Pakistan News & Features Services
Karachi Gold Bridge Media became the Southern region champions of the 17th National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament 2015 by edging out holders Karachi Omar Associates by nine runs in the final at the National Stadium, Karachi, on November 29.
The prize distribution ceremony was held soon after the conclusion of the final in which Arif Habib, Chairman, Arif Habib Group, was the chief guest. Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, PVCA, Nadeem Omar, Managing Director, Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd and Jalaluddin, a former Test fast bowler, were also present on the occasion.
Karachi Gold Bridge Media will now combat the Northern region champions in the National Final, also to be held at the National Stadium, on December 18.
A record number of 109 teams from all over the country entered the annual tournament, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), and sponsored by IMI Omar (Pvt) Ltd and Arif Habib Group.
As expected, the final turned out to be a closely fought affair. Put into bat, Karachi Gold Bridge Media scored 228 for nine in the allotted 30 overs. Karachi Omar Associates came up with a befitting reply but they were derailed by a middle-order collapse and finished at 219 for eight in 30 overs.
The 112-run third wicket partnership between Aamir Iqbal and Rizwan Qureshi consolidated Karachi Gold Bridge Media’s position after skipper Mukhtar Ahmed, who opened the innings, set the tone by whacking six fours in his 33 off 24 balls.
The momentum was sustained after his departure as Aamir Iqbal smashed one six and 11 fours in his 89 off 69 balls while Rizwan Qureshi belted nine boundaries in his 62 off 48 balls to ensure a commanding total for their side.
Karachi Omar Associates pulled it back with late wickets through the spin trio of Iqbal Shaikh (2-24), Jaffer Qureshi (2-33) and Saifullah Magsi (2-35).to restrict their opponents to 228 for nine, after they appeared poised for a bigger total.
Jaffer Qureshi fell early in the chase of 229 but Karachi Omar Associates was kept afloat by his opening partner Sajid Ali, who made 56 off 48 balls with the aid of one six and seven fours.
Iqbal Shaikh’s whirlwind 60 off 37 balls with the help of one six and seven fours put Karachi Omar Associates in front with Azhar Khan (33 off 27 balls) also contributing his bit. At 173 for three the defending champions were the firm favourites to win the game as they only needed 56 with seven wickets in hand.
The course of the match was changed by off-spinner Abdul Waheed (2-30) and left-arm spinner Rizwan Qureshi (2-44) as they picked up vital wickets in quick succession.
The lower-order batsmen tried to win the day for Karachi Omar Associates but they narrowly missed the mark. Karachi Gold Bridge Media’s Rizwan Qureshi was declared Man of the Match for his fine all-round performance.