Pakistan News & Features Services
The spinners dominated the latest round of league matches in the HBL Inter-Schools Cricket Tournament 2014, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA).
The spin duo of Farman Sadiq and Mohammad Shahzad powered Behbud Secondary School to a crushing eight-wicket victory over Ladybird Grammar School in their Group A encounter at the TMC Ground while leg-spinner Umair Arshad’s six-wicket haul helped Habib Public School to edge out Army Public School by three wickets in a low-scoring Group B fixture at the KCCA Stadium.
Ladybird Grammar School, who elected to bat after winning the toss against Behbud Secondary School, collapsed dramatically after a solid 42-run opening stand provided by Mohammad Kamal and Waleed Farooqui.
The introduction of spin created a sensation as they lost all their 10 wickets for only 21 runs to be bowled out for 63 in 19.2 overs. Off-spinner Farman Sadiq rocked them with the figures of five for 10 while left-arm spinner Mohammad Shahzad grabbed four wickets for 16 runs.
Farman Sadiq followed his five-for with 18 off as many balls to be adjudged Man of the Match as Behbud Secondary School needed only eight overs to reach the modest target of 64. Mohammad Arif smashed four boundaries in his unbeaten 22 off 17 balls.
The other game, featuring Habib Public School and Army Public School, was a keenly contested one and the outcome remained in doubt until the very end. Batting first, Army Public School was indebted to opener Arsalan Khan (42 off 47 balls) to have taken them to a total of 112 despite the brilliant bowling from leg-spinner Umair Arshad (6-23) after medium-pacers Mohammad Faraz (2-8) and Ahmed Kabir (2-22) had devastated the top-order.
Needing 113 in 40 overs, Habib Public School found themselves reeling at 79 for seven despite Ahmed Kabir’s 23 off 24 balls.
The Army Public School bowlers, particularly medium-pacer Abdul Rahman (2-33), did well to keep the contest alive while defending a small total. Army Public School also sensed a possible win as they needed the last three wickets with their opponents requiring 34 runs.
Zubair Aslam (22 off 26 balls) and Mohammad Faraz (12 off 17 balls), however added 34 priceless runs for their unbroken eighth wicket stand to take Habib Public School to victory with nearly 10 overs to spare. The Man of the Match award was clinched by their teammate Umair Arshad for his six wickets.