Royal Bank of Scotland Cup 2008-09

PIA clinch title with 59-run win

Cricinfo staff

April 1, 2009

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Pakistan International Airlines (Malik 96, Hameed 91, Sarfraz 56) beat National Bank of Pakistan (Alam 74, Amin 68, Cheema 5-37) by 59 runs
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Shoaib Malik dispatches the ball through the off side, Pakistan v Zimbabwe, 4th ODI, Mobilink Cup, Faisalabad, January 30, 2008
PIA captain Shoaib Malik struck ten boundaries during his 81-ball 96 © AFP
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Brilliant nineties from captain Shoaib Malik and Yasir Hameed coupled with a five-for from Aizaz Cheema helped Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) beat National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to lift the 2008-09 Royal Bank of Scotland Cup.

Put in by NBP, PIA's opening pair of Khurram Manzoor and Sarfraz Ahmed put on 29, before Mohammed Aamer struck, removing Manzoor for 10. Wicketkeeper Sarfraz continued aggressively and went on to link up with Hameed, adding 66 for the second wicket, before being caught behind by Kamran Akmal off Wahab Riaz. It was a quickfire innings from Sarfraz, who fell for 56, having stroked eight boundaries and two sixes during his 44-ball stay. Hameed though, continued patiently and struck up another fifty-partnership with Kamran Sajid.

But it was the fourth-wicket stand with Malik which put PIA firmly in control. Confident strokeplay from both batsmen resulted in little joy for the NBP bowlers as the partnership inched towards hundred. Wahab however struck with the score on 219, dismissing Hameed short of his hundred. Hameed ended on 91 off 100 balls, hitting ten boundaries en route.

Malik then upped the momentum as he tore into the bowling. He was unlucky not to reach his century, after he was caught by Riaz off Mohammad Talha for 96. Ten boundaries during his 81-ball innings however had ensured PIA had crossed 300.

PIA started off well during NBP's reply as Fazl-e-Akbar and Najaf Shah accounted for the openers quickly. Edgy at 65 for 3, it was up to Umar Amin and Fawad Alam to resurrect the innings. Alam played a rushed innings while Amin looked to play the holding role. Their fourth-wicket partnership yielded 132 runs and looked to have handed the advantage back to NBP. Fawad stroked seven fours during his 70-ball 74 before he was caught behind by Sarfraz off Tahir Khan. And Amin followed later, run out by Malik for 68, having hit an equal number of boundaries.

NBP never recovered from the two wickets as Cheema cranked up the heat. Captain Akmal and semi-final hero Qaiser Abbas fell in quick succession as the tail surrendered without a fight. Having removed Wahab Riaz, Cheema fittingly picked up the last wicket of Uzair-ul-Haq to complete his five-wicket haul.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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