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Sarfraz helps PCB blow Nepali hopes

Posted by Prabin the सोभित on शनिवार, मे 10, 2008


KATHMANDU, May 9 – Sarfraz Ahmed displayed a brilliant batting performance as visiting Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Academy registered an impressive 109-run victory over Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) XI at the TU Ground on Friday.

Ahmed, who captained Pakistan to U-19 World Cup victory in 2006, scored unbeaten 94 to rescue his team from 53/5 and take the total to 218/7 in 50 overs. CAN XI could only add 109 in 34.2 overs. Ahmed’s 100-ball knock was played with perfection as the 21-year-old showed a lot of maturity to rescue his team. PCB Academy had started well with openers adding 33 runs before CAN XI captain Binod Das ended Raheel Majeed’s innings. Majeed scored 22 off 26 balls before giving a catch to Paresh Lohani.

Binod forced Khurram Manzoor to edge one to wicket-keeper Mahesh Chhetri four overs later. Manzoor could not score. Paras Khadka bowled a brilliant first ball to undid stumps of captain Khalid Latif (17). Two more quick wickets – one close run-out off Asad Safiq and other a nicely held diving catch by Dipendra Chaudhary off Paras troubled PCB Academy.

Nepali bowlers were bowling hearts out but Ahmed calmly tackled all them. With Ali Asad (16), he added 42 runs for sixth wicket. Left-handed Asad was bowled behind his leg by off-spinner Sanjam Regmi, who together with Basant Regmi, put a lot of pressure.

Sanjam also claimed Imad Wasim (12) who added 23 with Ahmed but then it was the visitor’s say. The pair of Ahmed and No 9 Wahab Riaz added unbeaten 100 runs with such acceleration during the slog overs that Nepal gave away 63 runs in last five overs.

Riaz scored 23 runs in last eight balls he faced to total 37 off 39 balls with a four and three big sixes – two of which were against Shakti Gauchan in an over while Ahmed hit eight fours and two sixes.

Sanjam, who was 2/10 after seven overs, went for 29 runs in nine overs while Binod, with 2/12 in seven, was hit 12 and 14 runs in last two overs. Paras finished 2/21.

Nepal need a strong foundation for the victory but the pace of Pakistani opening bowlers was something they had never played against. With Riaz and Sohail Khan breathing fire, Nepali batsmen could only hit occasional shots.

At 13, Paresh Lohani walked away on an edge, and half of the team was back by the time scoreboard read 20 runs. Sharad Vesawkar, Gyanendra Malla, Dipendra and Mahesh could not reach double-figure.

Paras Khadka played with some authority for 29 off 44 balls hitting three fours and a six while Shakti Guachan 14, Mehboob Alam 17 (with two sixes) and Basant Regmi 18 got some runs to help Nepal cross three-digit mark.

“Nepal played well in first innings,” Pakistani coach Ijaz Ahmed said. “But they lack experience.” He also praised bowling of Binod and spinners while adding that his team was under pressure at 53/5.

Riaz took three wickets while Khan, Yasir Shah and Wasim each took two. The final match will be played on Sunday.


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