Last Sunday evening ended up giving a bittersweet taste to the cricket fans in Pakistan especially in Rawalpindi where rain showed up as an uninvited guest and spoiled the party for the spectators on the weekend’s eve.
An important fixture of Pakistan Cup 2019, between the top sides of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the attraction of the crowd in the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Sunday and a good number of people showed up to the stadium.
Balochistan won the toss and asked Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to bat first. Salman Butt started off well and played a blistering knock of 133 with 16 fours and one six. His opening partner Abid Ali was equally good and contributed 95 runs off mere 77 balls with 14 boundaries and 4 sky touching sixes before he was dismissed by Haris Rauf on an amazing delivery. After Abid’s departure, Adil Amin came onto bat and played a handy innings of 50 on 44 deliveries striking the ball at the rate of above 113; in his short cameo he fired 7 fours and 1 six in his innings.
Khushdil Shah, Zohaib Khan, Wahab Riaz all played their parts in moving the scoreboard forward and at the end of the innings Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were able to put up a giant total of 358 on the score board. Haris Rauf and Amad Butt each picked a couple of wickets but were expensive and leaked 147 runs combined in their 20 overs. Irfan Khan was the pick of the bowlers, with the figures of 43-1 in 10 overs. Although he didn’t send many batsmen back to their dugout but contained the opposition very well.
Balochistan when came onto bat, opener Awais Zia took Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bowlers by their horns and hit them all around the park with power and composure. The opening partnership delivered a decent stand of 92 runs in 11.2 overs when Zeeshan was caught by Sohail Khan in Umaid’s over. In the very next over Asad Shafiq was caught behind by Wahab Riaz, thanks to Adnan Akmal behind the wickets who took an amazing catch. Umer Akmal, was also picked by Umaid Asif early on who only made a contribution of 7 runs and suddenly Balochistan appeared to be struggling with scoreboard mentioning 111 for the loss of 3. Fawad Alam came in to bat and started off cautiously while Awais standing determined on the other end, the match entered its thrilling phase with Balochistan needing 230 runs on 193 deliveries but that’s when a strong storm intervened spoiling the party for the crowd and fans alike.
The rain started pouring in and covers were brought on. The rain continued and after brief periods of discussions the officials decided to call off the game awarding a point to each side.
After this game with no result, Balochistan sit at the top of the table with 5 points and Net Run Rate of 1.008. Also with 5 points Khyber Pakhtunkhwa keeps hold of the 2nd positions with Net run rate of 0.316.