RAWALPINDI   -   Rain spoiled the crucial match of the Pakistan Cup 2019 between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan as the points were equally shared between both the sides here at Pindi Stadium on late Sunday night.

Balochistan was chasing a huge total of 359 runs for victory and had posted 129-3 in 17.5 overs, when first dust storm and then heavy rain forced umpires to rush for the covers. But rain was too heavy, as in a few minutes, the entire outfield was presenting mini swimming pool look. Although the Pindi Stadium ground staff did a fantastic job of covering the pitch and outfield within no time, but heavy rain had ensured no further play was possible and the umpires declared it as no result and both teams were allocated a point each.

Punjab and Federal Areas are out of Pakistan Cup for the place in the final race, while Sindh have still hopes of making it to the final, if they manage to win both of their remaining matches. KP and Balochistan have 5 points each after playing three matches each, but Balochistan team is leading the points table due to better run-rate. They, however, are on top of the points table with a net run rate of 1.008, while KP is occupying second place with net run-rate of 0.316.

Earlier, Asad Shafiq won the toss and opted to field first. The decision badly failed to bring desired results while he also misused young and promising talent Ali Imran, who is genuine all-rounder as he is an impressive opener and also bowls really well, when it matters the most. If given proper chance, Ali Imran could have helped his team register crucial victories but Asad’s unprofessional captaincy cost team dearly.

Out-of-form Abid Ali got his missing touch and hammered all the Balochistan bowlers at will along with skipper Salman Butt as they had 168-run opening stand. Abid remained unlucky to be given lbw at 95 runs off 77 balls studded with 14 boundaries and 4 sixes. Haris Rauf gave the breakthrough.

It was time and again mentioned that the umpiring standard needed to be given special importance. It is hoped that now new PCB Managing Director will look into these issues of grave importance and introduce the system of accountability for all.

Meanwhile, Salman Butt continued to hit boundaries and was involved in 93-run stand for the second wicket with Adil Amin. Salman completed his 24th list A hundred in 204 matches. He is only two behind all-time leader Saeed Anwar, who had scored 26 list A centuries in 325 matches.

Adil was finally out after scoring 50. Salman was finally run out for 133 with 16 fours and 1 six. At one stage, KP were looking to post 400 plus total, but middle order batmen failed to capitalise and could score 358-6 in allotted overs. Haris Rauf took 2 for 70.

Chasing 359 runs for victory, Balochsitan, despite losing three wickets, were playing with authority; especially inform Awais Zia, along with Zeeshan Ashraf posted 92 runs in just 11.2 overs, before Zeeshan was out after scoring 26. Skipper Asad Shaifq followed him soon after scoring 7 and last matches hero, Umar Akmal, was brilliantly caught by Abid Ali. Umar could score just one run.

Awais was unbeaten at 84 off 61 deliveries. He hit 12 fours and 1 six in his impressive knock. Fawad Alam was also unbeaten after scoring 4 runs. When rain forced no result and both teams shared a point each, Umaid Asif had taken 2 for 37, as match was not finished no one was named player of the match.

Scorecard

KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA:

Salman Butt run out 133

Abid Ali lbw b Haris Rauf 95

Adil Amin c & b Amad Butt 50

Khushdil Shah c Shafiq b M Irfan 20

Zohaib Khan c Awais Zia b Amad Butt 15

Wahab Riaz c Ali Imran b Haris Rauf 6

Sohail Khan not out 14

Mohammad Saad not out 8

EXTRAS: (b 4, lb 5, w 8) 17

TOTAL: (6 wkts, 50 overs) 358

FOW: 1-168, 2-261, 3-296, 4-323, 5-325, 6-331.

BOWLING: Mohammad Irfan 10-0-43-1, Haris Rauf 10-0-70-2, Umer Khan 10-0-77-0, Amad Butt 10-0-77-2, Ali Imran 6-0-62-0, Asad Shafiq 4-0-20-0.

BALOCHISTAN:

Awais Zia not out 84

Zeeshan Ashraf c Sohail b Umaid Asif 26

Asad Shafiq c Adnan b Wahab Riaz 1

Umar Akmal c Abid Ali b Umaid Asif 7

Fawad Alam not out 4

EXTRAS: (b 1, lb 1, w 5) 7

TOTAL: (3 wkts, 17.5 overs) 129

FOW: 1-92, 2-100, 3-111.

BOWLING: Sohail Khan 4-0-33-0, Umaid Asif 4.5-0-37-2, Muhammad Musa 3-0-24-0, Wahab Riaz 5-0-18-1, Adil Amin 1-0-15-0.

TOSS: Balochistan

UMPIRES: Khalid Mahmood, Zameer Haider

TV UMPIRES: Mohammad Asif

RESERVE UMPIRE: Ahmed Shahab

MATCH REFEREE: Muhammad Javed