Pakistan News & Features Services
Defending champions Karachi Omar Associates began on a winning note in the 17th National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament 2015, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA).
Karachi Omar Associates registered a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over Quetta Seniors at the RLCA Ground while Karachi Rashid Latif overwhelmed Quetta Seniors by seven wickets at the Hussain Lawai Naya Nazimabad Stadium.
A record number of 109 teams from all over the country have entered the tournament, which got underway on January 18. The annual event, to be spread over three months, is being sponsored by IMI Omar (Pvt) Ltd and Arif Habib Group.
Fine bowling from Karachi Omar Associates limited Quetta Seniors to a total of 93 for three in the allotted 15 overs with Shakeel Ahmed remaining unbeaten on 25 off 30 balls and Raja Gulfam left undefeated on 19 off 15 balls. Mohammad Maqbool chipped in with 23 off 16 balls while the wickets were shared between off-spinners Mahmood Khan (2-30) and Iqbal Shaikh (1-15).
After the early exit of both the openers, Karachi Omar Associates regained control through the pair of Azhar Khan and Iqbal Shaikh who took them over the line with more than four overs to spare. They added 77 for the third wicket without being separated.
Azhar smashed three sixes and as many fours in his 47 off 28 balls while Iqbal, who was adjudged Man of the Match, whacked three sixes and two fours in his 37 off 25 balls.
Quetta Seniors lost their way after a solid start against Karachi Rashid Latif to be restricted to 142 for seven in the allotted 25 overs. They appeared poised for a bigger total after reaching 80 for the loss of only one wicket but they were derailed by the spin duo of Habib Rahman (3-22) and Saif Khan (2-32).
Opener Zia Kansi struck one six and two fours in his 42 off 52 balls, Raja Gulfam hit a six and a four in his 30 off 22 balls while Naseem Khan (18 off 25 balls) and Raj Hans (17 off 23 balls) also reached double figures.
Karachi Rashid Latif chased down the target of 143 in just 13.3 overs with opener Asif Siddiqui, who was declared Man of the Match, hammering 80 off 37 balls with the help of a six and 15 fours. He added 92 for the second wicket with Omar Masood, who remained undefeated with 36 off 38 balls. Off-spinner Raj Hans took two of the three wickets to fall during the innings.