutive win which ensured their spot in the final.

Kamran played 96 balls to score inspiring 170 runs studded with 15 fours and 11 sixes. Sohaib slammed 7 sixes and 5 towering fours in his unbeaten 41-ball 77 runs knock while opener Abid Ali scored 70 and Hussain Talat made unbeaten 14. Only Usama Mir was amongst the Punjab bowlers, who succeeded in getting two wickets for 96 in his quota of 10 overs while Kashif Bhatti conceded 91 runs in 10 overs and no other bowler could complete their full quota of overs.

After being invited to bat first, as the toss was won by Federal Areas, Punjab couldn’t make a good start and lost first two wickets cheaply. Usman Khan Shinwari was the bowler who provided an early breakthrough to Federal Areas when he got rid of Zain Abbas (4) cheaply. Soon afterwards, Raza Hasan held Sahibzada Farhan (21) off his own bowling to reduce Punjab to 38-2 in the 12th over. However at this stage, M Rizwan (140) and Asif Ali (64) batted brilliantly and added 168 runs for the third-wicket partnership to help Punjab pile up a good total of 306 runs.

Usman Shinwari then bowled Asif Ali at his personal score of 64. Rizwan then added 67 runs for the fourth-wicket stand captain Shoaib Malik before losing his wicket at his individual score of 140 runs off 123 laced with 16 fours and 3 sixes. Left-arm pacer Waqas Maqsood then got rid of Sohail Akhtar (2) to reduce Punjab to 280-5 in 43.2 overs. In the next over, Hussain Talat also removed skipper Shoaib Malik at 40 runs. Usman Shinwari then blew the tail to fold Punjab for 306 in 48.2 overs.  Kamran Akmal was named player of the match.

Today (Wednesday), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will play against Sindh at 02:30pm.

Scoreboard

PUNJAB:

Zain Abbas c Saad b Usman Khan            4

Sahibzada Farhan c & b Raza Hasan       21

M Rizwan run out           140

Asif Ali b Usman Khan   64

Shoaib Malik c Saad b Hussain Talat       40

Sohail Akhtar c Raza b Waqas Maqsood              2

M Imran (1) c Agha Salman b Umaid Asif             7

Bilawal Iqbal b Usman Khan       3

Usama Mir lbw b Usman Khan   0

Kashif Bhatti b Usman Khan       1

Imran Khan not out        1

EXTRAS: (b 1, lb 8, nb 1, w 13)    23

TOTAL: (all out, 48.2 overs)        306

FOW: 1-4, 2-38, 3-206, 4-273, 5-280, 6-295, 7-301, 8-301, 9-305, 10-306.

BOWLING: Usman Khan 9.2-1-51-5, Waqas Maqsood 10-2-46-1, Umaid Asif 9-1-51-1, Raza Hasan 10-0-52-1, Hussain Talat 8-1-67-1, Agha Salman 2-0-30-0.

FEDERAL AREAS:

Kamran Akmal c Asif b Usama Mir          170

Abid Ali run out               30

Sarmad Bhatti c Asif Ali b Usama Mir      5

Sohaib Maqsood not out            77

Hussain Talat not out    14

EXTRAS: (nb 2, w 13)      15

TOTAL: (3 wkts, 35.1 overs)        311

FOW: 1-104, 2-169, 3-241.

BOWLING: Bilawal Iqbal 4-0-36-0, Imran Khan 5-0-29-0, M Imran (1) 4-0-31-0, Kashif Bhatti 10-0-91-0, Usama Mir 10-1-96-2, Asif Ali 1.1-0-16-0, Sohail Akhtar 1-0-12-0.

TOSS: Federal Areas

UMPIRES: Ahmed Shahab, Ahsan Raza

TV UMPIRE: Asif Yaqoob

RESERVE UMPIRE: Khalid Mahmood

MATCH REFEREE: Iftikhar Ahmed