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Highlights of Quaid e Azam Trophy Final 2017-18

The 4 months long journey of Pakistan’spremier first class cricket tournament Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2017-18 came to an end at the National Stadium Karachi on 25th December 2017 when Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) defeated defending champions Water and Power Development Authority by 103 runs.

SNGPL – the ex-champions recorded their 4th victory of Quaide Azam trophy. Salman Butt the captain of defending champions WAPDA decided to field after winning the toss. Last season, it was Salman Butt’s heroics that helped WAPDA claim the title against Habib Bank Limited (HBL).

WAPDA had a fine start by bringing SNGPL to 94-4 in the 45th over. But then Iftikhar Ahmed put up some fight and made 73 runs before getting lbw by WAPDA’s speedster Waqas Maqsood. The partnership of 89 runs between Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan (42) helped SNGPL post 259 runs for 10 wickets in the 1st innings.

WAPDA’s bowler Wahab Riaz who has played only 5 matches in the tournament took 4 wickets in the innings. He was supported well by Waqas Maqsood and Mohammad Asif who picked up 3 and 2 wickets respectively. The duo of Waqas Maqsood and Mohammad Asif contributed in WAPDA reaching the final. Mohammad Asif picked up 44 wickets in the tournament, taking 5 five wicket haul and a 6-23 in the first match of Super Eight Stage against Khan Research Laboratory (KRL). Waqas Maqsood was another game changer from WAPDA who bagged 33 wickets in 7 matches and a 9-32 in the first match of Super Eight Stage against Khan Research Laboratory (KRL).

WAPDA took a 12 runs lead in the 1st innings by scoring 271 for the loss of 10 wickets. Kamran Akmal was the highest run scorer who scored 67 runs from 143 balls. His knock included 7 fours and 1 six. Adnan Raees was another top scorer with 65 runs. He also established a partnership of 74 runs with Aamer Sajjad who scored 72 balls 35 runs. Another important partnership of 48 runs was established between Kamran Akmal and Khalid Usman (26).

SNGPL’s Mohammad Abbas who claimed 37 wickets in 7 matches picked up 4 wickets in the 1st innings. Abbas had 3 five wicket hauls in the tournament and best figures of 6-24 against WAPDA. Samiullah Niazi and Azizullah both grabbed 3 wickets each. Azizullah grabbed 34 wickets in 8 matches in the tournament taking 3 five wicket haul and a 6-27against National Bank of Pakistan (NBP). Samiullah picked 25 wickets in 4 matches. He showed his best performance in the final by picking career best 8-62 in 17 overs.

As SNGPL came out to bat their wickets started to topple leaving them at 21-4 in the 7th over of the 2nd innings. Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan then set up a fighting partnership of 193 runs before Mohammad Rizwan fell prey to Khalid Usman in the 75th over after scoring 91 runs from 200 balls. Iftikhar Ahmed showed his class by scoring a crucial knock of 106 which helped his team to post a total of 268 runs.

Waqas Maqsood and MohammadAsif took 3 wickets each and destroyed the batting lineup of SNGPL before Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan displayed their heroics. Khalid Usman took 2 wickets whilst Wahab Riaz and Zahid Mansoor grabbed 1 each.

When WAPDA came out to bat, they required 256 runs to win on a flat track but the heroics of Samiullah Niazi wrapped up the innings of WAPDA on the score of 153 in 45 overs. Batsmen of WAPDA showed some resistance with Zahid Mansoor and Aamer Sajjad establishing a partnership of 74 runs and scoring 38 runs each. Wahab Riaz smashed 24 runs off 30 balls and Khalid Usman remained not out on 34. All the efforts of WAPDA’s batsmen went in vain due to the magical bowling of Samiullah Niazi which helped his team to win the title for the fourth time.

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