Kaneria consigns Stallions to four-wicket defeat
Sind Dolphins 201 for 6 (Manzoor 48, Ghani 44, Hasan 2-33) beat Punjab Stallions 199 (Naeemuddin 73, Sajjad 64, Kaneria 6-33) by four wickets
Punjab Stallions were derailed by a fine spell of legspin from Danish Kaneria who served the Pakistan selectors a reminder of his abilities in limited-overs formats, as Sind Dolphins cruised to a four-wicket win in the final league match of the Pentangular Cup, in Karachi.
There were three distinct phases to Stallions' innings and unfortunately, they could dominate only one of them. Their decision to bat first backfired as early as the first ball of the innings, when Anwar Ali removed Nasir Jamshed, edging behind. Two more wickets fell in the first ten overs, leaving the innings in strife at 32 for 3. Naeemuddin and Aamer Sajjad then initiated a strong recovery act to give their side the ascendancy. Naeemuddin made 73 with six fours and Sajjad contributed 64, and together they added 124 for the fourth wicket. Both of them scored at strike-rates in the mid-seventies to set up a good launching pad for the end overs. Kaneria had other plans though.
Anwar Ali struck the crucial blow, getting rid of Naeemuddin, after which Kaneria ran amok, grabbing the remaining six wickets. He finished with impeccable figures of 10-3-33-6 as the Stallions lost wickets and momentum to fold up for 199 in 46 overs.
Sind's chase was not without its share of problems, but the target of 200 was too less to cause them much concern. Khurram Manzoor struck six fours in his 48 to set up the reply, while Sheharyar Ghani made the other substantial contribution, scoring 44 in 62 balls. The support cast contributed a thirty and a couple of twenties to ensure that, the winning runs were struck in the 46th over with minimal fuss despite the loss of six wickets. Raza Hasan bowled well to pick 2 for 33, but Kaneria had already ensured he did not have enough runs to play with.