July 9, 2024

Pakistan Over-60s edge out England Over-60s in last over thriller


Pakistan News & Features Services

Pakistan’s Over-60s cricket team started their tour of England on a winning note as they edged out the hosts by four wickets in the first ODI at Park Avenue Cricket Club, Bradford, on July 8. Pakistan went one-up in the five-match series being played for Royal Nawab Cup. 

What a thrilling opening fixture it turned out to be! Chasing a daunting target of 295 in 45 overs, Pakistan needed 15 runs for victory in the final over with four wickets in hand. The requirement was down to four off the last two balls and Zafar Ali drove the penultimate delivery for a boundary to take the visitors home with a ball to spare. Saleem Malik was at the non-striker’s end when the winning shot was executed. 

Zafar Ali was adjudged Player-of-the-Match for his fine all-round performance as he followed up his three-wicket haul with an unbeaten 33 which got Pakistan over the line after some exhilarating cricket over a period of one ball short of 90 overs. 

The home skipper, Richard Merriman, elected to bat after winning the toss. England Over-60s seemed to have done a fine job by accumulating 294 runs for the loss of eight wickets in the allotted 45 overs although they looked poised for a bigger total after a powerful start. Montie Douglas was the topscorer with 87 off as many balls while opener Nick Graywood (52 off 59 balls) and Jim Phillips (32 off 21 balls) also contributed their bit. Zafar Ali (3-65) and Sagheer Abbas (2-50) were the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan. 

The 94-run opening partnership between Muhammad Aslam (48 off 57 balls) and Sajid Ali (38 off 45 balls) put Pakistan on the right track and the momentum was sustained by Ashraf Pakhali (59 off 57 balls), Ghaffar Kazmi (46 off 41 balls) and Sagheer Abbas (42 off 34 balls). The hosts fought back through Mel Hussain who opened the game by grabbing four wickets. But the cameo from Zafar Ali allowed the visiting side to overhaul the target in the final over. 

In the presentation ceremony at the ground, Paul Bradley, President, England Seniors, gave away Player-of-the-Match award to Zafar Ali while Nadeem Omar, captain of Pakistan Over-60s, gifted a shield to rival skipper Richard Merriman. Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA) was also present on the occasion.

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