Misbah makes experience count as Islamabad winArchive
KARACHI: Seasoned campaigner Misbah-ul-Haq lived a charmed life to inspire Islamabad to a tense two-wicket victory over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the second game of the Cool & Cool presents Haier Pakistan Cup one-day cricket tournament in Faisalabad on Wednesday night.
Unlike the opening fixture between Balochistan and Punjab on Tuesday when no batsman scored a half century, this one produced a brace of them. Unsurprisingly, the two most experienced Pakistan cricketers, Misbah and Younis Khan, both crossed the 50-run landmark.
Otherwise most of the other batsmen from both sides found run-making tougher once the ball got scuffed on another dry surface at the Iqbal Stadium.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa looked like posting a healthy total on the board when Ahmed Shehzad (31 off 43 balls, three fours) and the impressive left-hander Fakhar Zaman (45 off 55, four fours and one six) had begun with a rollicking opening partnership of 76 in the first 14 overs.
But once the stand was broken, Islamabad slow regained control since Fakhar, who reached a career landmark of exactly 1,000 runs in 21 List A matches, looked in supreme touch.
Thereafter, only Younis got going. The ex-Pakistan skipper struck six boundaries and one six during his 59-ball contribution, which was the 38-year-old’s 64th half-century in 343 one-day matches.
Hammad Azam bowled intelligently to grab three wickets for 23 runs from seven tidy overs of seam bowling. Mohammad Abbas also impressed as the third seamer with two for 20.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan, one of the stars of the recent ICC Undr-19 World Cup in Bangladesh, had a tough debut in big time cricket when his first three overs yielded 28 runs.
But the 17-year-old not only returned to dismiss Yasir Shah but also was magnificent in the field. He ran out Rameez Aziz with direct hit to break the threatening third-wicket stand of 55 between Rameez and Younis.
Shadab was also responsible for running out Fakhar and Fahim Ashraf.
Islamabad’s reply — which was delayed considerably when one of the floodlight towers became non-functional and reduced the target to 201 in 43 overs — got off to the worst possible start as Kamran Akmal (4), Sharjeel Khan (1) and Nasir Jamshed (2) departed inside the first four overs with just nine runs on the board.
Misbah then arrived to partner Iftikhar Ahmed (48 off 67 balls, four fours and one six) in a splendid rearguard action. The two added 103 in 129 balls to Islamabad back on track before slow left-armer Zohaib Khan put them in real strife with two quick wickets.
Hammad, however, joined Misbah to garner 41 vital runs for the sixth wicket when the all-rounder provided Zohaib his third wicket.
Misbah had three escapes on the way as the soon-to-be 42 Pakistan Test captain was reprieved on 55, 64 and 71 by the butter-fingered Khyber Pakhtunkhwa fielders.
The run out was the only way Misbah could get dismissed and that was exactly the case when Fakhar threw down the stumps with Islamabad captain just a centimetre short of the crease. TV umpire Mohammad Sajid Afridi’s brilliant verdict was spot on.
Misbag’s 104-ball effort was punctuated with eight fours and one six.
After his heroics in the field, Shadab made an emphatic statement with the bat as well. Despite his tender age, the youngster batted like a veteran and ended the game in great style by depositing Fahim straight over the sightscreen for a six to remain undefeated with a 29-ball 33 that also included a brace of fours.
Ahmed Shehzad c Kamran b Abbas 31 Fakhar Zaman run out 45 Younis Khan c Iftikhar b Hammad 61 Rameez Aziz run out 12 Zohaib Khan c Kamran b Hammad 4 Bismillah Khan c Sharjeel b Hammad 9 Fahim Ashraf run out 5 Yasir Shah st Kamran b Shadab 6 Zia-ul-Haq c Kamran b Sami 10 Mohammad Asghar c Misbah b Abbas 17 Sameen Gul not out 1
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-10) 11
TOTAL (all out, 46.1 overs) 212
FALL OF WKTS: 1-76, 2-99, 3-154, 4-159, 5-169, 6-173, 7-176, 8-190, 9-196.
BOWLING: Mohammad Irfan 8-0-37-0 (2w); Mohammad Sami 8-1-30-1 (1w); Mohammad Abbas 6.1-0-20-2; Imran Khalid 10-0-55-0 (2w); Shadab Khan 6-0-43-1 (1w); Hammad Azam 7-0-23-3; Iftikhar Ahmed 1-0-3-0.
ISLAMABAD (target: 201 in 43 overs):
Kamran Akmal c Fahim b Zia 4 Sharjeel Khan c Yasir b Fahim 1 Nasir Jamshed c Zohaib b Zia 2 Iftikhar Ahmed c Shehzad b Zohaib 48 Misbah-ul-Haq run out 82 Imran Khalid b Zohaib 0 Hammad Azam st Bismillah b Zohaib 17 Shadab Khan not out 33 Mohammad Sami c and b Asghar 12 Mohammad Abbas not out 0
EXTRAS (W-6) 6
TOTAL (for eight wkts, 42.1 overs) 205
FALL OF WKTS: 1-5, 2-7, 3-9, 4-112, 5-112, 6-153, 7-178, 8-196.
DID NOT BAT: Mohammad Irfan.
BOWLING: Fahim Ashraf 8.1-0-47-1; Zia-ul-Haq 8-0-28-2 (3w); Mohammad Asghar 9-0-50-1; Yasir Shah 8-0-50-0; Zohaib Khan 9-0-36-3 (1w).
RESULT: Islamabad won by two wickets (D/L Method).
UMPIRES: Shozab Raza and Rashid Riaz.
TV UMPIRE: Mohammad Sajid Afridi.
MATCH REFEREE: Aziz-ur-Rehman.
Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2016