Karachi: Opener Nadeem Shaikh’s whirlwind century powered IMI Omar to an emphatic 135-run victory over Karachi Combined in the latest round of matches of the 17th National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament 2015 here at the KCCA Stadium.
In the other matches held over the weekend, defending champions Karachi Omar Associates defeated Karachi Rashid Latif by five wickets at the Hussain Lawai Naya Nazimabad Stadium and Karachi Gold Bridge overpowered Karachi Haseen Habib by 51 runs at the TMC Ground.
A record number of 109 teams from all over the country have entered the annual tournament, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), and sponsored by IMI Omar (Pvt) Ltd and Arif Habib Group.
Nadeem Shaikh, declared Man of the Match hammered a couple of sixes and 20 fours in his unbeaten 136 off 79 balls which powered IMI Omar to a huge total of 244 for two in the stipulated 25 overs against Karachi Combined. Mohammad Zahid remained undefeated with 35 off 25 balls while Irfan Ali (32 off 21 balls) and Ashraf Pakhali (31 off 25 balls) also sustained the momentum.
Karachi Combined collapsed to 109 all out in 20 overs while chasing the stiff target of 245 in 25 overs. Ashar Ali (44 off 33 balls) was their topscorer as the innings was rocked by leg-spinner Ijaz Ahmed (3-16) and left-arm seamer Ali Raza (2-29).
All-rounders Jaffer Qureshi and Iqbal Shaikh shared the Man of the Award as they helped Omar Associates outwit Karachi Rashid Latif after an absorbing battle.
Batting first, Karachi Rashid Latif began solidly with their top three batsmen, Kamal Ghani (29 off 32 balls), Aziz-ur-Rahman (22 off 18 balls) and Asif Siddiqui (37 off 32 balls), laying a strong base. They were restricted to 149 for nine in 25 overs as the spin duo of Jaffer Qureshi (3-17) and Iqbal Shaikh (3-28) pulled it back by bowling superbly in tandem.
Opener Jaffer Qureshi’s 55 off 48 balls kept Omar Associates afloat despite the loss of an early wicket. It was Iqbal Shaikh’s unbeaten 45 off 37 balls which saw them through in the final over after Mohammad Hamid (2-22) and Kamal Ghani (2-24) had opened up the game.
Abdul Waheed spun Karachi Gold Bridge to victory over Karachi Haseen Habib. The off-spinner, adjudged Man of the Match, claimed four wickets for 36 runs while leg-spinner Zafar Ali captured three wickets for only five runs in 2.1 overs to send Karachi Haseen Habib crashing to 121 all out in 18.1 overs.
Earlier Karachi Gold Bridge totalled 172 for nine in the allotted 22 overs with Azeem Ahmed (48 off 35 balls) and Rizwan Qureshi (35 off 30 balls) being their principal scorers. The wickets were shared between off-spinner Shakir Khan (2-27), medium-pacer Javed Bari (2-32) and left-arm spinner Raza Rizvi (2-37).
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