ISLAMABAD     -   Pakistani parliamentarians’ cricket team thrashed Bangladesh by 9 wickets to win the inaugural Parliamentarians World Cup played in London on Friday.

Bangladesh, batting first, were bundled out for 104 runs. Murtaza Mahmood was star performer as he picked three wickets while skipper Zain Qureshi bagged two wickets. Pakistan chased the target in 13th overs losing only one wicket. Ali Amin Gandapur slammed stylish 52 while Ali Zahid contributed 30. Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser remained instrumental in team’s title triumphant as he not only motivated the entire team throughout practice sessions but was also present in England to buck up the players, which helped them win the World Cup.

Earlier, Bangladesh beat England by 20 runs in the second semifinal Bangladesh. Bangladesh made 188 while England could score 168. In the first semifinal, Pakistan Parliamentarians defeated Afghanistan by 8 wickets. Batting first, Afghanistan were bundled out for just 101 in 19.1 overs. Syed Murtaza Mahmood ripped apart Afghans batting line up as he grabbed 3 wickets for 21 runs, while captain Zain along with Ahmad Kundi took two wickets each. Opener Ali Zahid (36) helped the team chase the target in 14 overs losing just two wickets. Ali Amin Gandapur made unbeaten 35.

Pakistan got off to worst start in the tournament and lost against Bangladesh, but they bounced back in style to beat New Zealand by 9 wickets. New Zealand were bundled out for 62 and in reply, Pakistan reached home in 7 overs losing just one wicket. Pakistan hammered All Stars by 10 wickets in the last match. All Stars were bowled out for 74. Pakistan chased the target in 9.1 overs without losing a single wicket. Zain was the leading wicket-taker for Pakistan with 5 wickets in the event, while Syed Murtaza Mahmood took 4 and Kundi 3 wickets.

Talking to The Nation from England, Pakistan captain Zain Qurehsi said: “We had promised the nation that we would give our 100 percent in the event, so we did it and won the World Cup. The credit goes to all the players, who played like tigers and never let the team down, despite the fact other teams included non-parliamentarians in their squads and I lodged a strong protest with the organisers as it was supposed to be played in spirit rather than for winning, but no heed was paid.

“We decided to play the event to show sportsman spirit. I am really disappointed the way Indians had included professional players, while other teams also had non-parliamentarians representation, but justice prevailed and India failed to even make it to the semifinals and we succeeded in winning the title,” Zain added.

Pakistani parliamentarians’ team head coach Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai said: “I am really proud of my team. Zian led the team from the front while entire team backed him like one unit. We had worked day and night with the players and I was sure, they won’t disappoint me and the country. Although they had to face professional cricketers, yet they showed courage and fighting skills to beat all the given opponents and won the World Cup.”