RAWALPINDI - Skipper Matloob Qureshi helped Multan rout Islamabad by 59 runs to retain the 6th National Disabled T20 Cricket Championship 2018 title here at Pindi Cricket Stadium on Monday.

No one else but Islamabad skipper Usman Paracha and coach Tahir must be blamed for defeat, as despite being fully aware of the fact that overnight moisture and dew always play major role while bowling first, Usman won the toss and put Multan into bat first. The decision badly failed to live up to expectations, as Multan batsmen took full advantage and hammered Islamabad bowlers to all corners of the park.

Multan lost opener Zaman Ali at 22, but skipper Matloob and Majid Hussain kept the run rate moving rapidly, as both were involved in massive 129-run partnership for the third wicket. Majid finally got out after scoring 74 off 47 with the help of 11 fours and 1 six. Jahanzaib Tiwana then joined Matloob and struck 49 in just 17 deliveries. Matloob kept the scoreboard ticking and helped Multan pile massive total of 231-3. Matloob made unbeaten 76 off 51 balls hitting 8 boundaries. Waqif Shah got 1 wicket for 34.

Chasing 232-run target, Islamabad could score 172-9 in allotted overs. Despite a superb 77-run opening stand between Adil Abbasi and Usman Paracha, Islamabad never looked like achieving or even coming anywhere close to the target. They kept on losing wickets at regular intervals while Multan fielding and superb catching was highlight of the day. The fielders helped their bowlers in the best possible manner, which Islamabad bowlers lacked.

Adil scored 51, Usman 37 and Saim 30. Muhammad Haris was pick of Multan bowlers as he grabbed 3 wickets for 28 while Jahanzaib Sultan and Zubair Saleem took two wickets each conceding 28 and 37 runs respectively.

Former Test cricketer Col (R) Noshad Ali graced the occasion as chief guest, while ICRC officials Younus Alam, Dr Shahzad, Hajra Khan, Rimsha Ali Shah, RCA Regional Head Raja Ashraf, PDCA Rawalpindi Coordinator Sabih Azhar, Honorary Secretary Amir Uddin Ansari, Media Manager M Nizam and others were also present on the occasion.

Col Noushad Ali handed over championship trophy and cash prize of Rs 100,000 to Multan skipper Matloob while runners-up trophy and cash award of Rs 50,000 was received by Islamabad skipper Usman Paracha. Matloob Qureshi of Multan (220 runs) was named the best batsman, Jahanzaib Tiwana of Multan (9 wkts) best bowler, Majid Hussain of Multan (193 runs and 4 wickets) player of the tournament, Waqif Shah of Islamabad best fielder and Matloob Qureshi of Multan man of the match. All the award winners received Rs 10,000 each.

PDCA Secretary Amir Uddin Ansari presented shield to Col Noshad Ali. Javed Ashraf and Saleem supervised the match as field umpires, while PCB official scorer Shakeel Ahmed acted as scorer and Muhammad Wasim as match referee.

Sharing his views, PDCA President Rashid Latif expressed his gratitude to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Rawalpindi administration, Salim Karim, Amir-ud-Din Ansari, Nizam and all those sponsors, who lent a helping hand in conducting the event in a befitting manner. “I believe that the for their outstanding contributions towards disabled cricket, the PDCA must also be recognised duly by the PCB.”

Winning team skipper Matloob thanked the PDCA chairman, president, secretary, Sabih Azhar and all those, who made this event possible. He attributed victory to entire disabled community and said: “Each and every member of the team played key role in helping Multan retain the title.”

Sharing his views, Islamabad skipper Usman admitted that he made a mistake by opting to field first as dew factor played major role, but he looks satisfied with his players’ performances and said: “We will try to win the next edition.”