Pakistan News & Features Services
Mirpurkhas, Dadu and Shikarpur emerged triumphant over their respective rivals in the latest southern region matches of the 16th National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament 2014 played in the interior of Sindh.
Mirpurkhas tamed Badin by five wickets, Dadu overwhelmed Sanghar by six wickets and Shikarpur defeated Sukkur by 18 runs in their opening matches of the annual event being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA) and sponsored jointly by Arif Habib Corporation Limited and Omar Associates (Pvt) Limited.
Leg-spinner Sharfuddin (4-28) and left-arm spinner Naimatullah (2-36) restricted Badin to 147 for seven in the allotted 25 overs after their openers Mohammad Musa (46 off 53 balls) and Shahid Ahmed (23 off 26 balls) had laid the foundation for a bigger total.
Mirpurkhas made the most of the solid opening stand between Mohammad Khalid (42 off 45 balls) and Rahmatullah (29 off 27 balls) to reach the target of 148 in 21.3 overs with five wickets in hand despite Shahid’s haul of three wickets.
Akbar Channa’s fine all-round performance helped Dadu to dominate Sanghar. The medium-pacer claimed three wickets for 22 runs to restrict Sanghar to 138 for seven with number Munawwar Ali (56 off 41 balls) fighting a lone battle.
The 79-run second wicket partnership between opener Abdul Ghaffar (60 off 41 balls) and Akbar Channa (38 off 18 balls) put Dadu in commanding position and they romped home in the 16th over even after a mini-collapse that saw them lose three wickets for nine runs.
Fluent knocks from opener Nisar Ahmed (71 off 60 balls) and Himmat Raza (91 off 61 balls), who added 141 for the second wicket, allowed Shikarpur to post an impressive total of 214 for five in the allotted 25 overs.
Sukkur responded positively with the openers Shafi Mohammad (39 off 32 balls) and Khan Mohammad (25 off 23) laying the base. Number three Mushtaq Ali (47 off 44 balls) kept them in the hunt but wickets tumbled at the other end and they were restricted to 196 for nine with Himmat Raza (2-30) and Mazhar Ali (2-41) doing the damage.
As many as 108 teams from 58 cities have entered the tournament. They have been divided in 24 Groups and they incl;ude 35 city teams from Punjab, 13 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, eight from Sindh, three from Islamabad and one from FATA. The national final will be played between the winning teams of North and South zones at Lahore on May 4.