Pakistan News & Features Services
Pakistan Panthers Veterans remained undefeated on the tour of England as they overpowered Middlesex County Cricket Club by 33 runs in their last game staged at the St Mary Cricket Club Harrow Ground on August 28.
Batting first, Pakistan Veterans posted a healthy total of 276 for nine in the stipulated 40 overs. Then they contained Middlesex CCC to 243 for seven in 40 overs to win the match handsomely.
They had defeated Dorset Veterans by 34 runs in their opening match at the Dean Park in Bournemouth while their other two games, against Surrey CCC and Hampshire CCC, were abandoned without a ball being bowled due to heavy rains.
Sajid Ali was the declared as the batsman for Pakistan on the tour while Fawad Ijaz Khan was adjudged as the best bowler.
Rain stayed away from their fourth and final game which turned out to be a high-scoring fixture with as many as 519 runs being scored in 80 overs of play.
The Pakistan Veterans skipper, Fawad Ijaz Khan, won the toss yet again and opted to bat first. Opener Sajid Ali picked up from where he had left in the last game in which he had scored 94 off 89 balls. His 108-run partnership with Rizwan Nisar laid the foundation for a mammoth score.
Sajid Ali, having represented Pakistan in One-day Internationals, smashed four sixes and six fours in his 70 off 54 balls while Rizwan Nisar hammered half a dozen boundaries in his 50 off 41 balls. The loss of a few quick wickets slowed down the rate of scoring but the innings was revived by Moin Khan, a former Pakistan captain, who whacked two sixes and three fours in his 31 off 28 balls.
The onslaught in the death overs by Raja Arshad, who blasted five sixes in his breezy 39 off 17 balls, lifted the total with Naeem Ashraf (36 off 25 balls) and Sajjad Ahmed (22 off 16) also making useful contributions down the order. Alexander Keith (3-79), K Desai (2-38) and Reingold Mark (2-48) shared the wickets for the home side.
Chasing a formidable target of 277, Middlesex CCC lost early wickets and even the centurion Reingold Mark, who unleashed five sixes and 15 fours in his 116 off 74 balls, could not change the course of the match.
The hosts were restricted to 243 for seven with medium-pacer Shahid Mahboob (2-21) and left-arm spinner Fawad Ijaz Khan (2-56) being the most successful bowlers from the visiting side.
A sizeable crowd watched the match which was also attended by former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal, West Indian fast bowling great, Michael Holding, former Pakistan fast bowler, Jalaluddin, and celebrated cricket writer, Qamar Ahmed. Later in the evening, a dinner reception was hosted in honour of the team by the local Pakistani Community which was largely attended and covered extensively by media.