Pakistan News & Features Services
Omar Associates and Moin Khan Academy stormed into the Southern Zone final of the 16th National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament 2014 as they overcame Hyderabad and Karachi Friends respectively in the semifinals on April 20.
The zonal final, between Omar Associates and Moin Khan Academy, will be played at the National Stadium, Karachi, on April 27 and the winners will qualify for the National final due to be staged in Lahore next month.
The annual tournament, organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), is being sponsored by Arif Habib Corporation Limited and Omar Associates (Pvt) Limited, offering cash awards of Rs 805,000.
In the zonal semifinals, Omar Associates whipped Hyderabad by eight wickets while Moin Khan Academy edged out Karachi Friends by nine runs in a thrilling finish.
The spin duo of Nadeem Musa (4-21) and Saifullah Magsi (4-32) engineered a sensational collapse as Hyderabad was bowled out for 155 in 23.5 overs, losing their last nine wickets for only 73 after opener Abdul Rahim (68 off 49 balls) and number three Arshad Khan (42 off 37 balls) had laid a platform for an impressive total.
The 124-run opening partnership between Sajid Ali (56 off 27 balls) and Jaffer Qureshi (72 off 40 balls) helped Omar Associates reach the target in just 14.3 overs.
The other semifinal was a tight one as Moin Khan Academy made 216 for six in 25 overs against Karachi Friends despite being rocked by left-arm spinner Yahya Toor (4-40). Opener Asif Siddiqui (66 off 47 balls), Mahmood Hamid (38 off 30 balls) and Ghulam Ali (30 off 30 balls) kept the scoreboard moving to raise a decent total.
Opener Irfan Ali (93 off 53 balls), with the support of Sagheer Abbas (32 off 36 balls) and Zahid Ahmed (26 off 19 balls), put Karachi Friends in front but skipper Nadeem Khan (3-25) led Moin Khan Academy’s fightback and restricted the opponents to 207 for seven in 25 overs.
Earlier in their last league matches held on April 19, Moin Khan Academy blasted Gold Bridge Media by 86 while Karachi Friends booked a spot in the semifinals by surprising Omar Associates by five wickets.
Moin Khan Academy registered a cakewalk win against Gold Bridge Media after Dr Kamal’s enterprising 70 off 35 balls containing three sixes and eight fours enabled them to reach a total of 236 for seven in 25 overs. Aziz-ur-Rahman (40 off 22 balls), Umar Masood (38 off 30 balls), Abid Hanif (26 off 17 balls) and Qamar Ibrahim (24 off 20 balls) also chipped in with useful contributions while left-arm spinners Fabion Bob (3-40) and Shuja Haider (2-39) shared the bowling honours.
Gold Bridge Media lost their top three batsmen for nine runs and half of their side was back in the dugout with only 43 runs on the board. Fabion Bob (52 off 39 balls), Imtiaz Siddiqui (35 off 40 balls) and Kashif Hanif (31 off 36 balls) allowed them to reach a total of 150 for seven but it was 87 runs short of their target. The wickets were shared between Dr Kamal (2-10), Habib-ur-Rahman (2-14) and Saif Ashraf (2-39).
Omar Associates, who had overpowered the star-studded Moin Khan Academy by 25 runs the other week, was restricted to 195 for seven in 25 overs by Karachi Friends despite fine knocks from opener Sajid Ali (83 off 60 balls) and Irfan Ali (47 off 36 balls) with left-arm spinner Yahya Toor (2-31) and off-spinner Azeem Ahmed (2-20) taking key wickets.
Opener Irfan Ali’s 12-ball 33 provided an exhilarating start to the Karachi Friends innings and solid contributions from Azeem Ahmed (44 off 31 balls), Mohammad Aslam (54 off 51 balls) and Sagheer Abbas (31 off 32 balls) ensured that the target of 196 was successfully chased as the winning runs came with nine balls to spare.