RAWALPINDI - Askari Greens lifted the First All-Pakistan Veteran Cricket Tournament 2016 title after beating Lahore Gulberg by 14 runs in the highly tense final played here at GHQ Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Former Pakistan Test batsman Majid Khan graced the occasion as chief guest while Rawalpindi Region’s former ad hoc chairman Major Nadeem Sadle, international player Masood Anwar, former Abbotabbad Region president Amir Nawab, former Sialkot region president Malik Zulfiqar, Lt Gen (R) Absar Hussain and other prominent personalities were also present on the occasion.

A total of 40 teams from entire country took part in the event including 13 teams from Rawalpindi, 11 from KP, 7 from Lahore, 5 from Balochistan and 4 from Sialkot.

Askari skipper won the toss and elected to bat first. Helped by a sensational 124 from the player of the tournament Tariq, who consumed 82 deliveries in his stylish innings hitting 18 boundaries and two sixes, Askari scored 291-7 in allotted 30 overs. Rahim contributed 57 in 42 balls, hitting 6 fours and 2 sixes and Raza Butt made whirlwind 52 in just 22 balls studded with 3 fours and 4 massive sixes. Javed took 2 for 33.

Chasing massive 292 runs for victory, Lahore Gulbarg started their run-chase in worst possible fashion as they lost openers in the third over. But Rizwan played superbly and held on one end. His classic 101 in just 74 deliveries under enormous pressure was a treat to watch for the pack to capacity crowd. Despite playing in Army ground under highly tight security, credit must be given to organisers, who as per promise not only give access to sports journalists but also made top class arrangements. After Rizwan, Abdul Waheed played some delightful strokes and kept Lahore in the hunt. Waheed hammered 4 fours and as many sixes in his 66 runs knock consuming 44 deliveries. Lahore requiring 34 runs in last two overs fell short by just 14 runs as they could score 277 for the loss of 9 wickets in 30 overs. Former first class player left arm spinner Iftikhar alias Sian was the wrecker in chief as he destroyed Lahore batting grabbing 5 for 44.

Tariq and Iftikahr were jointly declared men of the final by the 4-meber jury comprising of RISJA Patron Shakeel Awan, President Mohsin Ali, Major Nadeem Sadle and former Test umpire Mian Aslam.

Winners Askari Green was awarded beautiful trophy and Rs 100,000 cash by chief guest Majid Khan while Lahore Green was handed over runners up trophy and Rs 50,000 cash. Tariq declared player of the tournament for scoring more than 700 runs. Majid Khan lauded efforts of the organisers and said he was pleasantly surprised to witness top class cricket on offer and hoped these events would not only continue on veteran level but also youth would be involved. Lt Gen Abasr promised to conduct events on regular basis and also expand it further to grassroots level as well.