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Faisalabad regain first-class status after two seasons

Faisalabad regain first-class status after two seasons

KARACHI: Faisalabad sealed a thoroughly deserving nine-wicket victory over Multan on the penultimate day of the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy Grade-II Cricket Tournament final in Multan to regain first-class status after two seasons.

The result at the Multan Cricket Stadium means Faisalabad would be returning to the country’s premier first-class event, the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy National Cricket Championship, later in the year after being demoted at the conclusion of the new abolished Silver League competition in 2014-15.

Faisalabad, who were led by Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, made light work of a 102-run target after dismissing Multan for 217 on day three of the four-day clash.

Multan, for whom it was their second consecutive heartbreaking moment in the Grade-II final since Karachi Blues won this title last year to qualify for the first-class tournament, needed to bat deep after resuming the day at 29-2.

Barring Pakistan discard Sohaib Maqsood and to a lesser extent Rizwan Haider, the rest crumbed against the pace and cut of Samiullah Khan Niazi and Naseer Akram.

Sohaib, the tall right-hander who turns 30 on April 15, struck 11 boundaries and one six in scoring 103 from 159 balls before falling to Naseer.

The left-handed Rizwan made 43 off 89 balls with five fours being trapped LBW by Samiullah, who ended a threatening sixth-wicket partnership of 94.

Samiullah, who made two wicketless One-day Internationals in early 2008 against Zimbabwe, finished with splendid analysis of 6-58 in 20 overs with Naseer claiming 3-37 from 21 overs.

Faisalabad then lost Asif Ali for nine but Ali Rafiq (44 off 64 balls, seven fours) and Usman Arshad (44 off 58, seven fours and one six),

Misbah, who was adjudged man-of-the-match for his brilliant innings of 94 on Monday, received the winners’ trophy plus cash award of Rs500,000.

A dejected Zulfiqar Babar was presented with the runners-up trophy and Rs250,000.

Sialkot left-hander Ayaz Tasawwar was declared best batsman of the tournament for amassing 583 runs while the best bowler prize was secured by Hyderabad off-spinner Nasir Awais for his tally of 38 wickets.


MULTAN (1st Innings) 245 (Imran Rafiq 130 not out; Ahmed Safi 6-68, Naseer Akram 2-46).

FAISALABAD (1st Innings) 361-8 (Misbah-ul-Haq 94, Ali Rafiq 81, Khurram Shehzad 70, Asif Ali 46, Imran Khalid 24; Zulfiqar Babar 6-149, Ali Usman 2-73).

MULTAN (2nd Innings, 29-2):

Zain Abbas c Khurram b Samiullah 13

Waqar Hussain c Misbah b Samiullah 0

Imran Rafiq lbw b Samiullah 5

Gulraiz Sadaf b Naseer 20

Sohaib Maqsood c Ehsan b Naseer 103

A. Rehman Muzammil c Usman b Naseer 1

Rizwan Haider lbw b Samiullah 43

Zulfiqar Babar c Khurram b Ahmed 10

Ali Usman not out 1

Zia-ul-Haq c Ahmed b Samiullah 1

Sadaif Mehdi b Samiullah 0

EXTRAS (B-11, LB-1, W-6, NB-2) 20

TOTAL (all out, 81 overs) 217

FALL OF WKTS: 1-9, 2-19, 3-27, 4-93, 5-95, 6-189, 7-202, 8-211, 9-212.

BOWLING: Samiullah Khan Niazi 20-5-58-6 (2nb, 1w); Naseer Akram 21-5-37-3 (4w); Ehsan Adil 15-2-52-0 (1w); Ahmed Safi 20-6-40-1; Imran Khalid 2-0-9-0; Khurram Shehzad 3-0-9-0

FAISALABAD (2nd Innings):

Ali Rafiq not out 44

Asif Ali c Gulraiz b Zia 9

Usman Arshad not out 45

EXTRAS (B-4) 4

TOTAL (for one wkt, 21.5 overs) 102

FALL OF WKT: 1-13.

BOWLING: Zia-ul-Haq 4-0-16-1; Sadaif Mehdi 4-0-15-0; Ali Usman 7-0-42-0; Zulfiqar Babar 5-1-10-0; Sohaib Maqsood 1.5-0-15-0.

RESULT: Faisalabad won by nine wickets.

UMPIRES: Asif Yaqoob and Ahsan Raza.


OFFICIAL SCORER: Mohammad Akbar.

MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Misbah-ul-Haq.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2017

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