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It’s a food of thought for the management of the Habib Bank Limited (HBL) to decide if they could continue compromising with the indiscipline of their cricketers bring the game as well as the department to disrepute.
The manner in which HBL crashed in the final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Cricket Championship 2009-10 at the National Stadium, Karachi, brought to light the lack of commitment and motivation.
Karachi Blues emerged triumphant by a staggering margin of 141 runs in what was a low scoring affair and the game was over on the third afternoon with all 40 wickets having fallen in seven and a half session.
Theoritically the match didn’t last even half of the time it was allotted.
Set to score 208, HBL crashed to 66 all out in less than two hours of batting. Remember it was not a Twenty20 game but a five-day final of the premier event of the country known as the National Championship.
Seeing was believing as far as the HBL collpase on the third day was concerned. There was nothing wrong in the pitch whose bounce was hardly anywhere to be classified as uneven or double-paced as a few of the experts speculated after the early finish to the game.
Mohammad Sami (6-38) and Tanvir Ahmed (4-27) bowled their heart out while defending a low total. Both of them generated considerable pace besides extracting movement off the pitch. The ball had obviously not lost its shine because the HBL innings was over in a matter of 21 overs with the duo of Sami and Tanvir completing the rout.
Sami’s performance merited greater recognition because he was also captaining the side. His attacking instincts yielded results as the HBL batsmen succumbed once the 32-run opening partnership was broken.
From 32 for no wicket, with Taufiq Umar and Saleem Elahi having negotiated the early burst, they had slumped to 46 for five at lunch. Not surprisimgly it was all over during the first hour of the afternoon session with the last five wickets tumbling like pack of cards.
HBL had considerable depth and experience in their batting and it had looked a question of just one big partnership to do it for them. But the lack of application on part of the seasoned campaigners let them down and the task was beyond the late-order batsmen.
Much was expected from Younis Khan but he flopped in both outings. As something said if the national selectors had come there to assess his batting form, then he didn’t deserve to be flown to Australia.
The HBL skipper, Hasan Raza, was guilty of playing an outrageous shot. With two fielders on the boundary line behind square he still chose to take the aerial route and was easily plucked at the stroke of lunch. His decision of holding himself back to number six was also talked about as a move to slaughter an inexperienced chap for his own protection. The move didn't work either.
Syed Khalid Mahmood has had passion for writing and sports since childhood. After having edited wall papers and magazines in his student life, he had started contributing to various international publications from an early age.
He joined the mainstream journalism in 1987 and his first book was published later the same year. After having studied at the famed institutions like Cadet College Petaro and Delhi College, he graduated in civil engineering from the prestigious NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, in 1986.
He has earned greater fame and recognition in the field of media being acclaimed as a leading international sports writer, having worked for some of the eminent newspapers like The Frontier Post and The News International besides a brief stint with The Mississauga News. He has also appeared regularly as an analyst on various television channels.
He has already authored 12 books viz Asian Glory (2012); Reflections (2010); Cricket Fever: A History of Pakistan-India Tours (2008); Mission Caribbean: A Guide to ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 (2007); World Cup 2003: Top of the Charts (2005); Spotlight on World Cup 2003 (2005); World Cup 1999: So Near Yet So Far (2000); Pakistan’s Sports Greats (1997); Pakistan: The Land of World Champions (1995); Pakistan’s Triumph in World Cup 1992 (1993); The Caribbean Challenge: A History of Pakistan-West Indies matches (1989) and Focus on World Cup (1987 and 1994).
He has had an active social life throughout. Having founded The Young Champs in 1984 he became the District Secretary of Rotary International District 3271 (Pakistan) in 2015-16. Besides being the Founder President of the NED Alumni Association, he is also the Vice President of the Delhi College & Schools Old Boys Association. He is also a member of The Petarian Association, Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi Press Club, Pakistan Engineering Council and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.
His write-ups are carried by innumerable portals and websites across the world while his exclusive articles on the web, having grown in popularity, could be accessed on his blog at www.skmsports.com
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