Nazir burst gives Habib Bank title
Habib Bank 273 for 9 (Masood 76, Elahi 63, Uzair 4-55) beat National Bank of Pakistan 209 (Alam 82, Azam 27, Nazir 4-22) by 64 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Shahid Nazir scythed through the National Bank of Pakistan top order, and they succumbed to the pressure of the chase despite Fawad Alam's battling innings. Qaid-e-Azam winners Habib Bank were crowned domestic one-day champions, after half-centuries from Shan Masood and Saleem Elahi had set up a competitive total.
Nazir put up a controlled display of swing bowling, and his double strike in the fifth over removed the NBP openers. He had Umar Amin and Nasir Jamshed driving to full length deliveries, only to be caught at mid-off and mid-on. Three overs later, he squared up Naumanullah with one that pitched on middle and swung to hit the top of off stump. The first delivery of his next over came in and crashed into middle stump, beating Rashid Riaz's expansive drive.
At 44 for 4 with the asking rate touching six, captain Fawad Alam was going to be key for NBP. Alam was understandably cautious to begin with, and was on 3 off 17 deliveries before he hit his first boundary, flicking Fahad Masood past midwicket. He welcomed Danish Kaneria into the attack, cutting him for a four. Hammad Azam was looking in control too, cutting and pulling for boundaries. Kaneria was taken for 24 in his first three overs, but he lured Azam out of his crease and to his doom in his fourth over as Humayun Farhat did the rest behind the stumps.
The spinners now started to choke the runs, and though Alam and Sarmad Bhatti added 52 in 12 overs, the required rate crossed seven. Bhatti went attempting a second run off a glide past gully, but could not beat the throw from the fielder. Amin-ur-Rehman too fell soon, going for a quick single, and NBP needed Alam to pull off a miracle at 171 for 7, with 273 seeming much farther than it was.
Habib Bank had Masood and Elahi to thank for getting them that far, after Imran Farhat had been run out first ball of the match. His brother Humayun had gone to Uzair-ul-Haq after belting five boundaries in a 24-ball 32. Taufeeq Umar had kept things steady, but he fell soon after Habib Bank crossed 100. But Masood stood firm, adding 63 along with Elahi, and then 73 along with Hasan Raza. He took Mohammad Talha for 14 in the 46th over, but was dismissed off a slower ball from Uzair-ul-Haq. Kamran Hussain boosted Habib Bank with a late charge, slamming four boundaries in making 21 off 10.
After this, Nazir's opening burst and the run-outs only added to the pressure on Alam, who fell to Kaneria ultimately, swinging one straight to midwicket. With his fall, it was all but over for NBP, and Mohammad Aslam bowled Irfanuddin in the next over as Habib Bank took the title comfortably.